MCDB 452 - The Visual System
Section: 001
Term: WN 2019
Subject: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Department: LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Enforced Prerequisites:
BIOLOGY 222; or BIOLOGY 225 and (MCDB 310, BIOLCHEM 415, or CHEM 351); or NEUROSCI 614; or graduate standing.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

Vision is our most important sense, and nearly half of our cerebral cortex is devoted to vision. This course focuses on understanding how the cellular properties of neurons and the pattern of synaptic connections between neurons allow the visual system to decipher incoming information. The course will begin with a review of basic neurobiology concepts and methods. The rest of the first half of the course will concentrate on photoreception and visual processing in the retina, which is arguably the best understood part of the brain. The second half of the course will survey the processing of visual information beyond the retina, with an emphasis on the primary visual cortex. Throughout the course, various disorders affecting the visual system will also be briefly discussed, and there will be guest lectures on retinal development, gene therapy for retinal dystrophies, and clinical testing of visual function. A major focus of the lectures and paper discussions will be to help students understand the experiments that led to the development of current views.

Course Requirements:

PowerPoint slides will be uploaded to the course web site the weekend before the relevant lecture. It is essential that you come to class having already studied the slides. Each lecture will begin with a review of the slides, then a discussion of the material, and finally an iClicker-based open-book quiz about the material. All journal articles will be posted on the course web site at the beginning of the semester. The purpose of the paper discussions is to help you learn to read scientific papers on neuroscience. It is essential that you come to class having already thoroughly read the assigned paper. At the beginning of each paper discussion session there will be a short iClicker-based open-book quiz on the paper. One week after each discussion session, a 1-page assignment based on the paper will be due via email.

Intended Audience:

Undergrads, grad students, postdocs

Class Format:

An 80-min lecture and an 80-min paper discussion each week.

MCDB 452 - The Visual System
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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