How the Brain Works

UAB Barcelona Summer School

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
Course Fee: 850 €
Course Fee for UAB students: 200 €
Teaching Language: English
Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)
Teaching Period: 21 June to 09 July

Enrol now

Enrolment guidelines

Contact: summer@uab.cat

 

PROFESSOR BIO INFORMATION

Raul Andero Galí holds a PhD in Neuroscience from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and completed his postdoctoral work at Emory University (Atlanta, GA). He joined McLean Hospital - Harvard Medical School, as Instructor in Psychiatry (Faculty). On 2016, he started his laboratory at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona as Ramón y Cajal Fellow and Group Leader. Since 2021 he is continuing his work at UAB as ICREA Research Professor. His lab studies how stress changes memory networks in the brain in both rodents and humans. 

Elena Martin García is a senior researcher at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona since 2012. She also works as an associate professor of Pharmacology. Her postdoctoral work was carried out at the INSERM in Bordeaux, France. Her research interests are focused on the study of the neurobiological basis of addiction and related disorders, including obesity. She has over 40 scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals related to Neuroscience.

  • Department of Psychobiology and Methodology of Health Sciences
  • E-mail: raul.andero@uab.cat; www.anderolab.com;  elena.martin@uab.cat, elena.martin@upf.edu 

 

ACADEMIC GUIDE

Contents overview

Neuroscience is an incredibly rich discipline that covers a variety of topics related to health, society, and education. One of its branches focuses on the study of the biological substrates of behavior and the underlying mental processes. To understand behavior, and the mind, it is necessary to know how the components of the nervous system are organized and how their interactions result in normal function.

The present 3rd edition of this course will provide students with the necessary knowledge to understand how the brain works in health and disease. Moreover, different drugs and their effects upon brain function will be reviewed. Neurophysiological and neurochemical approaches will be used to understand the relationships between different behavioral processes and their biological substrates. At the end of this course students will gain valuable knowledge in Neuroscience helpful for their daily lives.

Also, your teachers will be available throughout the course to mentor those students interested in receiving advice about their careers in Neuroscience or in any other field. In brief, we want to create a community of bright students that interact with each other and experience scientific teamwork by working on a final project. 

 

Week programme

How the Brain Works
 Week   Contents Teaching/learning activities
1 1. What is Neuroscience? (Class 1)

2. The cells of the nervous system (Class 2)

3. Synaptic transmission I (Class 3)

Monday to Thursday (Classes 1-3). Thursday is public holiday = no class

9.00-10.00: Lecture class with professor

10.00-10.15 Break

10.15-11.00: Interactive class – Team work

11-12 Organized tutoring sessions – If necessary

 

Friday (Class 4)

 9.00-10.00: Evidence of learning 1: Exam

10.00-10.15. Break

10.15-11:00: A documentary related to Neuroscience. Discussion and exercises based on the documentary

11-12 Organized tutoring sessions – If necessary

2

3. Synaptic transmission II (Class 5)

4. Macroscopic anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous system (Class 6)

5. Neurotransmitters (Classes 7-8)

Monday to Thursday (Classes 5-8)

9.00-10.00: Lecture class with professor

10.00-10.15 Break

10.15-11.00: Interactive class – Team work

11-12 Organized tutoring sessions – If necessary

3 5. Neurotransmitters (Classes 10-13)

Monday to Wednesday (Classes 10-12)

9.00-10.00: Lecture class with professor

10.00-10.15 Break

10.15-11.00: Interactive class – Team work

11-12 Organized tutoring sessions – If necessary

Thursday (Class 13)

9.00-11.00: Prepare evidence 3

11-12 Organized tutoring sessions – If necessary

Friday (class 14)

9.00-11.00: Evidence of learning 3. Final course presentations

 

Evaluation

It is mandatory to have a one on one meeting with a professor once a week to pass the course. So, a total of 3 personal meetings are necessary.

This course uses a continuous evaluation method by performing 3 learning activities. These 3 exams will be written, and the final presentation will be oral. The contents evaluated in these tests will be cumulative, thus, each test will evaluate aspects of the subject already evaluated in previous tests. The final mark of the continuous evaluation of the subject will be obtained from the weighted average score of the evaluated activities.

The relative weight of each of the learning evidences or exams is specified below:

  • Evidence of learning 1: 30% (Unit 1 and 2, class 1 to 3).
  • Evidence of learning 2: 30% (evaluation of all the contents of Unit 1, 2, 3, 4 and classes 7-8 of part 5. All classes 1 to 8).
  • Evidence of learning 3: 40% (Oral group presentation: final oral presentation of a project prepared throughout the course.

Characteristics of the Final course project: ·

- Groups of 3 to 4 students.

- Presentation (10’ group talk + 10’ individual questions).

- Each group must select, investigate and present a specific mental disorder focusing on the main alterations observed in neurotransmitter or neuromodulator systems. Disorders must be selected from the following DSM-5 list (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, fifth edition):  

  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar and Related Disorders.
  • Depressive Disorders.
  • Anxiety Disorders.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders.
  • Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders.
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders.
  • Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders.
  • Other disorders.

The grades will span from 0 to 10. To pass the course it is necessary to obtain more than 5 points. There is no possibility to re-evaluate.

Class attendance must be at least 80%. 

 

Links and references

  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, DSM-5. (5th ed.). Washington, DC:
  • Carlson NR. (2013) Physiology of Behavior, 11th Edition. Pearson.
  • Martín-García E; Robledo P; Gutiérrez-Cuesta J; Maldonado R. Substance Abuse and Dependence (Chapter 8). In vivo models for Drug Discovery. pp. 169 - 192. (Germany): Wiley, 2014. ISBN 9783527333288.
  • Stahl, S. M. Stahl's essential psychopharmacology: neuroscientific basis and practical applications. - 3rd ed. Cambridge University Press. 2008. ISBN 978-0-521-67376-1.
  • Andero R, Choi DC, Ressler KJ. BDNF-TrkB receptor regulation of distributed adult neural plasticity, memory formation, and psychiatric disorders. Prog Mol Biol Transl Sci. 2014;122:169-92.