Cellular neurophysiology: how neurons communicate

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Overview

About the course

How does information circulate in the nervous system? How is the universal language of neurons, the action potential, generated? How does it travel along axons? And how does it influence other neurons? Thanks to this MOOC, you will master these basic principles of neuronal physiology.

This MOOC is especially intended for students in biological sciences, high school science teachers, graduate students, research assistants and researchers who want to understand electrophysiology basics.

With an emphasis on the experimental approach, this course will address:

  • the ion concentration gradient and membrane potential that control the movement of ions across the neuronal membrane. These ion movements create ion currents;
  • the genesis of the action potential and its propagation to the axon terminals;
  • the function of the synapse: neurotransmitter release, postsynaptic glutamate and GABA receptors, postsynaptic currents and their integration.

Course format

Every week, the chapter includes:

  • short didactic videos presenting cellular neurophysiology
  • videos of experiments performed in a research laboratory
  • additional documents for those who want to deepen some concepts
  • automatically corrected quizzes to check that you understand the key concepts
  • a forum to discuss with one another, to stay motivated and to learn even more!

Syllabus

Course content

  • Week 1: Ion gradients
  • Week 2: Action potential
  • Week 3: Neurotransmitter release
  • Week 4: Glutamatergic synaptic transmission
  • Week 5: GABAergic synaptic transmission
  • Week 6: Postsynaptic integration