JNS1000Y - Fundamentals of Neuroscience: Systems and Behaviour

Course Coordinator: 

W. Hutchison


This course describes the relationship between the brain and behaviour, and is intended for students who are eventually planning to do research in systems neuroscience. The course will provide you with a general introduction to neural systems and behaviour, and will describe a few representative sensory and motor systems in enough depth that you will be able to read the current literature. Most of the course consists of lectures (3 hours per week), plus a one hour tutorial following a short online quiz to review the topics covered.  

In the fall term we have a short basic review of neuroanatomy after which we will cover sensory systems (e.g., visual, somatosensory, and auditory). The spring term will cover motor control (body, limb and eye movements), and more research themed topics (memory and cognition). There may also be sections on the emotions and more clinical aspects of selective neuroscience topics. For each system we discuss different experimental approaches, e.g. neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, psychophysics, and mathematical modelling. 


  • Quizzes 20% (2% each)

  • Fall term test (12.5%)

  • Mid-term (15%)

  • Spring term test (12.5%)

  • Graduate Student Essay (10%)

  • Final Exam (30%)


Purves et al  Neuroscience 4th edition of Sinauer 

Recommended reading:

E.R. Kandel, J.H. Schwartz and T.M. Jessell: Principles of Neural Science (Fifth Edition). McGraw-Hill, 2000.