Some of this material was written in 2001 for the undergraduate students I supervised, who were sitting the Cambridge Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) part 1B Neurobiology course. Other parts were written for undergraduate tutorials for the Oxford Introduction to Psychology course, Neurophysiology module.
Supervision presentations in Powerpoint format
- First supervision: introduction and channel physiology
- Axon development: when axons do and don't grow - growth factors and molecules
- Synapses: The interplay between electrical and chemical signals
- Synapse plasticity: the roots of learning and memory
- Introduction to neuroanatomy: anatomical terminology, basic brain anatomy
- Vision essays: common topics in low-level vision
- Motor systems: tutorial on the gross organisation of the motor system
- Concise accounts: how to answer some common questions on "Write a short account of ..."
- Revision material: some pages to refresh your knowledge of common topics before exams
Notes (sketch-plans) for specific essay titlesNote that these are only outlines of what I think are the most useful points to raise in answering the question. There is scope for individuality and different viewpoints. They are also in very rough form - ask me if you don't understand!
- Describe how the mechanisms of action potential conduction were discovered
- In what ways do different neurotransmitters affect postsynaptic cells?
- Explain why neurotransmitters act sometimes via metabotropic receptors and at other times via ionotropic receptors
- How is the visual system able to operate at widely varying levels of light intensity?
- Is the visual system optimised for its job?
- How can the eye turn both bright and dim light into electrical signals? What optical factors determine acuity?
- How do we localise sounds?
- How do we perceive pain?
- How is pain modulated?
- Compare the neural mechanisms of smell and taste
- What factors determine the strength of muscle contraction generated by a single motoneurone supplying striated muscle? Does this apply to C.N.S. synapses?
- Discuss the structure and function of muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs, explaining how spinal reflexes contribute to posture
- How are visual stimuli processed in the visual cortex?
- What do the parts of the motor cortex do?
- Compare the functions of the cerebellum and basal ganglia
- What observations have aided the understanding of the motor cortex?
- Describe the anatomy of the limbic system. How does it contribute to memory?