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Irene Skaliora, Professor of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens and Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens

Christos Consoulas, Associate Professor of Experimental Physiology, Laboratory of Physiology, Medical School of Athens, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Teaching hours and weekly schedule

This is a 2nd semester, 2,5 weeks elective course that corresponds to 3 ECTs and 27 total hours of teaching and student presentations.


This course will focus on cellular and systems neurophysiology. It will describe the mechanisms that regulate neuronal excitability, dendritic and synaptic function; discuss the different neurotransmitters and receptors involved; present the concepts of short term and long term neuronal plasticity; and discuss the function of neural circuits. The main aim of the course is to understand the principles of signal generation, modulation and transmission, both at the cell and circuit level.

Learning Resource

Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessell, TM, et al. Principles of Neural Science 5th Edition (2012). McGraw-Hill NY. ISBN 0071390111

Course Overview

•          Ca channels: structure, localization and function in presynaptic terminals

•          Passive & active membrane properties: excitability, resting and action potential, channels, cable theory, Nernst/Goldman Equations, Electrotonic potential

•          CNS synaptic transmission: Glutamatergic and Dopaminergic receptors, intracellular signaling and Neuromodulation, Mechanisms of pre-synaptic release

•          Central synapses and plasticity: plasticity at system and cellular level, critical periods, LTP/LTD, relationship between LTP and learning

•          Excitation and inhibition in the brain: a reassessment 

•          In vivo two photon functional imaging in the brain: about numbers and images 

•          Lab demonstrations

          Topic suggestions for student presentations (not an exhaustive list):

(i) Modulation of Neural Circuits

(ii) Excitation Inhibition balance in pathology

(iii) Serotonergic receptors and pathology

(iv) Tonic inhibition and pathology

(v) LTP and learning

Titles of lectures and names of the lecturers

Neuroelectrophysiology Lecturers
Co-ordinators: Irene Skaliora, Christos Consoulas
Cellular excitability, capacitance, input resistance, resting and action potentials, cable theory, voltage clamp Christos Consoulas
NMJ & Quantal Release Christos Consoulas
Central Synapses: Excitatory and inhibitory, short and long term plasticity, paired pulse facilitation & depression, LTP/LTD Irene Skaliora
Neurophysiology of brain networks: methods of recording and analysis Irene Skaliora
Calcium channels in synapses Carsten Duch
The complexity of epilepsy Andrew Trevelyan
Epilepsy: the price we pay for cortical function Andrew Trevelyan