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Technical Courses III: Methodological approaches in Neuroscience, Microscopy-Neuroimaging


This is an intensive three-week course centered around the study of neuroimaging technologies, that includes lectures, laboratory/hands-on sessions and participation in the acquisition and analysis of neurophysiological/neuroimaging data.  All material will focus primarily on learning the different imaging systems and technologies used to study the nervous system, from conventional microscopy to advanced in vivo imaging both in laboratory animals and humans. Attention will be given on learning current digital image processing tools used to analyze/ quantify imaging data. The goal of this intensive course is to provide students with knowledge of novel, state-of-the-art imaging approaches currently used to study nervous system function. Hands on laboratory sessions will allow students to learn through direct experience.

Course Overview

Teaching and some hands-on training of a wide range of imaging tools and technologies currently used to study nervous system morphology, function and dysfunction, both in laboratory animals and humans.  The course covers general principles of microscopy (both optical and electron), nuclear and MR imaging, image processing and analysis, as well as advanced neurophysiological and functional neuroimaging approaches linking microscopic analysis with behavior. More specifically, the topics covered include:

  • Introduction to human brain function imaging techniques
  • Anatomical Neuroimaging
  • Live cell dynamics imaging
  • FRAP, in vivo FRAP
  • Mechanosensors
  • Multiphoton confocal microscopy
  • Intravital imaging
  • Calcium imaging at whole animal level
  • Optogenetics
  • Neurophysiology: EEG/MEG
  • PET/SPECT Imaging
  • fMRI Imaging
  • Electron microscopy
  • Image Processing (ImageJ, Imaris, Icy)
  • Image Data analysis (MATLAB)
  • Functional Imaging data preprocessing and analysis (SPM)
  • Neurophysiological (EEG/MEG) data preprocessing and analysis (EEGLAB)

Skills & Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Know the basic principles of microscopy and the imaging systems used to study the nervous system.
  2. Know the latest applications of imaging technology currently used to answer scientific questions related to nervous structure and function and dynamic cellular interactions.
  3. Get in touch with software used for the processing of digital images/videos.
  4. Get hands-on training on advanced microscopy and Image Analysis systems currently available in the labs of the participating course instructors.
  5. Understand the design of experimental procedures used in neurophysiological (EEG/MEG) and functional neuroimaging fMRI) experiments to study human cognition
  6. Introduction to the preprocessing and analysis software tools used to analyze neurophysiological and functional neuroimaging data used in the labs of participating instructors.