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Medical Neuroscience
Course Director: Jed Shumsky, Ph.D.


We hope you will find the course exciting and challenging. Every year, the course is modified and updated. This year we have enhanced, still further the availability of self-study material through the Neuroscience WEB page, particularly by providing both labeled and unlabelled versions of the slide material used in lab. Please give us feedback throughout the course so that we can continue this process.
Handouts will provide an outline of the material to be covered in lecture, and will provide details only on information not available in the text . Figures from the required texts will be referred to in the lecture, but will not be duplicated in the handout, so it is essential to bring the texts with you to lectures. Handouts should not be used as a substitute for the required texts, and examinations will assume that you are familiar with the material in both the handout and the required texts. 
Formal laboratory sessions have been reduced in recent years, to permit more review sessions. You must purchase a lab atlas (we recommend the atlas by Woolsey et al, and the lab manual refers to pages in this atlas. However, you can use one of the other recommended atlases if you wish. ) Your lab atlas will be an essential part of your self-study in addition to being a required aid during laboratories. It will be your responsibility to identify, in the atlas, any neuroanatomical structure which is described in lectures, even if you do not have a laboratory session on that structure or topic. For example, in the lecture on somatosensory systems, you will learn about the ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus. You should then use your atlas to identify this structure in coronal, horizontal and sagittal sections. Thus, although there will be no specific laboratory devoted to somatosensory systems, you will be expected to be able to identify this structure in atlas material in a practical examination. In addition, during labs, you will be expected to locate, in your atlas, sections equivalent to those shown in laboratory slides. So, remember that, for practical exam questions, you will be expected to be able to identify any neuroanatomical structure which is described in lectures, even if you do not have a laboratory session on that structure or topic. Sections from the recommended atlas texts may be included in material used for practical exam questions.

The laboratory sessions are organized to accomplish the following goals:  
  • in all labs except spinal cord labs, you will use the gross brain material, in conjunction with models of the ventricles, to identify and localize all structures; this will help you develop a three dimensional image of the brain.
  • you will also use the atlas, and images from the atlas available on CD, to confirm localizations of specific structures, in coronal, frontal, horizontal and sagittal sections. Brain images on the web will be displayed during the lab. Each lab group must bring one laptop computer to each lab, in order to display these images.
  • you will study supplementary laboratory material which will be available either as slides, and on the WEB.
    Many laboratory sessions will be split, so that the first part of the session will be devoted to the above goals, and the second part will involve review sessions in small groups (students will be divided into 3 groups for review sessions).