NS 666: (Drunk) History of Neuroscience

But, you know, not really drunk. It’s just a figure of speech (we gotta say that for the lawyers).


Week 1: 05/02/19

The Neuron Doctrine

Let’s ease in with the grandaddy of all controversies: the neuron doctrine. How did a fight for the ages between Golgi and Cajal build the foundation for 100+ years of neuroscience? And how could Golgi have been SO wrong?! Start at the link below and then see the PDFs for some perspectives for reading.


Week 2: 05/16/2019

Neuronal Outgrowth and Chemosensation

Let’s begin with early work that established cell culture to study neurons (yeah, science has US to thank for that!), debunked the syncytial theory of cells, established neuronal motility and outgrowth, and how we first started thinking about how chemistry and molecular interactions affected those processes!


Week 3: 05/30/19

Neurodevelopment, NGF, and Neural Patterning

How does a nervous system wire itself? How are neurons instructed to grow over long distances? How resilient is the nervous system to changes? Some fundamental work in developmental biology using tissue transplants and sarcomas revealed these pathways to scientists - starting in the 1930s with work by Viktor Hamburger and continued in the 1950s with work by Rita Levi-Montalcini. Stanley Cohen and Levi-Montalcini won the 1986 Nobel Prize for this work. This will expand on Harrison’s work from last time and talk about how nervous systems are fundamentally patterned!


Week 4: 06/13/19

Concepts of the Action Potential



Week 5: 06/26/19

Circuit Development and Ocular Dominance

David Hubel
Torsten Wiesel


Week 6: 07/11/19

LTP, Spontaneous Transmission, and Learning and Memory

Bliss & Lomo
Katz & Miladi


Week 7: 07/25/19

Synaptic Vesicle Fusion and Cycling

Thomas Sudhof
Randy Schekman
Jim Rothman


Week 8: 08/08/19

Molecular Axon Guidance, Attraction and Repulsion

Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Corey Goodman
Cori Bargmann