Virginia Tech®home

Course offerings

Fall 2021 Courses:

An introduction to the field of neuroscience, and academic and career planning for neuroscience majors. Exposure to areas of practice and research, and opportunities for education, training, and employment in this field (1H, 1C).

Introduction to the fundamental principles of neuroscience. Structures and function of central nervous system in humans and other animals, signal processing and transmission, development of neural and brain circuits, encoding and transmission of sensory and perceptual information, motor control/movement. Prerequisite: BIOL 1105 or ISC 1106.

Organization and function of the nervous system. Neuroanatomy, microscopy, intracellular simulation, extracellular recording, electrophysiology, neurotransmitters, and neuroplasticity. Corequisite: NEUR  2025

Complex brain processes including learning, memory, emotion, decision making, social behavior, and mental health and functioning. Prerequisite: NEUR 2025.

Receptive field, sensation and perception, motor system, simple neural circuitry, neuroendocrine and higher level cognitive processes. Corequisite: NEUR  2026

Ethical, legal, and social issues faced by human societies from the perspective of neuroscience. Broader questions about ethical and social constructs including consciousness, personhood, cognitive enhancement, free will, and death. Research in neuroscience to issues in medicine, research, law, criminology, public health, and the arts. 

Introduction to the conceptual framework of contemporary experimental methods and practices in neuroscience research. Exploration of experimental techniques including electrophysiology, advanced imaging, immunohistochemistry, transgenic animal models, and behavioral assays. Includes face-to-face interaction with various research faculty to explore research methods in practice and discuss current research and expertise. Prerequisite: NEUR 2025 & 2035.

Exploration of careers in clinical. Introduction to neuroanatomy, clinical presentation of neurological diseases, application of neuroscientific research to clinical practice, and clinical treatments. Ethical challenges in clinical practice. Burnout and resilience. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

Concepts in cognitive neuroscience. Methods available to study brain and nervous system function, theoretical and practical issues of relating mental functions to biological brain functions. Overview of current understanding of the neural bases of various mental functions (e.g., memory, attention, emotion, decision making). Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

Foundation of social interactions in human and non-human: ability to learn and memorize locations, situations, individuals, facts and tasks forms. Cellular and molecular mechanism underlying learning and memory and model systems. Approaches to these processes along with diseases presenting with learning and memory deficits in humans. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

This course is intended to serve students majoring in Computational and Systems Neuroscience. This introductory course will cover systems neuroscience, neural engineering, and computational neuroscience. Using primary literature in neuroscience, the following topics will be covered: spike train analysis, signal processing techniques for neural data, neural modeling, mean field models, Hodgkin-Huxley models, integrate and fire models, and brain machine interface (BMI) applications. Prerequisite: MATH 1226

History of addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Neurocircuitry and molecular basis of the brain affected by common drugs of abuse. Overview of the use, abuse, liability, and psychotherapeutic effects of drugs on humans. Common classes of drug abuse: alcohol, sedatives, tobacco/nicotine, opioids, cannabinoids, psychostimulants, psychedelics, steroids, anti-anxiety, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Animal models in drug addiction studies. Current and future pharmacotherapeutics for drug addiction treatment and ethical considerations of treatments. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Course Description coming soon

Common brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders ranging from trauma to autism. Genetic, molecules and cellular changes in disease. Therapeutic implications and development of novel drugs. Challenges in drug discovery and implementation of personalized medicine. Ethical issues regarding genetic findings. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044

Integration of methods and results from cutting-edge interdisciplinary neuroscience research; theoretical and practical issues when linking molecular/cellular structures and processes to higher-level neurological and psychological functions. Topics vary each semester and include the following: The Sexual Brain, Sense the World, Neuroplasticity, Neuroscience and the Mind, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Drugs and Disease, Rhythms of the Brain, and Stress and the Brain. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044 OR 3084

Concepts of classical, modern genetics and epigenetics as it relates to neuroscience. Practical applications including genome-wide association (GWAS), next-generation sequencing, epigenetics, genome editing and screening methods. Use of model organisms in neurogenetic disorders research. Relationship of genetics and its influences on theoretical and practical issues in neurological and neurodevelopmental disorders. Personalized medicine in neurodevelopmental and neurogenetic disorders. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044

Neural processes related to reward, learning, reflection, delay of gratification, and social interaction. Clinical uses of neuroeconomics research techniques. Implications of neuroeconomics in economics, policy, law and business. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026 or ECON 3104

Spring 2022 Courses:  

Introduction to the fundamental principles of neuroscience. Structures and function of central nervous system in humans and other animals, signal processing and transmission, development of neural and brain circuits, encoding and transmission of sensory and perceptual information, motor control/movement. Prerequisite: BIOL 1105 or ISC 1106.

Organization and function of the nervous system. Neuroanatomy, microscopy, intracellular simulation, extracellular recording, electrophysiology, neurotransmitters, and neuroplasticity. Corequisite: NEUR  2025

Complex brain processes including learning, memory, emotion, decision making, social behavior, and mental health and functioning. Prerequisite: NEUR 2025.

Receptive field, sensation and perception, motor system, simple neural circuitry, neuroendocrine and higher level cognitive processes. Corequisite: NEUR  2026

Exploration of careers in clinical. Introduction to neuroanatomy, clinical presentation of neurological diseases, application of neuroscientific research to clinical practice, and clinical treatments. Ethical challenges in clinical practice. Burnout and resilience. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Fundamental principles of cellular and molecular neuroscience. Methods to study neurochemistry and neurobiology, theoretical and practical issues of relating cellular/molecular structures and functions to higher-level nervous system functioning, and current understanding of cellular/molecular bases of nervous system disorders. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

Concepts in cognitive neuroscience. Methods available to study brain and nervous system function, theoretical and practical issues of relating mental functions to biological brain functions. Overview of current understanding of the neural bases of various mental functions (e.g., memory, attention, emotion, decision making). Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

Foundation of social interactions in human and non-human: ability to learn and memorize locations, situations, individuals, facts and tasks forms. Cellular and molecular mechanism underlying learning and memory and model systems. Approaches to these processes along with diseases presenting with learning and memory deficits in humans. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026.

Introduction to brain-machine interactions and computer models of neural systems. Exploration of brain-computer interface applications, biophysically-based computational models of the brain, and computer neural networks in the context of artificial intelligence. Emphasis on the capabilities and limitations of neural networks and how they inform our understanding of the human brain. Discussion of societal impact and ethical considerations. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026 & MATH 1026

Integration of the interdisciplinary fields of neuroscience: includes the conceptual frameworks and theories of neuroscience spanning molecules to behavior, the methods available to study nervous system structure and function from molecules to behavior, theoretical and practical issues of linking these lower-levels structures and processes to higher-level neurological and psychological functions, and the latest applications and technologies for translating neuroscience into more effective interventions and treatments. Practical experience includes literature review research and writing, data analysis and interpretation, written and oral presentation, and site-specific training. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

History of addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. Neurocircuitry and molecular basis of the brain affected by common drugs of abuse. Overview of the use, abuse, liability, and psychotherapeutic effects of drugs on humans. Common classes of drug abuse: alcohol, sedatives, tobacco/nicotine, opioids, cannabinoids, psychostimulants, psychedelics, steroids, anti-anxiety, antidepressants, and antipsychotics. Animal models in drug addiction studies. Current and future pharmacotherapeutics for drug addiction treatment and ethical considerations of treatments. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Neurobiological and clinical aspects of psychiatry. Overview of disorders such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, addiction, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Neurobiology of emotional behavior. Clinical perspectives of psychiatric treatment, interventional psychiatry, and cross-disciplinary approaches to psychiatry. Underlying pathophysiology of a variety of psychiatric disorders. Neuropharmacology of commonly used psychiatric medications. Ethical issues related to psychiatric care. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Neurological and psychological factors associated with military and war. Neuroscientific basis of decision making, mental resilience, and cognitive enhancement. Etiology and treatment of brain injuries sustained during war including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, and chemical warfare. Neurotechnological advances that shape soldiers and warfare. Ethical considerations of “militarization” of neuroscience. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Bidirectional communication between the brain and body impacts our daily functioning as well as long-term physical and mental health. This course will explore various aspects and modes of interaction between the brain and periphery with an emphasis on the endocrine, immune, and digestive systems (the gut-brain axis and microbiome). Through close review and discussions of primary literature, we will discover how disturbances at the brain-body interface may underlie several pathological states and evaluate potential therapeutic opportunities presented. We will also learn how these interdisciplinary questions are scientifically addressed, including the tools and experimental model systems used to gain a comprehensive understanding of brain-body interactions at the whole-organism level. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Evolutionary neuroscience is the study of how natural selection resulted in the brain and behavior. Homologous structures and functions shared through descent from a common ancestor have produced relationships between humans and model organisms that are utilized in current neuroscience research. This course will cover the evolution of the nervous system from nonmammalian vertebrates through modern humans and will explore the ancestral origins of the human brain and its cell and molecular components, with an emphasis on adaptations that led to unique human behaviors. Prerequisite: NEUR 2026

Common brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders ranging from trauma to autism. Genetic, molecules and cellular changes in disease. Therapeutic implications and development of novel drugs. Challenges in drug discovery and implementation of personalized medicine. Ethical issues regarding genetic findings. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044

Integration of methods and results from cutting-edge interdisciplinary neuroscience research; theoretical and practical issues when linking molecular/cellular structures and processes to higher-level neurological and psychological functions. Topics vary each semester and include the following: The Sexual Brain, Sense the World, Neuroplasticity, Neuroscience and the Mind, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Drugs and Disease, Rhythms of the Brain, and Stress and the Brain. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044 OR 3084

Immune system and assorted roles in psychiatric and neurological disorders. Details of cell type, functions and signaling of the peripheral and central immune system, and sympathetic nervous system. Cross-talk between the brain and immune system across the blood brain barrier and circumventricular organs. Treatment options for autoimmune diseases and psychopathy. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044

This course examines concepts in modern drug development for neurological disorders. Topics include the study of current approaches and pitfalls for developing therapeutics for treating disorders of the central nervous system, theoretical issues and practical applications target identification, high-throughput screening, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, preclinical testing, clinical trials, and the FDA approval process. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044 OR NEUR 3914

This course will provide an overview of basic principles of neuropharmacology including pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics (mechanisms of action), and toxicology of drugs utilized for treatment of nervous system diseases and disorders. Selected topics focus on mechanisms of neurotransmission; major systems of neurotransmitters, neuropeptides and neurosteroids; and major classes of drugs affecting the Peripheral and Central Nervous Systems. Prerequisite: NEUR 3044

*
Course offerings by semester 2021-2022 .pdf See here Undergraduate Neuroscience Curriculum 2021-2022