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Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Minor

Neuroscience
College of Biological Sciences
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2023
  • Required credits in this minor: 12 to 14
The Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience minor is for CBS students and students from other colleges who have a strong background in molecular biology and biochemistry and are interested in more advanced Neuroscience courses. Students in this minor study the molecular and cellular building blocks that make up the brain and control its function.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Students who are pursuing the Neuroscience or Biology major program are not eligible for the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience minor. Similarly, students pursuing the Integrative Neuroscience or Biology minors are not eligible for the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience minor.
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Minor Requirements
NSCI 2001 - Human Neuroanatomy (without a lab) (3.0 cr)
or NSCI 2101 - Human Neuroanatomy [BIOL] (4.0 cr)
NSCI 3101 - Neurobiology I: Molecules, Cells, and Systems (3.0 cr)
Additional Core Requirement
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· NSCI 3102W - Neurobiology II: Perception and Behavior [WI] (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4101 - Development of the Nervous System: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4150 - Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4201 - Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4501 - Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mechanisms to Therapies (3.0 cr)
· NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3.0 cr)
Additional Elective:
Take 1 or more course(s) from the following:
· BMEN 5411 - Neural Engineering (3.0 cr)
· NSC 5203 - Basic and Clinical Vision Science (3.0 cr)
· NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (3.0 cr)
· NSC 5561 - Systems Neuroscience (4.0 cr)
· NSC 5661 - Behavioral Neuroscience (2.0 cr)
· NSCI 3001W - Neuroscience and Society [CIV, WI] (4.0 cr)
· NSCI 3102W - Neurobiology II: Perception and Behavior [WI] (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 3505W - Mind and Brain [WI] (4.0 cr)
· NSCI 4101 - Development of the Nervous System: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4150 - Advanced Topics in Neuroscience (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4201 - Neuroscience of Drug Abuse (3.0 cr)
· NSCI 4501 - Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mechanisms to Therapies (3.0 cr)
· PHCL 4343 - Pharmacology of the Synapse (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5036W - Computational Vision [WI] (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5038W - Introduction to Neural Networks [WI] (3.0 cr)
· PSY 5062 - Cognitive Neuropsychology (3.0 cr)
 
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· Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Minor
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NSCI 2001 - Human Neuroanatomy (without a lab)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: NSci 2001/NSci 2100
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will provide a broad introduction to the nervous system with an emphasis on the human nervous system. The course will introduce the structure and function of neurons, the major anatomical parts of the nervous system and the main functional systems. Functional systems will be approached through an understanding of the anatomical circuitry. The fundamental concepts of neurochemical communication studied in general terms in the first part of the course will be re-examined relative to specific functional systems later in the course. Although the major focus of the course will be on the normal nervous system, common diseases will be introduced for each main topic. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of many neurological diseases, which will provide further insight into how the normal nervous system functions. The neuronal substrates of learning/memory, addiction and drug actions will be examined. Through the lectures, discussions and other resources, students will be expected to gain an understanding of the neural circuitry and information processing responsible for the diverse range of human behaviors. The material covered in Nsci 2001 and 2100 is very similar. N2100 is taught only fall semester. It is a traditional lecture course that includes a weekly laboratory. The faculty believe that the laboratory is a valuable part of the course. N2001 is taught only spring semester for those who cannot take the fall course. It does not have a lab, but has the advantage of a flipped format. In N2001, students will be expected to watch the assigned lectures prior to coming to class. Class time will be spent on exercises and discussions that use the material presented in the online lectures. Students who take one of these two courses will not be allowed to take the other course. For more information, see http://mcloonlab.neuroscience.umn.edu/2001/index.htm
NSCI 2101 - Human Neuroanatomy (BIOL)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: NSci 2001/NSci 2100
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course will provide a broad introduction to the nervous system with an emphasis on the human nervous system. The course will introduce the structure and function of neurons, the major anatomical parts of the nervous system and the main functional systems. Functional systems will be approached through an understanding of the anatomical circuitry. The fundamental concepts of neurochemical communication studied in general terms in the first part of the course will be re-examined relative to specific functional systems later in the course. Although the major focus of the course will be on the normal nervous system, common diseases will be introduced for each main topic. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of many neurological diseases, which will provide further insight into how the normal nervous system functions. The neuronal substrates of learning/memory, addiction and drug actions will be examined. Through the lectures, laboratory exercises and other resources, students will be expected to gain an understanding of the neural circuitry and information processing responsible for the diverse range of human behaviors. The material covered in Nsci 2001 and 2100 is very similar. N2100 is taught only fall semester. It is a traditional lecture course that includes a weekly laboratory. The faculty believe that the laboratory is a valuable part of the course. N2001 is taught only spring semester for those who cannot take the fall course. It does not have a lab, but has the advantage of a flipped format. In N2001, students will be expected to watch the assigned lectures prior to coming to class. Class time will be spent on exercises and discussions that use the material presented in the online lectures. Students who take one of these two courses will not be allowed to take the other course. For more information, see http://mcloonlab.neuroscience.umn.edu/2100/index.htm
NSCI 3101 - Neurobiology I: Molecules, Cells, and Systems
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Biol 3101/NSci 3101/Phsl 3101
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course discusses the basic principles of cellular and molecular neurobiology and nervous systems. The main topics include: Organization of simple networks, neural systems and behavior; how the brain develops and the physiology and communication of neurons and glia; the molecular and genetic basis of cell organization; ion channel structure and function; the molecular basis of synaptic receptors; transduction mechanisms and second messengers; intracellular regulation of calcium; neurotransmitter systems, including excitation and inhibition, neuromodulation, system regulation, and the cellular basis of learning, memory, and cognition. The course is intended for students majoring in neuroscience, but is open to all students with the required prerequisites. This course is offered in person in the fall and spring semesters and online ONLY in the summer semester. The online summer section covers the same material at the same depth and breadth as the in person fall and spring sections of the course. However, the summer session is 13 weeks (fall and spring are 14 weeks), so the summer course will progress at a slightly faster pace. This is a 3 credit course, so it is expected that students will spend about 150 hours working on course material. This means that the average student can expect to spend ~12 hrs/week on the course. How much time individual students need to spend working on course material will depend on their learning styles.
NSCI 3102W - Neurobiology II: Perception and Behavior (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Biol 3102W/NSci 3102W
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This is the second of the introductory neurobiology courses. It introduces fundamental concepts in systems and behavioral neuroscience with emphasis on the neural circuits underlying perception and sensorimotor integration. Lectures will examine the neural basis of specific behaviors arising from the oculomotor, visual and auditory systems and notes are available on Canvas. Topics include: retinal processing, functional organization in the cerebral cortex, neural circuit development, language, reward, and addiction. Students must learn to read scientific papers, and to understand the main ideas well enough to synthesize them and communicate them both orally and in writing. The course is writing intensive: exams are in essay and short answer format, and a 10-15 page term paper is required. The course is required for students majoring in neuroscience. The course consists of two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.
NSCI 4101 - Development of the Nervous System: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Nsci 4100/Nsci 8211
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will extend students? understanding of fundamental concepts of biology and neuroscience through study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie development of the nervous system. Neurodevelopment provides a context in which to study processes active in many biological functions and diseases. Students will learn about each of the major cellular processes involved in development of the nervous system such as cell division and cell migration, and will learn about the function of molecules and signaling pathways active in each process. Human developmental pathologies will be studied as a means to better understand normal developmental processes. Some lectures will focus on current research, and students will be expected to read some scientific literature.
NSCI 4150 - Advanced Topics in Neuroscience
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
In-depth study of aspects of neurodevelopment, neurochemistry/molecular neuroscience, sensory systems, motor control, and behavioral neuroscience. Primarily for undergraduates majoring in neuroscience or related areas.
NSCI 4201 - Neuroscience of Drug Abuse
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The use and abuse of illicit drugs is an ongoing and insidious world problem. Neuroscience research has contributed importantly to understanding drug abuse as a disease of the nervous system. The goal of this course will be to provide a clinical characterization of drug abuse from a human perspective. From there animal models of drug use and addiction will be discussed as a basis for research examining cellular and molecular mechanisms of the effects of drugs on the nervous system. As all drugs of abuse have a common neurobiology, that neurobiology will be examined from a circuit perspective that will include the underlying molecular control. Collectively students should develop a comprehensive view of the problem of drug addiction including prospects for the development of neurobiologically-based therapeutics.
NSCI 4501 - Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mechanisms to Therapies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
With a rapid increase in population aging in western educated industrialized rich democratic (WEIRD) societies, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease have become an alarming health priority due to the current absence of disease-modifying therapies. The objective of this course is to acquire a fundamental appreciation for the most common degenerative disorders of the nervous system as well as to integrate central notions shared across these diseases and emerging concepts in the field
NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Lectures by team of faculty, problem sets in important physiological concepts, discussion of original research papers. prereq: NSc grad student or instr consent
BMEN 5411 - Neural Engineering
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theoretical basis. Signal processing techniques. Modeling of nervous system, its response to stimulation. Electrode design, neural modeling, cochlear implants, deep brain stimulation. Prosthetic limbs, micturition control, prosthetic vision. Brain machine interface, seizure prediction, optical imaging of nervous system, place cell recordings in hippocampus. prereq: 3401 recommended
NSC 5203 - Basic and Clinical Vision Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Basic and clinical vision science. prereq: instr consent
NSC 5461 - Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Lectures by team of faculty, problem sets in important physiological concepts, discussion of original research papers. prereq: NSc grad student or instr consent
NSC 5561 - Systems Neuroscience
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Principles of organization of neural systems forming the basis for sensation/movement. Sensory-motor/neural-endocrine integration. Relationships between structure and function in nervous system. Team taught. Lecture, laboratory. prereq: NSc grad student or instr consent
NSC 5661 - Behavioral Neuroscience
Credits: 2.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Neural coding/representation of movement parameters. Neural mechanisms underlying higher order processes such as memorization, memory scanning, and mental rotation. Emphasizes experimental psychological studies in human subjects, single cell recording experiments in subhuman primates, and artificial neural network modeling. prereq: Grad NSc major or grad NSc minor or instr consent
NSCI 3001W - Neuroscience and Society (CIV, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Ethical implications. Readings, personal reflections, class discussions, debates, and formal writing. Development of logical arguments, writing skills, oral presentation skills, and teamwork. Students present/argue both their own personal views and those of others. What it is like to have altered mentation, i.e. a brain disease or disability. Readings/multimedia reports from primary neuroscience literature as well as philosophy, policy, and law literature and popular media.
NSCI 3102W - Neurobiology II: Perception and Behavior (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Biol 3102W/NSci 3102W
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This is the second of the introductory neurobiology courses. It introduces fundamental concepts in systems and behavioral neuroscience with emphasis on the neural circuits underlying perception and sensorimotor integration. Lectures will examine the neural basis of specific behaviors arising from the oculomotor, visual and auditory systems and notes are available on Canvas. Topics include: retinal processing, functional organization in the cerebral cortex, neural circuit development, language, reward, and addiction. Students must learn to read scientific papers, and to understand the main ideas well enough to synthesize them and communicate them both orally and in writing. The course is writing intensive: exams are in essay and short answer format, and a 10-15 page term paper is required. The course is required for students majoring in neuroscience. The course consists of two hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.
NSCI 3505W - Mind and Brain (WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course is intended as an introduction to the new views on the relationship between mind and brain. Over the last several decades, a new view of cognition and neural processing has been developed based on the concepts of al¬gorithm, representation, computation, and information processing. Within this theoretical frame¬work, psychological constructs are computational processes occur¬ring across physical neural systems. We will take a neuroscience and psychological perspective in which the physical neuroscience instantiates but does not diminish the psychological constructs. Although our conceptual framework will be computational, this course will not require or expect any mathematical or computer background. At the completion of this class, you will understand the implications of the physical nature of the brain ? how mentation is explicable from physical processes, and how decision-making arises from those same physical processes. Importantly, you will also understand the limitations of current knowledge and the methodologies being used to push those limitations. This class is not intended as a final step in this understanding, but as a first step into these issues. At the conclusion of the class, you should have sufficient understanding to continue more in-depth reading and study in these issues. There are no official prerequisites. However, I have found that students who have EITHER a strong computational background (computer science, mathematics, economics, physics) OR have taken an introductory neuroscience course (e.g. Nsci 2100) have done better in the class than students with no background. However, I have seen students come in with very little background and do well in the class if they engage with the class and work hard.
NSCI 4101 - Development of the Nervous System: Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Nsci 4100/Nsci 8211
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course will extend students? understanding of fundamental concepts of biology and neuroscience through study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie development of the nervous system. Neurodevelopment provides a context in which to study processes active in many biological functions and diseases. Students will learn about each of the major cellular processes involved in development of the nervous system such as cell division and cell migration, and will learn about the function of molecules and signaling pathways active in each process. Human developmental pathologies will be studied as a means to better understand normal developmental processes. Some lectures will focus on current research, and students will be expected to read some scientific literature.
NSCI 4150 - Advanced Topics in Neuroscience
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
In-depth study of aspects of neurodevelopment, neurochemistry/molecular neuroscience, sensory systems, motor control, and behavioral neuroscience. Primarily for undergraduates majoring in neuroscience or related areas.
NSCI 4201 - Neuroscience of Drug Abuse
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
The use and abuse of illicit drugs is an ongoing and insidious world problem. Neuroscience research has contributed importantly to understanding drug abuse as a disease of the nervous system. The goal of this course will be to provide a clinical characterization of drug abuse from a human perspective. From there animal models of drug use and addiction will be discussed as a basis for research examining cellular and molecular mechanisms of the effects of drugs on the nervous system. As all drugs of abuse have a common neurobiology, that neurobiology will be examined from a circuit perspective that will include the underlying molecular control. Collectively students should develop a comprehensive view of the problem of drug addiction including prospects for the development of neurobiologically-based therapeutics.
NSCI 4501 - Neurodegenerative Diseases, Mechanisms to Therapies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
With a rapid increase in population aging in western educated industrialized rich democratic (WEIRD) societies, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease have become an alarming health priority due to the current absence of disease-modifying therapies. The objective of this course is to acquire a fundamental appreciation for the most common degenerative disorders of the nervous system as well as to integrate central notions shared across these diseases and emerging concepts in the field
PHCL 4343 - Pharmacology of the Synapse
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study synapse as pharmacological gateway to nervous system. Explore physiology of/cellular signalling at synapse, how signalling influences conditions such as Parkinson's disease, depression, anxiety, pain, addiction. How various drugs modify signalling at synapse. recommend: [PHCL 2001, PHCL 3100]
PSY 5036W - Computational Vision (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Applications of psychology, neuroscience, computer science to design principles underlying visual perception, visual cognition, action. Compares biological/physical processing of images with respect to image formation, perceptual organization, object perception, recognition, navigation, motor control. prereq: [[3031 or 3051], [Math 1272 or equiv]] or instr consent
PSY 5038W - Introduction to Neural Networks (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Parallel distributed processing models in neural/cognitive science. Linear models, Hebbian rules, self-organization, non-linear networks, optimization, representation of information. Applications to sensory processing, perception, learning, memory. prereq: [[3061 or NSC 3102], [MATH 1282 or 2243]] or instr consent
PSY 5062 - Cognitive Neuropsychology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Consequences of different types of brain damage on human perception/cognition. Neural mechanisms of normal perceptual/cognitive functions. Vision/attention disorders, split brain, language deficits, memory disorders, central planning deficits. Emphasizes function/phenomenology. Minimal amount of brain anatomy. prereq: Grad or [[jr or sr], [3011 or 3031 or 3051 or 3061]] or instr consent