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 Neural Plasticity in Learning and Development  posted by  duggu   on 12/11/2007  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Miller, Earl, Guosong Liu, Matt Wilson, Susumu Tonegawa, and William Quinn, 9.301J Neural Plasticity in Learning and Development, Spring 2002. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 08 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Neurons grown in culture and labeled to measure plasticity in a living system.

Neurons grown in culture and labeled to measure plasticity in a living system. (Image courtesy of Liu Laboratory, MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.)

Course Highlights

Learning and memory comprise one of the primary fields in neuroscience today. This course covers learning and memory from the sea slug to the human. This site includes sample lecture notes, as well as an extensive reading list and related resources, to help students master the fundamentals of the field.

Course Description

Roles of neural plasticity in learning and memory and in development of invertebrates and mammals. An in-depth critical analysis of current literature of molecular, cellular, genetic, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies. Discussion of original papers supplemented by introductory lectures.


Bear, Connors and Paradiso. Neuroscience, Exploring the Brain. Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

This course covers the molecular and cellular basis of synaptic plasticity, hippocampal function and the role of plasticity in both vertebrate and invertebrate memory. The course is taught by members of MIT's Picower Center for Learning and Memory.


Student-generated questions based on readings
Take-home quizzes
Class discussion

Student-generated Questions Based on Readings:

Students are required to read all of the papers to be covered in each class and write 8-10 questions based on the readings, to be submitted before the in-class presentations.

Course Requirements
Undergraduate and graduate students will be graded as follows:
  • 50% Quizzes:
    5 quizzes each contributing 10%.
  • 25% Presentation:
    Each student will lead the class in the discussion of at least one paper, and be graded on the presentation.
  • 25% Participation:
    Both attendance and participation in discussion will be graded.

In addition, graduate students must make an additional presentation.




  LEC #       TOPICS
  1 & 2       Introduction (Memory Classification, Memory Systems Approaches, etc.)
  3       Synaptic Transmission
  4       Synaptic Plasticity I
  5       Synaptic Plasticity II
  6       Learning and Memory in Aplysia
  7       Learning and Memory in Drosophila
  8       Hippocampus I
  9       Hippocampus II
  10       Learning and Memory in Rodents I
  11       Learning and Memory in Rodents II
  12       Learning and Memory in Rodents III
  13       Computational Modeling
  14       Executive Control in Primates I
  15       Executive Control in Primates II   Tell A Friend