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PSYC430 Synaptic Plasticity Mechanisms

Exploration of synaptic mechanisms of memory formation.

Animals must learn to survive, and the brain is the learning machine that does the job. But how does it do it? In this paper, we investigate the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, with particular emphasis on the physiological, molecular and anatomical mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus and related brain regions. We take a critical look at the evidence regarding the mechanisms underlying Long-term potentiation, and long-term depression, and whether they have the behavioural relevance that is commonly assumed.

Paper title Synaptic Plasticity Mechanisms
Paper code PSYC430
Subject Psychology
EFTS 0.0833
Points 10 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $653.49
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,757.23

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Restriction
PSYC 474
Eligibility

Entry into Psychology 400-level normally requires a major in Psychology, a B+ average or higher in Psychology 300-level papers, and a pass in PSYC 311 Quantitative Methods. We highly recommend that students have completed PSYC 310 and PSYC 317 or equivalent. Students from other universities must show evidence of an equivalent level of competence.

For Neuroscience students, the prerequisites are met by completion of the requirements for a BSc in Neuroscience with an average grade of at least B+ in 300-level Neuroscience papers.

Contact

Professor Cliff Abraham cabraham@psy.otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Professor Wickliffe Abraham

Textbooks

None. Readings will be primary articles and reviews.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Be able to understand, critically assess and discuss both orally and in written form the evidence regarding plasticity mechanisms and their behavioural relevance.

Paper Structure

The paper covers three key themes:

  • Review of basic neurophysiology and molecular neurobiology
  • Mechanisms and behavioural relevance of long-term potentiation and long-term depression
  • The use of examples in online and social media

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Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
None

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Wednesday 09:00-11:50 9-16, 18-22