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    Introduction to basic methods of computational modelling of biological neurons and neural circuits.

    About this paper

    Paper title Computational Neuroscience
    Subject Computer Science
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2022 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,371.61
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    NEUR 422

    There are no formal prerequisites for the 400-level papers, but prior knowledge is assumed.


    Computer Science Adviser (

    Teaching staff
    Lecturer: To be advised
    Paper Structure
    The paper will look at how humans and animals process information at the level of single neurons in the brain and later how neural activity is used to modify synaptic connections, which is the mechanism that underlies formation of memories. Along with the principles and methods of computational neuroscience, we will also learn how to implement neurons and small neural circuits in NEURON, which is a freely available computational neuroscience software, widely used all over the world. Given the interdisciplinary nature of this paper, we will ensure that students first learn all the fundamental concepts before they are applied in hands-on experience with NEURON.

    • Two programming assignments using NEURON: 2 x 25% = 50%
    • Final closed-book exam: 50%
    Teaching Arrangements
    There is one 2-hour lecture per week.
    Principles of Computational Modelling in Neuroscience, by David Sterratt, Bruce Graham, Andrew Gillies, and David Willshaw, published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K., 2011.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Ethics.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    The paper will give students an understanding of:
    • Fundamental mechanisms of biological information processing at the level of individual neurons
    • Fundamental mechanisms of biological information processing at the level of small neural circuits
    • How to implement neurons and small circuits in NEURON and hands-on experience with the subject
    • Limitations of computation in the study of the brain
    • Interdisciplinary collaboration and multidisciplinary perspective
    • Ethical considerations of the study of the brain


    Not offered in 2022

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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