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    Evolution and development of brains; sensory systems and how animals perceive the world; control of agile movement; behavioural plasticity; mechanisms of memory.

    In ZOOL 314 we explore how nervous systems gather, process, and integrate information to produce natural behaviours, and how they enable animals to learn from experience.

    About this paper

    Paper title Neurobiology
    Subject Zoology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    54 200-level points from Science Schedule C
    Schedule C
    Teaching staff

    Dr Bart Geurten
    Dr Jenny Jandt
    Dr Paul Szyszka

    Paper Structure

    Nervous systems in insects are increasingly being used as model systems to study fundamental questions in neurobiology, including neurological disorders.

    Topics covered include:

    • Signal generation and propagation in nervous systems
    • Comparison of biological vs. artificial neural networks
    • Mechanisms of perception
    • Learning and movement
    • Emergent intelligence in social insects
    Teaching Arrangements

    Content is available online before classes. Lectures will be given in person, live streamed via Zoom and recorded. Students are expected to have listened and understood the lectures on Tuesdays and Wednesdays before they do the labs on Fridays.

    Textbooks are not required for this paper.
    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    1. Develop a general knowledge and understanding of how neurons and neural networks function and how they generate perception and behaviour

    2. Gain insight into classic and modern approaches to study nervous system function, animal behaviour and learning

    3. Be able to work individually to source information and to communicate knowledge and ideas effectively in writing

    4. Demonstrate an ability to work as a member of a team to design and run experiments

    5. Develop an inquiring mind and self-responsibility for learning. Students will apply observational and descriptive skills and focus on the integration and interpretation of information. Students will be trained to develop their critical thinking, self-evaluation skills and confidence


    Semester 2

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42
    Wednesday 10:00-10:50 29-35, 37-42


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-35, 37-42
    A2 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-35, 37-42
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