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ZOOL314 Neurobiology

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.

Paper title Neurobiology
Paper code ZOOL314
Subject Zoology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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
  • Emergent intelligence in social insects
  • Neural mechanisms of perception, learning and movement
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
  • Neurobiology students will understand how neurons and neural networks function and how they generate perception and behaviour.
  • Students will gain insight into classic and modern approaches to study nervous system function, animal behaviour and learning.
  • Students will be able to apply critical thinking, scientific rigour, and a systematic approach to investigations of animal behaviour and its neural basis.
  • Students will be able to apply knowledge and skills learned in this paper to novel problems within and beyond neurobiology.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 10:00-10:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41
A2 Friday 14:00-17:50 29-34, 36-41