Queen's University
NSCI 483 Advances in Neuroscience

Course Offering TBD

NSCI 483, Advances in Neuroscience, will introduce the human nervous system at an advanced level, with an emphasis on the brain systems supporting learning and memory. The underlying anatomy, physiology and pharmacology of these systems will be discussed.

Minimum 4th year (Level 4) standing and PHGY 215/3.0 and PHGY 216/3.0; or permission of the instructor.

After completing NSCI 483, students will be able to:

  1. To critically evaluate primary research reports and reviews in order to assess the state of literature in the field of learning and memory.
  2. To collaborate with others in order to effectively collect, analyze, and interpret scientific data.
  3. To understand the basic principles of learning and memory processes in order to communicate how they are generated by the brain at a cellular, systems, and behavioural level.
  4. To express an understanding of the impact of neurological disorders on society in order to advocate for patients, and those who study and treat these disorders.
  1. Communicator
  2. Advocate
  3. Leader
  4. Scholar
  5. Professional
  6. Collaborator

All assessments will be graded using marking rubrics.

Assessment 1 – Living Lab (30%)

In this assessment, students will be collecting data, analyzing data, and writing a lab report based on their findings. Each student will be collecting data on him or herself and several other individuals (not associated with the course) by completing an online experiment related to learning and memory. The class will be responsible for pooling these data and analyzing them according to a number of independent variables. In groups, students will be required to write a classical lab report with Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion that will be graded by a TA. Part of the mark will be based on participation in online discussions of the data, which should demonstrate the student’s leadership, professionalism, and ability to collaborate.

Assessment 2 – Critical Analysis of Primary Literature (30%)

A review article chosen by the instructor will supplement the content for each online module. Additionally, a primary research article on a related topic will be assigned that complements the information provided by the review article. Students will be expected to read and submit a short summary of each primary article at the beginning of each module. For two articles, students will work together online in pairs or small groups to discuss and critically analyze the paper. Students will be expected to orally present their critical analysis to their TA and the other students. Assessment will be a combination of peer and TA review. Effectiveness in peer discussions and professionalism of the peer review will be assessed by the TA.

Assessment 3 – Module Quiz (15%)

At the end of each module, students will be expected to complete a short quiz, ensuring the student has sufficiently learned the information taught in the previous module. These questions will consist of well-constructed multiple choice and short answer questions, designed to ensure understanding of the material.

Assessment 4 – Final Exam (25%)

The final exam will consist of well-designed short answer questions, aimed at problem solving and assimilating knowledge learned throughout the course, rather than strict memorization.

9–10 hours a week (108–120 hours per term).

Required Texts

NSCI 483 course notes via modules posted online.

Optional Text

Relevant primary literature will be provided by the instructor pertaining to specific modules.