You'll find here a list of additional material to help you understand the course and go deeper in the concepts.

This is a growing selection accumulated over many previous years. It is by no means exhaustive but also may not all be relevant any more. You shouldn't expect the exam to be constrained by this.

(most of this is adapted from previous years)

Past exam questions

Some past exam papers can be found on the (old) Gatsby internal wiki. Note that this is only accessible from within the Gatsby network. If any papers are missing, please chase up the PIs and update the wiki.

General reading



The Kandel is a great source of information about many aspects of neuroscience (see above). Some additional reading:

Neural Coding

  • An amazing review about spike-triggered average and related techniques can be found in the following paper:
    Schwartz O, Pillow JW, Rust NC, Simoncelli EP. (2006). Spike-triggered neural characterization. Journal of Vision, 6(4):484-507
  • Liam Paninski’s notes on the statistical analysis of neural data are also particularly relevant for this part of the course

Here are some additional papers selected by R. Williamson:


  • Dayan and Abbott cover Biophysics thoroughly. The notation is different from the lecture though.
  • Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience is also a good source of information, specifically for the Phase plan analysis and an overview of many neuron models.
  • Spike Neuron Models by W. Gerstner and W. Kistler covers all those models as well. The mathematical derivations are well explained and it covers population dynamics too. Scholarpedia
  • Here are Peter Latham's handwritten notes. He used them to teach the course, but they are a few years old right now, so the material does not correspond well to the lectures anymore. But they could be used as a supplement for the course. They are probably impossible to understand without going to the course and may contain mistakes.
    • Lecture 1 - passive neurons and Hodgkin Huxley
    • Lecture 2 - simplified model, suitable for nullcline analysis
    • Lecture 3 - a little philosophy, and nullcline analysis
    • Lecture 4 - passive dendrites and axons
    • Lecture 5 - synapses
    • Lecture 6 - also synapses (but an older set of notes)
    • Lecture 7 - philosophy and phase plane analysis
    • Lecture 8 - grand summary of biophysics