Theoretical Neuroscience Course Part I - 2007

The general teaching schedule is as follows:
Lectures every Tuesday and Friday, 11 am - 1 pm, from 2 Oct to 14 Dec
Review Sessions every Friday, 1 pm - 2 pm
Venue 4th Floor Seminar Room
Gatsby Unit
Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square
London WC1N 3AR
Organisational issues:
The official course descriptor including a detailed schedule can be found here.
The course is open to anybody from the University of London. If you'd like to attend, please send an email to .
The teaching assistant is Phillipp Hehrmann. If you have any specific questions for the review sessions, please email him.
There is a Google calendar for this course. You can add it to your own Google calendar or access it using almost any calendar application by subscribing to this URL which links to an ical file (make sure you subscribe to the actual URL rather than downloding the file in order to keep up to date).
The main course book is Theoretical Neuroscience by Dayan and Abbott. The appendix of the book covers a fair amount of the maths needed for the course.
One recommended and comprehensive maths textbook is "Mathematical Methods for Physicists" by Riley, Hobson and Bence.
A nicely readable introduction to dynamical systems and phase plane analysis with particular emphasis on single neuron models can be found in E. Izhikevich: "Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience" (chapters 1-5).
A few very useful cribsheets are basic maths you'll need for this course, and some matrix identities.
Below is a schedule of the review sessions (updated before every review session). The homework assignments can be downloaded from here. The section "reading" lists background reading material that may help understand and solve the questions and is (usually) not compulsory.
Date  Topic Reading Assignment
5-10 biophysics: Hodgkin&Huxley, IF Lecture 1: Introduction    
Dayan and Abbott, chapter 5
Izhikevich, chapters 1-3
Assignment 1   
due 19/10
19-10 biophysics: cable equation, synapses Dayan and Abbott, chapter 6 Assignment 2   ,   hwk2data.mat
due 26/10
26-10 neural coding: visual system, point processes Lecture 6: Neural Coding I    
Handout: Spike Train Statistics    
Dayan and Abbott, chapters 1&2
Assignment 3   
due 2/11
13-11 (Tue) neural coding, information theory Lecture 9: Information Theory    
Dayan and Abbott, chapter 4
Assignment 4   
due 13/11
16-11 neural coding: spike-triggered analysis, population coding Lecture 12: Population Coding    
Spike-triggered neural characterization (Schwartz et al. 2006)    
Square root transform of Poisson distributed quantities     (ext. link)
Dayan and Abbott, chapter 3
Assignment 5   
due 27/11
27-11 dynamics Assignment 6   
due 04/12
30-11 dynamics, visual dynamics lecture notes: visual dynamics     (extl. link) Assignment 7   
due 17/12
7-12 learning Lecture slides: Learning and Meta-learing    
Dayan and Abbot, chapters 8&9
Assignment 8   
due 31/12, 0pm
14-12 In preparation for Michael Shadlen's lecture, please read the following papers:
Neurobiology of Decision Making
The Speed and Accuracy of a Simple Perceptual Decision: A Mathematical Primer
The Neural Basis of Decision Making

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