Biology & Life Sciences Medicine
This course aims for a mechanistic description of mammalian brain function at the level of individual nerve cells and their synaptic interactions.

Course Details

Language English
Duration 8 week
Effort 5 hour/week

Brain and behavior are inextricably linked in neuroscience. The function of the brain is to govern behavior, and the aim of this course is to causally link biophysical mechanisms with simple behaviors studied in mice. The brain processes information through the concerted activity of many neurons, which communicate with each other through synapses organised in highly dynamic networks. The first goal of the course is to gain a detailed understanding of the structure and function of the fundamental building blocks of the mammalian brain, its synapses and neurons. The second goal is to understand neuronal networks, with specific emphasis on the interactions of excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic neurons. The third goal is to place neuronal network function in the context of sensory processing ultimately leading to behavioral decisions and motor output.

What you will learn

  • Fundamental aspects of neuroscience related to mammalian brain function

  • Biophysical mechanisms of electrical signalling in neurons

  • Synaptic mechanisms underlying neuronal computations

  • Modern methods for studying mammalian brain function in vivo

  • Neuronal network function underlying sensory perception, sensorimotor integration and learning


Basic knowledge (High school / 1st year University) of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics

Course instructors

Georgios Foustoukos

Georgios Foustoukos studied Electrical and Computer Engineering as a bachelor student at National Technical University of Athens. Afterwards, he joined École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he obtained a master’s in Life Science and Techno…

Prof. Carl Petersen

Carl Petersen studied physics as a bachelor student in Oxford. During his PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Sir Michael Berridge in Cambridge he investigated cellular and molecular mechanisms of calcium signalling. In his first postdoctoral perio…

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Free online courses from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
EPFL is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. The past decade has seen EPFL ascend to the very top of European institutions of science and t…

86 instructors