FHL 585 | Summer A 2019

Behavioral Neurobiology of Invertebrates 2019

Credits: 9

Instructor(s): Dr. James A. Murray , Dr. Shaun D. Cain


This 5-week course will focus on learning techniques in neurobiological research such as behavioral recording and analysis, electrophysiology of intact and reduced preparations, voltage clamp and pharmacology, immunohistochemistry, and confocal microscopy of neural structures.

We will discuss and examine the cellular aspects of neurobiology and the nervous control of behavior. We will examine the current understanding of the cellular mechanisms that underlie behavior, with a focus on marine invertebrates. The main emphasis, however, will be hands-on experience with research techniques such as electrophysiology, immunolabeling, histology and microscopy, and behavioral analysis; then using these techniques to conduct a novel research project using marine invertebrates.

Photo: Shaun Cain

Neurobiology is a broad field that explores how nervous systems work. As such, it is a highly integrative pursuit that deals with multiple levels of biological organization and, more importantly, how these different levels interact to allow animals to thrive within their respective habitats. In this course, we will not attempt to cover all the different and exciting systems that have been investigated, but we will focus on the neural control of natural behavior. We will begin by examining the electrical properties of neurons and how the properties change. Next, we will explore how neurons are combined into networks that control behavior. Finally, we will combine the cellular characteristics with behavioral analyses to obtain a fuller picture the neural control of behavior.

Photo: James A. Murray

Video: James A. Murray; click to view video

Instructors for this course are:

You will need to purchase a computer program for this course. The program is Neurons in Action 2 by Moore and Stewart and can be purchased and downloaded here:

Purchase of the following text is optional: Behavioral Neurobiology: An Integrative Approach, 2nd Ed. Günther Zupanc. ISBN 9780199208302.

Enrollment is limited to 15 students.

Note:  Student transcripts from University of Washington will list “FHL 585: Advanced Topics in Neurobiology and Physiology”