COGS107B: Systems Neuroscience (Winter 2016)

TuTh 12:30-1:50
CICC 101

Course website:

Recent Announcements (more)

Updated version of 'Neuromodulatory systems/ drugs of abuse' lecture now posted.  (Mon Feb 01, 7:07 p.m.)
Updated version of Visual System II lecture now posted. (Tue Jan 19, 10:26 a.m.)
Proprioception and Vestibular System (01/12/16) podcast is now posted to TED (Tue Jan 12, 3:15 p.m.)


Andrew Alexander (Instructor)

Office Hours: Wednesday 10a-11a (or by appt.) in CSB 228

Laura Shelley (TA)

Office Hours: Monday 3p-4p in Roots

Section: Monday 2:00-2:50p CSB 005

Pai-Kai Huang (TA)

Office Hours: Friday 12n-1p in Mandeville Coffee Cart

Section: Friday 11:00-11:50a CSB 005

Luisa Schuster (IA)

Office Hours: Monday 4p-5p in CSB 249

Section: Monday 3:00-3:50p CSB 005

Jessica Gois (IA)

Office Hours: Monday 12n-1p in Muir Woods Coffee House

Section: Wednesday 9:00-9:50p CSB 004

Course Description

Systems neuroscience considers how different regions of the brain interact to produce perception, thought, memory and action. In order to understand such processes, this course details the fine anatomical organization of brain structures and the dynamics of their neural activity. To do so, we begin by reviewing the electrical activity observed within the brain. We then consider the different sensory systems that enable interaction with the world. Finally, we examine the functions of several neural structures with respect to neuromodulation, spatial processing, sleep, learning and memory, motor control, and attention.


Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain

Textbook is for supplemental reading only. All exam questions will originate from lecture material.

Course Details and Policies


Each midterm will be non-cumulative and count for 33.3% of your grade.

Grades will be posted to

Academic honesty: Cheating will not be tolerated. For more information as to the definition and consequences of cheating please consult university resources on academic integrity



Sections are not mandatory but attendance is strongly encouraged. Answers to mock quiz questions (see 'MT# Resource Questions' below) will be given in section each week; this is your opportunity to see the types of exam questions that will be generated from each week's lectures.


Course Schedule

Week Date Topic Lecture Slides Supplementary Readings Principle of the Week
1 Tue Jan 05 Introduction and review of brain electrical potentials Lec1 Slides ch. 3-5 The Neuron Doctrine and Law of Dynamic Polarization I
Thu Jan 07 Somatosensory System Lec2 Slides [Updated]
Podcast found on TED
ch. 12 Topographic representation
2 Tue Jan 12 Proprioception and the Vestibular System Lec3 Slides ch. 11,13 The Neuron Doctrine and Law of Dynamic Polarization II
Thu Jan 14 Visual System I Lec4 Slides [Updated] ch. 9,10 Overlay of Egoccentric Maps I
3 Tue Jan 19 Visual System II Lec5 Slides [Updated] ch. 9,10 Overlay of Egocentric Maps II
Thu Jan 21 Auditory System and Echolocation Lec6 Slides PDF PPT ch. 11 Active Sensing
4 Tue Jan 26 Review Session for Midterm I MT1 Resource Questions  
Thu Jan 28 Midterm I      
5 Tue Feb 02 Neuromodulatory systems and Drugs of Abuse Lec7 Slides Updated ch. 6 Functional Anatomy
Thu Feb 04 Hippocampus and Spatial Cognition Lec8 Slides [Updated] PDF none Frames of Reference
6 Tue Feb 09 Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum Lec9 Slides ch. 14 Reentry
Thu Feb 11 Control and Function of Sleep-Wake States Lec10 Slides PDF PPT ch. 19
7 Tue Feb 16 Review Session for Midterm II MT2 Stuff to Know MT2 Resource Questions

Thu Feb 18 Midterm II   Laura Week 7  
8 Tue Feb 23 Learning Lec11 Slides [Updated] PDF PPT ch. 25 Fire Together - Wire Together
Thu Feb 25 Memory Lec12 Slides PDF PPT ch. 25 Implicit vs. Explicit Memory
9 Tue Mar 01 Motor control Lec13 Slides PDF PPT ch. 13, 14 The Population Code
Thu Mar 03 Prefrontal Cortex & Attention Lec14 Slides PDF PPT ch. 21 Top-Down Processing
10 Tue Mar 08 Review Session for Final/Midterm III MT3 Stuff To Know MT3 Resource Questions  
Thu Mar 10 Final/Midterm III      
11 Tue Mar 15 Final/Midterm III