PhD course: The neural basis of brain information processing and behaviour: Synapses, cells, circuits

A course offered in collaboration with Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research and Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing and the Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University.

11.07.2017 | Henriette Blæsild Vuust

The course takes place from 14-20 October 2017 in Beijing.

Aim: The objective of this course are to give the student an overview of cutting-edge approaches for the study of neural function, brain information processing and behaviour, and to give the student the opportunity to get acquainted with international experts in these scientific fields. The format of the course aims at facilitating scientific interactions between the international speakers and the participants.

Learning outcomes: By the end of the course the student have acquired the capacity to: 

  • Critically understand modern molecular, cellular and behavior-testing methods in relation to the analysis of neural information processing and brain function in health and disease.
  • Perform transdisciplinary scientific projects using a variety of physiological methods for the analysis of brain function
  • Evaluate own and general knowledge and understanding of brain function, and indicate avenues for further improvements.

Content: How do synapses, neurons and neuronal circuits account for sensorimotor functions, behaviour and higher functions such as perception? How do the wide architectural and physiological variety of neurons and brain network embed neuronal information processing? These problems are still imperfectly understood. This SDC Neuroscience PhD Course provides an overview of the current approaches addressing these issues, illustrating the modern palette of experimental techniques and the diversity of animal models. The speakers will highlight our current knowledge, but will also point to gaps in our understanding of brain function and indicate a wish list for future technical and conceptual developments in neuroscience. Key issues include molecular synaptic function, dendritic synaptic integration, connectomics, sensory physiology, active sensing, motor control, emotional behaviour, reward circuits and perception.

Each subject will be covered by international scientists presenting their own research, followed by Question and Answer sessions led by students organized in study groups.

Confirmed speakers: David Kleinfeld, UCSD, San Diego; Fabrizio Gabbiani, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston; Fillippo Del Bene, Institut Curie, Paris; Jianyuan Sun, Insitute of Biophysics, Beijing; Greg Stuart, ANU, Canberra; Johannes Seelig, Caesar Inst, Bonn; Saskia De Vries, Allen Brain Institute, Seattle; Jens Midtgaard, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen; Jens Nyengaard, Aarhus University, Aarhus

Recommended knowledge for participation: Knowledge and understanding of neuroscience at a level en par with a Master’s degree

Language: English


Head of course: Associate Professor Kim Ryun Drasbek

Instructors: 10-15 speakers from Denmark, China, and the rest of the world

Number of participants: 10-20

Participation in the course is without cost for:

  • PhD students and research-year students from Aarhus University
  • PhD students from University of Helsinki
  • PhD students from other institutions in the open market agreement for PhD courses

It is possible to apply for 5 travel stipends of 6000 DKK covering documented travel costs. Alternatively, funding might be applied for at the SC Van Foundation or similar.
PhD students financed by the SDC are not eligible for the travel grants as their travel expenses are contained in their SDC funding. 

Please send application and a short motivation for participating in the course (max 10 lines) and CV including neuro relevant courses to Vibeke Panyella -

Application deadline: 15 August 2017. 

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