Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Lecture

The first lecture was mostly a success, although I'm as nervous as ever about the variety of backgrounds in the classroom. Adapting to the strengths of the class will be key. I'm also going to have to work to make sure the class has the desired feel of being a journal club and not a lecture. This might be hard considering that as many as 14 students will be taking the course.

Today we covered the basics of electrical engineering circuit and linear systems theory. And on top of that we covered the very basics of neuroanatomy. Not too shabby for one 2.5 hour session. The ECE theory came from a powerpoint presentation I gave a couple of years ago to some Neurology residents. The neuroanatomy review came from Chapter 1 of "Neuroscience" by Purves et al. The bio-types in the room didn't complain too much at my review of neurons and synapses, so either they are too polite to complain or I got most of the details at least partially correct ;)

There were many good questions - for example we talked in detail about why differential recordings are so important in biomedical settings (big offset voltages that need rejecting...). We also had a marginally uncomfortable chuckle over why the ears are so heavily represented in the homunculus - yes, they are very sensitive, but why should that be the case? Its not like they are fingers with their abundant dexterity. Hmm. We left that question open for a later date.

Next week we'll tackle instrumentation in more detail, including the electrode-electrolyte interface and common types of electrodes.

1 comment:

  1. As an undergraduate in Electrical Engineering, it would be better to understand your first lecture if I got a preview of ''Neuroscience'' by Purves et al too. Now I have to buy or collect it... :)