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Neurobiology of Behavior

Code: MI013     Acronym: MI013

Classification Keyword
OFICIAL Medicine

Instance: 2012/2013 - SP

Active? Yes
Responsible unit: Departamento de Anatomia
Course/CS Responsible: Master Degree in Medicine

Cycles of Study/Courses

Acronym No. of Students Study Plan Curricular Years Credits UCN Credits ECTS Contact hours Total Time
MIMED 4 Mestrado Integrado em Medicina 2007 6 - 2 32 54

Teaching Staff - Responsibilities

Teacher Responsibility
Nikolay Vsevolodovich Lukoyanov

Teaching - Hours

Tutorial Supervision: 0,08
Seminar: 0,08
Traineeship: 0,70
Type Teacher Classes Hour
Tutorial Supervision Totals 1 0,08
Nikolay Vsevolodovich Lukoyanov 0,08
Seminar Totals 1 0,08
Nikolay Vsevolodovich Lukoyanov 0,08
Traineeship Totals 1 0,70
Nikolay Vsevolodovich Lukoyanov 0,70

Teaching language



The main goal of this course is to help students to understand how specific motor, limbic, and cognitive functions emerge within the brain. This will be achieved by acquiring and integrating knowledge from several disciplines, such as neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry and behavioral neuroscience. The students will be familiarized with modern experimental techniques used to investigate the neuronal basis of behavior. Finally, the students will familiarize themselves with the interests and motivations that have driven the investigation of the linkage between neural circuitry and complex behaviors.


Overview of structure and function of the limbic system. Hypothalamus: Defense, feeding and reproduction. Sexual dimorphism in central nervous system. Amygdala and vmPFC: fear, anxiety and aggression. Basic concepts in learning and memory, classical and operant conditioning. Hippocampal formation: Explicit memory and amnesia. Importance of basal ganglia and cerebellum in learning skills and habits and in motor memory. Ventral striatum, ventral tegmental area and dopamine in reward, addiction and attachment. Cerebral cortex and its motor, associative and higher cognitive functions. Molecular mechanisms of neuronal plasticity. Role of reticular formation in behavioral arousal and sleep. Stress and autonomic nervous system.

Mandatory literature

Principles of Neural Science. Oxford Univ., New York, Kandel Eric R. , 2007
Fundamental Neuroscience. Oxford Univ., Elsevier Science, New York, Larry R Squire, 2004 or newer

Teaching methods and learning activities

In addition to traditional lectures providing background on neural systems selected for the insight that they provide to behavioral principles, we shall have seminar studies consisting in analyzing both classic and up-to-date scientific papers and discussing their methods and conclusions. In addition, two class periods will be spent observing animal behavior and analyzing brain materials in order to get an appreciation of modern neuroscience methods.


Não aplicavel
Not applicable


Health sciences > Neuroscience > Neurobiology
Health sciences > Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Health sciences > Neuroscience > Neurophysiology

Evaluation Type

Distributed evaluation without final exam

Assessment Components

Description Type Time (hours) Weight (%) End date
Attendance (estimated) Participação presencial 0,00
Total: - 0,00

Eligibility for exams

Distribution assessment fulfilled

Calculation formula of final grade

The distributed evaluation will provide a total of 18 values to the final classification and will be calculated as a sum of the classifications obtained by each student in each class study (2 values per class). Classifications obtained for monographs and/or oral presentations (1 or 2 values) will be added to the classification obtained during the distributed evaluation to yield the final classification.

Examinations or Special Assignments

At the end of the course each student can wish to write a monograph or present a brief talk correlating morphological and physiological alterations with a chosen behavioral pathology.

Special assessment (TE, DA, ...)

According to the regulations of the FMUP

Classification improvement

According to the regulations of the FMUP


The chapters for reading will be provided from the following books:
Principles of Neural Science, Kandel Eric R., 2007, Oxford University, New York; Fundamental Neuroscience, 2004, Larry R. Squire (Editor), Oxford University, Elsevier Science, New York; Biological Psychology, An Introduction to Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience, 2004, Rozenzweig Mark R., Breedlove S. Marc, Watson Neil V. Sinauer Associates, Berkeley; Gray’s Anatomy. The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice, 2008, S. Standring, Elsevier. Up-to-date review and research papers will be suggested for each theme.
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