Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semesters 1-4

Typically offered in

Autumn/Spring semester

Course description

1. Electrophysiological characteristics of nervous cell membranes, basic physico-chemical facts, resting membrane potential, synaptic potentials, generation and propagation of action potentials

2. Electrode types for the measurement of bioelectric signals (micro-, macro-, metal-, glass-, suction electrodes, ion-selective electrodes). Characterization of the different electrode types, application considerations.

3. Equipment for the measurement of bioelectric signals: headstages, filters, stimulators, storage options.

4. Methods of stimulation in biological preparations: electrical, chemical and spatial stimulation. Stimulus artifact, ways to decrease its amplitude.

5. In vitro techniques I. Creation of brain slice and thin slice preparations, tissue culture, oocyte preparation. Application possibilities, necessary equipment.

6. In vitro techniques II. Chamber types. Drug application by perfusion, iontophoresis and other means.

7. In vitro techniques III. Voltage clamp, current clamp, current source density analysis, voltage sensitive dyes, optical recording.

8. In vitro techniques IV. Patch clamp measurements, glass electrode methods, perforant membrane techniques.

9. In vitro techniques V. Identification of neurons by their firing pattern, network activity, synchronizing mechanisms.

10. In vivo techniques I. Extracellular single and multiunit recording. Acute and chronic preparations. Fixed and movable electrodes.

11. In vivo techniques II. Analysis of activity patterns, spike separation methods, autocorrelogram and crosscorrelogram. Methods of identification, antidromic stimulation.

12. EEG genesis, recording methods, comparison of human and animal EEG patterns, frequency analysis and other methods of signal analysis.

13. Evoked potential techniques, averaging. Peak amplitude and area measurement. Activity from different cortical areas.

14. Computer based data acquisition and analysis programs I. Working with SPIKE and SLEEP.

15. Computer based data acquisition and analysis programs II. Working with NEUROSYM and INTRASYS.

  • Jonathan S. Steinberg, Suneet Mittal: Electrophysiology, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009, ISBN 9781605473437