Systems Neuroscience

Teacher: Prof. Stefano Ferraina (Sapienza University)

The course aims to provide a link between the function of neural circuits and the behaviour. Students will be introduced to arguments as Visual perception, Motor Decision, Learning and Memory by discussing how these functions are the consequence of the interaction of different population neurons acting at different spatial scales and using different (temporal) signals. Students will be introduce to all methods used to investigate functions at the system level, spanning from invasive to non invasive approaches, stressing advantages and limitations of every available tool.

The specific topics of the course are the following:

– Visual perception (color, objects, motion, depth, size).

– Visuomotor transformations for action control.

– Motor decision.

– Motor control.

– Eye movement control.

– Attention.

– Executive functions.

– Sleep and awake control.

We will consider the system of brain components underlying these functions such as the cortical systems (occipital-parietal, premotor/motor, prefrontal), basal ganglia, and cerebellum.


– Kandel et al: Principles of Neural Science. McGraw Hill Education. ISBN-13: 978-0071390118.

– Bear et al.: Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Wolters Kluwer. ISBN-13: 978-0781778176

– Selected published papers