Using Extracellular Single-unit Electrophysiological Data as a Substrate for Investigative Laboratory Exercises

Graham A Cousens, Gary M Muir


Desirable objectives for laboratory-based science courses include fostering skills in problem solving and reasoning, enhancing data fluency, and encouraging consideration of science as an integrative enterprise. An effective means of reaching these objectives is to experiences around interesting structure learning problems in our own research. In this article, we explore the idea of using extracellular single-unit substrate for student investigatory exercises as a means of achieving many of these objectives. electrophysiological data as a In the article, we provide an overview of extracellular single-unit recording techniques and discuss the organization of single-unit data files. In addition, we describe a multi-week module recently administered in an intermediate-level laboratory course and provide suggestions both for more limited exercises and for more advanced projects. Finally, we describe a companion website that provides to instructors considering implementing similar exercises access to a variety of resources, including software, sample data, and additional information.

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