Classroom of Excellence Presents: CrawFly Invertebrate Neurophysiology Course
Classroom of Excellence Overview
Classroom of Excellence at Cornell is dedicated to training faculty members and instructors from around the world on a range of popular and cutting-edge neuroscience techniques. Enhancing student coursework while effectively demonstrating principles in undergraduate neuroscience are the primary goals of the Classroom of Excellence.
At the beginning of the year (Jan/Feb) ADInstruments and Cornell University co-host an intensive multi-day course based on the original NSF-funded Crawdad Project. We're proud to offer all course participants expert hands-on instruction from Cornell's Ron Hoy, Bruce Johnson, Bob Wyttenbach, and ADInstruments' Wes Colgan, who have extensive experience teaching neurophysiology. We also make sure each course is equipped with the latest ADInstruments hardware and software. With concepts like PSP coupling, synaptic connectivity, ionic basis for membrane potentials, and many more to demonstrate, having user-friendly software helps course participants focus more on the science behind their data, and less on data acquisition per se.
A more extensive course is available mid-year (around June) that includes methods in neuro-electrophysiology (see Course Synopsis below) as well as optogenetic approaches using Drosophila melanogaster. This is a comprehensive week long course, co-hosted by ADInstruments and Cornell University. In addition to Crawdad course instructors, Stefan Pulver from Janielia Farms has developed many student friendly exercises based on optogenetic and thermogenetic Drosophila models. Attendees will try these protocols as well as techniques to visualize the Drosophila nervous system using fluorescent microscopy. Additional experts and keynote speakers are invited to present unique teaching models that may be of use in your neurophysiology classroom.
2013 Course synopsis in brief
- Introduction to Passive Membrane Properties - Current flow in model neurons
- Organization of a Small Motor System - Extracellular recording of spontaneous and reflex motor activity; neuroanatomy of a motor system
- Action Potential Speed - Extracellular recording for conduction velocity measurements from multiple axons simultaneously
- Motor Pattern Generation - Extracellular recording of a rhythmic motor pattern generator; timing and phasing of neural activity
- The Membrane Battery - Intracellular recording to examine the ionic basis of the resting potential
- Current Events - Intracellular recording of electrical excitability in snail brain neurons; pharmacological dissection of ionic currents underlying neuronal activity
- Comparative Excitability - Intracellular recording of a plant action potential
- Synaptic Connectivity - Simultaneous extracellular nerve and intracellular muscle recording to match pre - and post-synaptic potentials
- Synaptic Plasticity - Simultaneous presynaptic nerve stimulation and intracellular synaptic potential recording to examine short-term, intrinsic synaptic plasticity
- Response Properties of a Model Sensory System -Extracellular recording from a muscle receptor organ
- Principles of Neurogenetics - Visualization of the Drosophila nervous system and muscle innervation using the GAL4-UAS system and Green Fluorescent Protein (CrawFly only)
- Remote control of neural circuits in behaving animals - Optogenetic and thermogenetic activation of neural networks using channelrhodopsin-2, TRPA1 and the GAL4-UAS system, behavioral and physiological recordings (CrawFly only)
Introduced in 2012, the scholarship program is offered annually to faculty members, teaching staff and postdoctoral fellows who wish to attend the Crawdad and Crawfly workshops. In 2013 the CrawFly Scholarship Evaluation Committee awarded three scientists complimentary seats to Crawdad and CrawFly courses and a stipend to help with travel expenses. Prior Scholarship recipients include:
- Dr. Joost Monen, Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University (Crawdad course)
- Dr. Jorge Molina-Escobar, Professor, University of the Andes, Bogota, Columbia (CrawFly course)
- Dr. Irma Khachidze, Lecturer, Caucasus University, Tibilisi, Georgia (CrawFly course)
In 2014, several more scholarship awards are available for qualified applicants. **Please note you do not need to register for the course to apply for this scholarship. Seats to the CrawFly course are being held specifically for recipients of the scholarship. More information is available on this program here :
"This scholarship was crucial for me to be able to attend Crawfly 2013, since financial support from my institution is very limited. I greatly enjoyed Crawfly, and benefitted a lot in terms of new methods and concepts for my own teaching at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá). Also, attending CrawFly and being able to carry out intracellular electrophysiological experiments enabled me to consider a new field of potential research in Colombia that I had previously not considered."
"The workshop exceeded even my high expectations. Not only was I able to learn multiple preps in the crawdad and snail to illustrate important principles in physiology, but I was able to make strong connections with faculty from all around the country that will help improve my teaching for years to come. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to partake in the workshop, as the skills and the knowledge I've gained will be a great asset for me down the road."
"I am planning to represent CrawFly program not only in my University, Hospital and Center, but also in different universities in Georgia. I'll share my knowledge, as well as the valuable consultation I got from workshop, which is a very important event in my future teaching/research career."
Below are a list of useful websites and recent webinars that were recorded and have made available to the general public.
- Cornell CrawFly workshop recap
- Intro to Neurophysiology: The Earthworm Action Potential
- Neuroscience Fundamentals Using Scope, Peak Analysis and Spike Histogram