Daniel Kiper: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2023

Name Dr. Daniel Kiper
Institut für Neuroinformatik
ETH Zürich, Y55 G 92
Winterthurerstrasse 190
8057 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 83 35
DepartmentInformation Technology and Electrical Engineering

227-1037-00LIntroduction to Neuroinformatics Information 6 credits2V + 1U + 1AV. Mante, M. Cook, B. Grewe, G. Indiveri, D. Kiper, W. von der Behrens
AbstractThe course provides an introduction to the functional properties of neurons. Particularly the description of membrane electrical properties (action potentials, channels), neuronal anatomy, synaptic structures, and neuronal networks. Simple models of computation, learning, and behavior will be explained. Some artificial systems (robot, chip) are presented.
ObjectiveUnderstanding computation by neurons and neuronal circuits is one of the great challenges of science. Many different disciplines can contribute their tools and concepts to solving mysteries of neural computation. The goal of this introductory course is to introduce the monocultures of physics, maths, computer science, engineering, biology, psychology, and even philosophy and history, to discover the enchantments and challenges that we all face in taking on this major 21st century problem and how each discipline can contribute to discovering solutions.
ContentThis course considers the structure and function of biological neural networks at different levels. The function of neural networks lies fundamentally in their wiring and in the electro-chemical properties of nerve cell membranes. Thus, the biological structure of the nerve cell needs to be understood if biologically-realistic models are to be constructed. These simpler models are used to estimate the electrical current flow through dendritic cables and explore how a more complex geometry of neurons influences this current flow. The active properties of nerves are studied to understand both sensory transduction and the generation and transmission of nerve impulses along axons. The concept of local neuronal circuits arises in the context of the rules governing the formation of nerve connections and topographic projections within the nervous system. Communication between neurons in the network can be thought of as information flow across synapses, which can be modified by experience. We need an understanding of the action of inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, so that the dynamics and logic of synapses can be interpreted. Finally, simple neural architectures of feedforward and recurrent networks are discussed in the context of co-ordination, control, and integration of sensory and motor information.

Connections to computer science and artificial intelligence are discussed, but the main focus of the course is on establishing the biological basis of computations in neurons.
227-1047-00LConsciousness: From Philosophy to Neuroscience (University of Zurich) Information
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH as an incoming student.
UZH Module Code: INI410

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
3 credits2VD. Kiper
AbstractThis seminar reviews the philosophical and phenomenological as well as the neurobiological aspects of consciousness. The subjective features of consciousness are explored, and modern research into its neural substrate, particularly in the visual domain, is explained. Emphasis is placed on students developing their own thinking through a discussion-centered course structure.
ObjectiveThe course's goal is to give an overview of the contemporary state of consciousness research, with emphasis on the contributions brought by modern cognitive neuroscience. We aim to clarify concepts, explain their philosophical and scientific backgrounds, and to present experimental protocols that shed light on on a variety of consciousness related issues.
ContentThe course includes discussions of scientific as well as philosophical articles. We review current schools of thought, models of consciousness, and proposals for the neural correlate of consciousness (NCC).
Lecture notesNone
LiteratureWe display articles pertaining to the issues we cover in the class on the course's webpage.
Prerequisites / NoticeSince we are all experts on consciousness, we expect active participation and discussions!
227-1051-00LSystems Neuroscience (University of Zurich) Information
No enrolment to this course at ETH Zurich. Book the corresponding module directly at UZH as an incoming student.
UZH Module Code: INI415

Mind the enrolment deadlines at UZH:
6 credits2V + 1UD. Kiper
AbstractThis course focuses on basic aspects of central nervous system physiology, including perception, motor control and cognitive functions.
ObjectiveTo understand the basic concepts underlying perceptual, motor and cognitive functions.
ContentMain emphasis sensory systems, with complements on motor and cognitive functions.
Lecture notesNone
Literature"The senses", ed. H. Barlow and J. Mollon, Cambridge.
"Principles of Neural Science", Kandel, Schwartz, and Jessel
Prerequisites / Noticenone