Molecular Neurobiology

Course content

The course describes the molecular basis of our nervous system. Basic knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology is needed to be able to follow this class. The course starts with an introduction of basal neurobiology. We then discuss the protein structures and physiological actions of the Na+, K+, Ca2+ and Cl- channels. Subsequently, we discuss the biochemical aspects of synaptic transmission: exocytosis/endocytosis, the various neurotransmitters, their biosynthesis and break-down, neurotransmitter transporters and neurotransmitter receptors, and the different second messenger systems. Neuropharmacology: How do neuroleptica, anxiolytica, sedativa, mood lifters, viagra, and the various euphoric drugs act? Furthermore, topics like neuroendocrinology, smell, taste, and vision and, finally, consciousness (who am I?) are discussed.


MSc Programme in Biochemistry
MSc Programme in Biology

Learning outcome

After the course the student will be able to understand and apply the following:


  • The most important proteins that steer action potentials
  • The way neurotransmitters and their receptors act
  • How neurotransmitter transporters act
  • How second messenger and proteins that are involved in their signaling cascades act
  • How the most important neuroactive drugs act
  • The molecular basis of smell, taste, and vision
  • How the various neuroendocrine systems act


This course will supply the student with up-to-date information of all the modules that build up our nervous system. The course will enable the student to read and understand scientific literature about the brain.


By participating in this class, the student will gain up-to-date knowledge about molecular neurobiology. This knowledge can be applied on many occasions, for example if you want to study psychology, or want to start a research project on animal behavior, or if you are just interested in the way your own brain and body function.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes, without preparation
Type of assessment details
Exam registration requirements

Attendance at minimum 80% of the lectures is mandatory.


Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners/co-examiners

The same as the ordinary exam.

If the requirement of 80% attendance in lectures is not fulfilled, a written report on one of the course topics must be handed in and approved by the teacher no later than three weeks before the reexam.

Criteria for exam assessment

For passing the examination, the student should convincingly and accurately demonstrate the knowledge, skills and competences described under Learning Outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 163,5
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • English
  • 206,0


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board for the Biological Area
Contracting department
  • Department of Biology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Cornelis (Cok) Grimmelikhuijzen   (17-6c707b7276766e757274717e7273836e77496b727837747e376d74)

Cornelis Grimmelikhuijzen, Frank Hauser

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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Courseinformation of students