Mathematical Neuroscience Course
(FYS386, winter/spring 2008)

General information

The 5 study-point course FYS386 Mathematical Neuroscience will be given at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) at Ås this Winter/Spring. It is aimed to provide students with a basic knowledge in Computational Neuroscience with specific emphasis on cortex modeling at the single-cell and network level.  The course is intended for people with a mathematically oriented background (typically physics, mathematics, computer science).

The course is organised in a "block-teaching" set-up where the students meet at UMB for two days at a time. This will be repeated 3 times through the semester. The students must of course both read the curriculum and work on the exercises at their home institutions in between. Note that we aim to grant some travel stipends for people outside the Oslo area.

If you are interested in taking this course, please send an email to Tom Tetzlaff (tom.tetzlaff{at}

More detailed information about the course:

  • Course name: FYS386 Mathematical Neuroscience
  • Location: Institutt for matematiske realfag og teknologi (IMT), UMB, Ås, room TF339
  • Dates
    • 14./15.02.2008, 9:15-16:00 (1st block)
    • 13./14.03.2008, 9:15-16:00 (2nd block)
    • 17./18.04.2008, 9:15-16:00 (3rd block)
    • 23.05.2008 (oral exam)
  • Teacher: Dr. Tom Tetzlaff
  • Study points: 5
  • Language: English
  • Study form: Blocks of lectures + exercises at UMB
  • Curriculum (tentative):
    • 1st block: Introduction + Spike-train statistics
      • cortical anatomy
      • neuron morphology and electrophysiology
      • neuronal signal levels
      • spike-train statistics (firing rates, variability, correlations, spectra, etc.)
    • 2nd block: Neuron models
      • neuroelectronics
      • modeling levels: multicompartment vs. point neurons
      • Hodgkin-Huxley theory
      • 2D neuron models
      • integrate-and-fire models
      • rate models
    • 3rd block: Network models
      • feed-forward networks
      • mean-field theory of recurrent random networks:
      • population rate models
      • stochastic network dynamics
      • Hopfield networks, associative memory
  • Literature:
    • introduction:
      Dayan & Abbott, Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems, MIT Press 2005 [link]
    • further reading:
      Gerstner & Kistler, Spiking neuron models: single neurons, populations, plasticity, Cambridge University Press 2002 [link]
    • (free html version)


If you are not a student of the UMB you need to register for the course by sending an email to Cathrine Strømø (cathrine.stromo{at} containing
  • your name and
  • your personal number (person- og fødselsnummer)
in order to get the credits for the course. Further, you have to confirm that you are a student of another norwegian university, e.g. by sending your "karakterutskrift" to

Cathrine Strømø
Universitetet for miljø -og biovitenskap
Postboks 5003
1432 Ås .

Both UMB and external students need to register for the exam in the course (FYS386) until latest February 15th.