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Dr. Leah Chase, Neuroscience Program. Development of an Inquiry-Based Lab Module for Introduction to NeuroscienceMulti-proxy Investigation of Paleoenvironmental Change in Coastal Dune Complexes. Proposal.

I propose to develop and implement an inquiry-based lab module for the Introduction to Neuroscience class. This three week module will allow students to learn basic principles of optogenetics, behavioral analysis and electrophysiology to study how neural circuits regulate motor behavior in Drosophila, the common fruit fly. This model organism offers the opportunity for novel, investigative studies by students in the last week of the unit as hundreds of transgenic flies are available for study. As such, students have a real opportunity to contribute to the understanding of the neurophysiology of the motor circuits in Drosophila. This module will replace an existing electrophysiology module which was focused on understanding the ionic gradients that regulate resting membrane potential in the crayfish muscle. While the students learned important electrophysiology principles from the crayfish labs, the proposed lab module offers students the chance to participate in a research project that will lead to new knowledge while simultaneously gaining experience with cutting-edge technology such as optogenetics.











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