Coding to Read and Control the Brain

Course Description

The purpose of this course is twofold: to provide you with an understanding of how theoretical (computational) neuroscience works in harmony with experimentation to advance our understanding of the brain, and to familiarize you and your classmates with the MATLAB and Arduino programming languages. By learning MATLAB and Arduino programming, you will learn to create code that models basic neurons and can control lasers and equipment used to alter neuronal activity.

This course will cover a broad range of topics, including:
• How do the electrical properties of neurons allow them to send information across the nervous system?
• How do Neuroscientists know what different brain regions do?
• How can we manipulate brain activity to alter behavior?
• What types of questions is computational neuroscience best suited to answer? What are the limitations of this method?

This course is ideal for students who are interested in both biological and quantitative sciences. You will not only be introduced to the field of neuroscience, but you will also gain exposure to the history and current state of research on the topic. Furthermore, you will learn to build your own code to drive Arduinos and develop basic programming proficiency in MATLAB.

By the end of the course, you will:
• Understand the basic principles of computational neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience
• Know basic coding skills in MATLAB and Arduino
• Learn how to create computer-to-object connections to control equipment

On-Campus Supplemental Fee: $75


This course assumes basic proficiency in high school level algebra, though some familiarity with high school biology will be useful. No previous programming experience is required. This course is intended as an introduction to computational programming in MATLAB and Arduino. This course recommends a laptop for course-related programming, games/simulations, etc. Please note that some devices (e.g., Chromebooks) do not allow software downloads onto a desktop and so will not accommodate the specific needs of this course. If you have questions about this requirement please reach out to [email protected]


One Section Available to Choose From:

Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.

Dates: June 27, 2022 - July 01, 2022
Duration: 1 Weeks
Meeting Times: M-F 3:30P-6:20P
Status: Closed
Format: On-Campus
Instructor(s): Gabriela Manzano-Nieves
Course Number: 10352