The BBB program makes use of classrooms all over the University, but has its home base in the Solomon building on Locust Walk, with classrooms and offices for the BBB Director, Associate Director, Lecturers and Program Coordinator (Room B1). This is also where students go for BBB Advising, available either walk-in or by appointment. The Solomon building also houses offices and laboratories for many of the BBB Program’s core faculty.
The BBB Program also makes use of two more specialized teaching laboratories:
Situated in the Solomon building, this room hosts the labs and recitations for the Intro to Brain and Behavior course (BBB109). These labs have been used primarily for our two week long labs where students dissect brain. However, the room is currently undergoing a two-year facelift with a new projection system and a new set of computers for simulations and other software-based exercises.
Our most unusual and specialized teaching space is the Neurolab, a roomful of wires and equipment with 9 fully functioning stations for a variety of electrophysiological experiments including intra- and extracellular recording using sharp and suction electrodes. Their electrical activity is one of the features of neurons that make neuronal signaling possible, and these are the tools we use to observe this activity directly. All stations have digital data acquisition to large screen iMac computers, which are also used for software simulations and other exercises. The Neurolab is the where we conduct labs for two BBB courses: Cellular Neurobiology (BBB251), a large lecture course for about 140 students per year, and Experimental Methods in Synaptic Physiology (BBB492), an advanced lab course for 16 students per year. The Neurolab also plays host to other groups interested in learning about how these kinds of experiments are conducted, ranging from elementary and high school groups to Neuroscience Boot Camp, a summer program for lawyers, writers, educators and other professionals who want to learn about the impact of neuroscience on their respective fields.
About the banner: More than perhaps any other field, neuroscience operates at multiple levels of analysis and description. Students in our department do research ranging from cellular and molecular studies to cognitive psychology. From left to right: A. The molecular structure of voltage-sensing region of the Shaker-A potassium channel. (Image generated by MK) B. Cultured hippocampal neurons stained to distinguish mature neurons from neuronal precursor cells. (Gyujae Choi and Marc Dichter) C. Sharp electrode recordings of Aplysia neurons from Penn’s Neurolab (Mike Kaplan) D. The brain of a zebra finch, overlaid with intracellular recordings taken from nucleus HVC of the song system during presentation of auditory stimuli (Composite picture by Marc Schmidt; neural traces by Mike Lewicki). E. Zebra finches. F. The goal of all of this research is explaining behavior, including the behavior of neuroscientists.