Systems Neuroscience
Fall semester 2021

Organizer: Daniel C. Kiper

Time: Tuesday, 8.15 am to 10:00
Location: Y35 F 32
First lecture on Tuesday 21.9

The course happens on campus, but is simultaneously available on Zoom.
Zoom link for the course:
The course will be recorded and the podcasts will be posted here.


Important information for the exam

The final exam will take place online, on Tuesday 21.12, from 8.15 until 9.15 (60 minutes). It consist of 20, single-choice questions.

To access the exam you should log in using your UZH shortname and password. You will have to accept a declaration of honor, and then can proceed to answer the questions.

To ensure that everything is going well, there will be a mock exam on Tuesday 14.12, available from 7am until 7pm. You access it also using the same login:

There are just two dummy single choice questions to answer.

If anything does not work, you should let me know and also contact

During the final exam, you can also call directly 044 634 02 02 if you encounter any technical problem.


This course focuses on the treatment of information in primate cortex. We will learn about the sensory, motor, and cognitive systems that underlie human behavior. In addition to the lectures, we have one hour of exercises each week. These will consist in readings you have to do, as well as practical excercises. You will be informed about these requirements in the course of the lectures. There will be a final exam that covers the material covered in the lectures, and the additional readings given as exercises.

If you'd like to consult a good text book, I recommend: "Principles of Neural Science", edited by Kandel, Schwartz and Jessell, 4th edition.

Language: English (but you can speak german...)

If you have a question, just contact me (

The exam is a multiple-choice written exam that takes place on the last day of the course.

21.9 : Introduction and visual system
Here are the slides.
It looks like there might be a problem with the first recording, I get links for podcasts that last just a few seconds...
I am trying to sort it out. As soon as it works, I will post it here. In the worse case, I will post last year's podcast...
Here is last year's podcast. We pretty much covered the same topics this year...

28.9: Vision, part 2 (same slides as last week).
Unfortunately, the podcasts for this lecture have been deleted in the ETH Zoom center :-( Here is last year's podcast instead (same topics covered).
And here is the mandatory reading, an overview of the visual system.

5.10 Auditory system, here are the slides.
Here is the recording.

12.10 End of audition (same slides).
Here is the recording.
And here is the mandatory reading (exercise) for next week.

19.10 Somatosensory system
Here is the recording

26.10 End of somatosensory system (same slides). Here is the recording.
And here are the two mandatory readings:
Barrel cortex
Soft touch

2.11 The chemical senses

Here is the recording (yes, it worked :-)

9.11 End of sensory systems: Vestibular system
Here is the recording.
By the way, the beamer was really malfunctioning, but should be fixed now.

16.11 Motor systems.
Here is the recording.
Watch this TED talk by D. Wolpert
and read the following paper on M1 coding.

23.11 Autonomic nervous system
Here is the recording

30.11 Limbic system
Here is the recording

7.12 Learning and memory
Mandatory reading: historical review of limbic system
Here is the recording

14.12 Language
Here is the recording.