BIO-615 / 2 credits

Teacher(s): Petersen Carl, Schneggenburger Ralf, Kochubey Olexiy, Tamura Keita

Language: English


Every 2 years


Animals must learn from past experiences, to adapt their behavior to an ever-changing environment. Students will learn about the neuronal circuit mechanisms of reward-based learning, and of aversively-mediated learning, by studying the current scientific literature on these topics.



Time: Thursdays 9:00 - 11:00 - from 23rd September (Week 1) to 4th November (Week 7) (first half of semester)
Thereafter, Wednesdays 9:00 - 11:00 - from 10th November (Week 8) to 22nd December (Week 14) (second half of semester)

By the end of this course, students should be able to critically assess the scientific literature that analyzes neuronal circuits in associative learning.


Mouse behavior, reward, aversion, fear, valence, associative learning, neuronal circuits, optogenetics, in-vivo recording of neuronal activity, circuit mapping, conditioned stimulus, unconditioned stimulus.

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses


Recommended courses

'Neuroscience: cellular and circuit mechanisms (BIO-482)' or equivalent



- Published papers available online / in the EPFL library
- additional materials will be handed out when relevant

In the programs

  • Number of places: 12
  • Exam form: During the semester (session free)
  • Subject examined: Neural circuits for reward and aversion learning
  • Lecture: 4 Hour(s)
  • Exercises: 52 Hour(s)

Reference week