Example of entrance exam from previous years

Example of written exam for admission to the PhD Course in Neurobiology

All candidates had to answer 3 (and not more than 3) questions.

Answers could be given in English or Italian.



  1. Describe how changes in the shape of action potential modify transmitter release at axon terminals
  2. Optogenetic tools may help elucidating the functional properties of neuronal circuits: give an example.
  3. Discuss properties, functions and experimental approaches to distinguish between chemical and electrical synapses.
  4. Provide some examples of the role of calcium ions in electrically excitable cells.
  5. How can glia influence neurotransmission? Discuss some examples.
  6. Describe the molecular mechanisms of transduction in one sensory modality.
  7. Choose one type of ion channels, describe its properties and provide some examples of its physiological role.
  8. Describe the properties and functions of motoneurons.
  9. Discuss causes and mechanisms of neuronal death.
  10. Describe what methods you would use to identify and study gene expression in neurons.
  11. Discuss neurons and networks involved in processing visual information. 

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