Elements of general physiology (2008/2009)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Mario Rosario Buffelli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
3° Q dal Apr 20, 2009 al Jun 19, 2009.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide to the students the physiological bases to understand: a) the biophysical properties of the plasma membrane and the principles of cell excitability, nerve conduction and synaptic transmission; b) how the nervous system acquires and processes sensory information and how it plans and executes the movement; c) the functional organization of cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, and endocrine system.


• Homeostasis.
• Biophysics of cell membranes: resting membrane potential, equilibrium potential, and action potential.
• Anatomical and functional organization of the nervous system. Electrical and chemical synapses. Inhibitory and excitatory synapses.
• Sensation and sensory processing: somatic sensory, visual, auditory and chemosensory system.
• Movement and its central control: motor system and motor control.
• Learning and memory. Plasticity of the nervous system.
• Visceral motor system and physiological bases of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal system.
• Principles of endocrinology.

Assessment methods and criteria

Written and oral examination.