Elements of physiology (2019/2020)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Chiara Della Libera
Chiara Della Libera
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II semestre dal Mar 2, 2020 al Jun 12, 2020.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

The aim of this course is to provide to the students the physiological bases to understand: a) the bio-physical 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, res-piratory, renal, and endocrine system.
At the end of the course, the students will have to demonstrate knowledge of the basics of the func-tioning of the human body and the ability to use this knowledge in bioinformatics


• Introduction to human physiology and definition of 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, visual, auditory and chemosensory systems.
• Movement and its control: muscle, motor units, movement planning and control.
• Autonomous nervous system and physiological bases of the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary and digestive system.
• General features of the endocrine system and description of the main functions of hormones.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stanfield CL Fisiologia (Edizione 5) EdiSES 2017 9788879599726

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral exam will focus on the topics discussed during the lessons. The final grade will take into account the participation to interactive learning activities performed during the course.