cod. 05319

Academic year 2014/15
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Fisiologia (BIO/09)
Type of training activity
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
course unit
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Learning objectives

The knowledge of the mechanisms by which the human organism obtains and maintains the homeostasis at level of cell and tissue, the mechanisms of transport and communication and the basal metabolism.
The knowledge of the functional mechanisms of the human body organs, the knowledge of their dynamic integration in apparatuses and the general mechanisms of functional control in normal conditions and in particular pathological conditions.
The knowledge of the main functional analyses in healthy humans.


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Course unit content

Cell membrane.
Mechanisms of passive permeability. Selective permeability. Simple diffusion. Facilitated diffusion. Active transport. Osmosis. Filtration. Electrical properties of the biological membranes. Electrochemical gradient. Nerst equation. Properties of cell channels. Action potential. Properties and mechanisms of gating of cell channels. Voltage-gated channels. Slow potential. Propagation of the slow potentials and of the action potentials.
Basic Physiology of the Nervous System.
Functional properties of nerve fibers. Basic anatomy and functional properties of skeletal and smooth muscles. Synaptic transmission. Neurotransmitters. Membrane receptors. Reflexes. Flexion and stretch reflexes. Muscle spindles.
Endocrine System.
Principles of hormone action and endocrine control. The hypothalamic-pituitary control system. The endocrine pancreas. The thyroid gland .The adrenal gland. Hormonal regulation of bone metabolism. Testicular function. Ovary function. Fertilization, pregnancy and lactation.
Physiology of nutrition and gastrointestinal tract (GI).
First and second law of thermodynamics. Metabolism: direct and indirect methods of calorimetry. Chemistry and functions of nutrients. Food intake: consequences of overfeeding and deficiency of food intake. Neural and hormonal control mechanisms of GI functions. Motility of GI: chewing, swallowing, gastric and intestinal motility, defecation. Secretions of GI: saliva, gastric secretion, intestinal secretion, pancreatic secretion and biliary secretion. Digestion, absorption and transport of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and vitamins.
Physiology of the nervous system.
Sensory organs. Energy transduction. The generator potential and the receptor potential. Cutaneous receptors. Functional anatomy of the somatosensory systems. Examination of somatic sensation. Pain. Control mechanisms of pain. The thalamus. Organization of cerebral cortex. Somatosensory cortices. The eye. Optical principles. Organization of the retina. Visual pathways. Lesions of visual pathways. Dorsal and ventral streams in the visual system. The parietal lobe. The brain stem. The brain stem reflexes. Posture and decerebrate rigidity. The auditory system and vestibular system. The cerebellum. The basal ganglia. Cerebellum and basal ganglia disorders. The motor cortex. The pyramidal system. Organization of premotor cortex. The sleep-wake cycle. EEG .
Physiology of the autonomic nervous system and homeostasis.
Functional anatomy of the autonomic nervous system: sympathetic, parasympathetic and enteric systems. Autonomic reflexes. Functional anatomy of hypothalamus. Hypothalamic-hypophysial axes. Homeostasis. Hunger and satiety. Control mechanisms of body weight. Thirst and its control mechanisms. Body temperature and its regulation. Cold-blooded and homeothermic animals. Heat production and heat-loss mechanisms. Central mechanisms for temperature regulation. Hyperthermia and hypothermia. Motivation. Emotions.

Full programme

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Fisiologia dell’uomo, a cura di P.E. Di Prampero e A. Veicsteinas, Casa Editrice EDI-ERMES, Milano

Teaching methods

frontal lessons

Assessment methods and criteria


Other information

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