The Integrated Systems Physiology course is aimed to enhance knowledge in the functional integration of organ systems for the maintenance of body homeostasis. In particular, the course is designed to challenge and stimulate the student's interest in how the complex integration of organ systems is necessary for the body wellness and how alteration can explain diseases and drugs' side-effects.
The course will cover the following topics: Sensation and sensory processing (Sensory systems and perception. Organization of sensory system: how peripheral sensory information is elaborated at integrated at the CNS. Insights: Nociception)
Movement and its central control (The organization of the motor system: how a brain-programmed action is translated into motion. Processes that program and control the execution of actions, their interaction with motion perception. Insights: mirror neurons)
Learning and Memory. (The neural and functional organization of short and long term memory processes and their role in human cognition. Molecular and cellular bases; neuronal plasticity; brain aging)
Speech and language. (Origins of language; language acquisition; the brain areas dedicated to language, the Broca area and the Wernicke area; aphasia; the lateralization of language; dyslexia; reading processes and considerations on the writing process).
The sleep. The functional and neural structure of sleep control; biochemistry and physiology of sleep.
Cardiovascular function integration (Integrated control of cardiac output and blood pressure; modulation by autonomic neurons and catecholamines; baroreceptor reflex)
Control of body temperature (Body temperature balance: heat production, gain and loss. Peripheral and central mechanisms of control).
Integrated function of endocrine system (Type of hormones, their mechanisms of action, hypothalamus -pituitary axis- Role of hormones in growth, calcium balance, glucose balance, metabolism; nervous and endocrine control of male and female physiology reproduction)
Fluid and electrolyte balance (Role of kidney and behavioural mechanisms in water balance and salt balance; integrated control of volume and osmolarity; acid-base balance)
Regulation of gastrointestinal function and eating behaviour (Role of enteric nervous system; role of gastrointestinal peptides; role of hypothalamic and peripheral signals involved in food intake process).
The course includes 1 ECTS of laboratory exercises which will consist in simulations of physiological processes using the Laboratory Simulation Software PhysioEX.
Prerequisiti e modalità di esame
To address this course, it is required that the student has already achieved the basic knowledge of anatomy and human physiology in order to better understand the integrated functions described in the course. The exam will be oral and will consist of four questions on the topics covered in the course. Both professors will be present at the exam. Students should be able to identify the role of each organ in the integrated functions for maintaining homeostasis but are also expected to understand the synchrony of many systems interacting simultaneously (e.g. neural control of cardio-vascular response to maintain the heart rate and blood pressure).
Frontal lessons supported by audio-visual tools
Materiale didattico e bibliografia
"Neuroscience" by Purves, Augustine, Fitzpatrick et al., Sinauer Oxford University Press. "Human Physiology- An integrated approach" by Dee Unglaub Silverthorn, Pearson International Edition, Benjamin Cummings.
STUDENTI NON FREQUENTANTI
Prerequisiti e modalità di esame
Attendance of the course is warmly recommended. Please contact the teachers in case of problems