Human Physiology (2015/2016)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mario Rosario Buffelli
Mario Rosario Buffelli
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
I semestre dal Oct 1, 2015 al Jan 29, 2016.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide the knowledge to understand how the different cells, tissues, and organs of human body work together to maintain life. We will explain: a) the biophysical characteristics of the cellular membrane and principles of cell excitability, nerve conduction and synaptic transmission; b) the physiology of various organs and systems; c) the principles of homeostasis and mechanisms of his maintenance, and d) how the nervous system acquires and processes sensory information and plans and executes motor responses.


• 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 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.
• General features of the endocrine system and description of the main functions of hormones.

Recommended books:
- Berne-Levy, Principi di Physiology, Elsevier Mosby
- Vander’s Human Physiology, McGraw-Hill
- Stanfield, Principles of Human Physiology, Pearson
- Purves D, et al., Neuroscience, Sinauer Associates

Assessment methods and criteria

written and oral exam