Human Physiology (2020/2021)

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, 2020 al Jan 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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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. At the end of the course the student will have to demonstrate knowledge of the basics of the functioning of the human body and use this knowledge in bio-technology.


• Introduction to human physiology and definition of homeostasis.
• Biophysics of cell membranes: resting membrane potential, equilibrium potential, and action potential.
• Electrical and chemical synapses. Inhibitory and excitatory synapses.
• Anatomical and functional organization of the nervous system.
• 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.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stanfield CL Fisiologia (Edizione 5) EdiSES 2017 9788879599726
Belfiore et al. Fisiologia umana - Fondamenti edi-ermes 2018 9788870516494
Purves D. Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, LaMantia AS, White LE Neuroscienze (Edizione 4) Zanichelli 2013 9788808179289

Assessment methods and criteria

The oral exam will focus on the topics of frontal lessons and will assess the knowledge of the main mechanisms of regulation of the physiology of the various organs and apparatus.