06551 - Neurophysiology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2019/2020

Learning outcomes

The couse is aimed to provide: a) the neurophysiological bases of the cerebral functions; b) the general principles of neurobiology; c) the organization of sensory and motor systems; d) analysis of the control systems of visceral functions and of homeostasis.

Course contents

Cellular components of the nervous system:

- Neurons

- Glial cells


Neuron excitability:

- Electrical potential at rest

- The properties of the action potential

- The transmission of the action potential


Synaptic transmission:

- The types of synapse

- The principles of synaptic transmission

- Neurotransmitters 


Genetics of behavior:

- DNA, genes and behavior

- Genetic and multifactorial diseases

- epigeneticsand behavior


Anatomy of the nervous system:

- Spinal cord 

- Cerebellum

- Diencephalon

- Telencephalon

- Meninges

- Liquor


The peripheral nervous system:

-Somatic nervous system

- Autonomic nervous system


Visual system:

- light properties and eye structure

- Generation of the imagine trought the eye

- Signal trasduction

- Retinal projections


The auditory system:

- The sound and the structure of the auditory system

- The internal ear

- The central auditory processes

- The encoding of the intensity and frequency of the sound

- The sound localization mechanisms

- The auditory cortex


Balance and the vestibular system


The sense of smell and taste


The somatosensory system:

- The proprioceptive and tactile sensitivity

- The thermal and pain sensitivity


The hormonal control of behavior:

- Endocrine system and hormones

- Hypothalamus and pituitary gland

- Gonads

- Stress response



- Nutrition regulation

- Regulation of body fluids


Biological rithms and sleep:

- Wake-sleep cycle

- Sleep disorders


Memory and learning:

- Types of memory and learning

- Neural mechanisms of memory


Fondamenti anatomofisiologici della attivita’ psichica - A cura di Angelo Maravita, Poletto Editore


- Il cervello e la mente - Watson NV, Breedlove SM, Zanichelli, 1 Ed, 2014

- Neuroscienze - Purves, Augustine et al. - - Zanichelli, 4 Ed, 2013

- Principi di Neuroscienze - Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessell TM et al. - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Quarta Ed. 2015

Teaching methods

The course is based on lectures and smartphone Apps

Assessment methods


Due to emergency situation, ongoing exams will not be guaranteed.

An end-course exam will be granted only to first-year students. This exam will consist of 34 multiple choise questions to be answered in 30 minutes.


Registration on Almaesami.it is mandatory to access to the exam.

After May the 6th, I communicate how regular exams will take place.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be performed using electronic slides and videos mainly taken from the suggested text books.

Office hours

See the website of Stefano Bastianini