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 Quality education

Academic Year 2022/2023

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, 2018


- Neuroscienze - Purves, Augustine et al. Editore Zanichelli, 5° Ed, 2021

- Principi di Neuroscienze - Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessell TM et al. - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, 4° Ed. 2015

Teaching methods

The course is based on lectures and smartphone Apps

Assessment methods

The exam is aimed at verifying the learning of the concepts presented during the lessons. The exam will take place in written form with a quiz consisting of 33 multiple choice questions to be completed in 30 minutes.

The questions will cover the entire program carried out during the last academic year and will be based on the slides provided on the platform virtuale.unibo.it. All the topics included in the course program will be part of the final exam even if they are not properly treated in the text book.

The exam will be considered sucessfully passed if at least 18 questions will be answered correctly. Each correct answer is worth 1 point. There are no penalties for incorrect answers. Those who will correctly answer more than 30 questions will get 30 cum laude.

Registration on Almaesami.it is mandatory to access to the exam. The results will be published on almaesami.it and all the students who successfully passed the exam are required to accept or reject the vote whithin 3 days. After this period, the unconfirmed results will be automatically accepted and verbalized.   

Registration on Almaesami is mandatory in order to take the exam.

The use of calculation tools or vocabularies is not required to take the exam.

For DSA students, extra time or the use of specific supports will be guaranteed as indicated by the competent offices.

The use of the vocabulary will be allowed for Erasmus students.

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