84343 - Anatomy of Nervous System and Sensory Organs

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Identify the major components and topography of the central and peripheral nervous systems, and sensory organs. Correlate the anatomy of the nervous system and sensory organs with their function. Describe the development of the nervous system and sensory organs.

Course contents

Organization and development of the central nervous system.

Spinal cord: external and internal configuration. Spinal nerve roots. Organization of the gray substance and of the white substance.
Brain Stem: bulb, pons, midbrain. External configuration and reports. Fourth ventricle, brainstem, quadrigeminal plate, mesencephalic aqueduct.
Cerebellum: external and internal configuration, structure and architecture cerebellar cortex.
Diencephalon: thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus and subthalamus. III ventricle.
Telencephalon: general conformation. Fissures, lobes, gyri, cortex, brain areas. Lateral ventricles. Subcortical nuclei and organization of the white substance. Main commissural systems of the telencephalon. Limbic system.
Encephalic and spinal meninges: dura mater, arachnoid, pia mater, canvas and choroid plexus, the cerebrospinal fluid.
Vascularization of the neuraxis: vascularization of the spinal cord and brain. Internal carotid artery. Vertebrobasilar system. Circle of Willis. Cerebral arteries. Venous sinuses of dura mater. Autonomic nervous system: sympathetic nervous system and related complexes. Brainstem and sacral parasympathetic system.

Spinal nerves, cranial nerves and autonomous nervous system.


Netter F., Atlas, Elsevier

Gray's, Elsevier

Felten et al., Netter's Atlas of Neuroscience, Elsevier

Teaching methods

Lectures with extensive use of images, such as to facilitate the acquisition of fundamental anatomical basis through the stimulation of visual memory. The course is divided into a series of lectures which are accompanied by practical exercises.The teachers will conduct workshops dissection of corpses.

Attendance to learning activities is mandatory; the minimum attendance requirement to be admitted to the final exam is 66% of lessons. For Integrated Courses (IC), the 66% attendance requirement refers to the total amount of I.C. lessons. Students who fail to meet the minimum attendance requirement will not be admitted to the final exam of the course, and will have to attend relevant classes again during the next academic year.

Professors may authorise excused absences upon receipt of proper justifying documentation, in case of illness or serious reasons. Excused absences do not count against a student’s attendance record to determine their minimum attendance requirement.

Assessment methods

The exam is formed by 3 parts: the Anatomy and Physiology parts are oral exams, and the Semeiotics is written. For Anatomy and Physiology: The final examination consists of an oral test in which the student will discuss mainly two different topics taken from the program. As part of the interview, questions will also be asked to evaluate the depth of the knowledge on the two topics and on other topics of the program, the critical thinking ability that links together different aspects of knowledge and the achievement of a comprehensive understanding of the topics addressed in class. The exam will be considered passed if the student has demonstrated sufficient knowledge in each topic. The student’s ability to move across the various topics of the Anatomy program will be also evaluated. The student’s achievement of a comprehensive view of the topics addressed in class, together with their critical thought, the ability to make associations, the demonstration of rich and intelligible expression and use of specialist’s language will be evaluated with scores of excellence. For Semeiotics the exam will consist in a multiple choice questions with single right answer test. The number of questions will be 10. Each right answer scores 1 point and each wrong answer score -0.3 points.

Teaching tools

Lectures using computer presentations, laboratory dissection, models and computer programs

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Zoli