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Academic year
Didactic period
Primo Semestre

Training objectives

The aim of the course is to enable students to understand living processes in the human organism, providing the basis for the scientific understanding of pathological changes.
As for the parameters of:
At the end of the course the student will:
- know the principles of the gastrointestinal system;
- know the principles of the endocrine system;
- know the principles of the nervous system;
- acquire the appropriate physiological terminology as well as knowledge about the essential parameters to evaluate the function of the systems.
At the end of the course the student will be able to:
- integrate knowledge about Biochemistry, Human Anatomy II and Physiology I in a more general framework about the function of the endocrine, gastrointestinal and nervous system;
- the student at the end of the course will have acquired the tools required to evaluate pathology starting from basic physiological processes.


Basic knowledge of the first principles of Physics, chemistry and biochemistry. Basic knowledge of human anatomy.
Passing exams of: Medical Physics and mathematics, Human anatomy II and propedeutical clinic, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Physiology I.

Course programme

The endocrine system: the pancreas and regulation of metabolism; the thyroid gland; the hypothalamic-hypophyseal system; the adenohypophysis; the control of calcium and phosphate balance; the adrenal glands; physiology of reproduction. The gastrointestinal system: motility and secretions of the gastrointestinal tract; digestion of the food and absorption; energy balance. The nervous system: neural basis of somatic sensation; pain and analgesia; vision and eye movements; hearing; taste and olfaction; motor systems of the brain; reflex and voluntary control of posture and movement; the vestibular system; motor functions of the cerebral cortex; cerebellum and basal ganglia; the hypothalamus and the limbic system, the autonomic nervous system; the cerebral cortex and aspects of higher functions of the nervous system.

Didactic methods

The course provides theoretical lectures and online assisted teaching. The hours of on-line teaching of moodle platform certification service consisting in the deepening of some topics covered in class and indicated by the teacher at the beginning of the course.

Learning assessment procedures

Written + Oral Exam. The written test, valid for admission to oral examination, consists of sixty questions with true / false answers. Duration: 60 minutes. The test will be conducted without the use of notes or books or multimedia supports, in the presence of teachers. Correct answer: +1; wrong answer: -1; no answer: 0. The student will have to reach 36 points. The evaluation will be weighted according to the importance of the errors and of the omitted responses. The written test will preselect students for the oral exam, and will not be averaged with it.
The oral exam, lasting about thirty minutes, provides a teacher's question to test the basic knowledge of the main physiological mechanisms of the body. In selected cases, a second question could be made by another member of the exam committee. Language property, exhibit clarity, reasonableness of reasoning, and analytical capacity are also evaluated.

Reference texts

Berne & Levy, Fisiologia, VI ed. a cura di B.M. Koeppen e B.A. Stanton - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana, Milano
E.R. Kandel, J.H. Schwartz, T.M. Jessell, S.A Siegelbaum, A.J. Hudspeth, Principi di neuroscienze, IV ed. - Casa Editrice Ambrosiana