PHYSIOL 3001 - Cellular & Systems Neurobiology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

The Cellular & Systems Neurobiology course encompasses the study of the mammalian central and peripheral nervous system, from the level of ion channels, receptors and cell signaling mechanisms, through the integrated roles of brain and nerves in sensory perception, homeostasis, higher congnition, learning and memory. Research case studies from the primary literature are used to explore cutting edge concepts, introduce methods, and develop critcal evaluation skills. In-class review sessions are provided to assist with revising key material. Conceptual knowledge is assessed with four block exams through the semester, and on-line tutorials. The laboratory practical involves placement of students in small groups for 'hands on' hypothesus-driven research that is supervised by an expert researcher in a professional working laboratory environment. Face-to-face workshops and online tutorials support the development of skills used in conducting research; writing research proposals; and presenting scientific talks on methodological approaches selected for the small group research projects.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHYSIOL 3001
    Course Cellular & Systems Neurobiology
    Coordinating Unit Physiology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites PHYSIOL 2510 or equivalent
    Incompatible PHYSIOL 3102 & PHYSIOL 3003
    Assumed Knowledge PHYSIOL 2520
    Course Description The Cellular & Systems Neurobiology course encompasses the study of the mammalian central and peripheral nervous system, from the level of ion channels, receptors and cell signaling mechanisms, through the integrated roles of brain and nerves in sensory perception, homeostasis, higher congnition, learning and memory. Research case studies from the primary literature are used to explore cutting edge concepts, introduce methods, and develop critcal evaluation skills. In-class review sessions are provided to assist with revising key material. Conceptual knowledge is assessed with four block exams through the semester, and on-line tutorials. The laboratory practical involves placement of students in small groups for 'hands on' hypothesus-driven research that is supervised by an expert researcher in a professional working laboratory environment. Face-to-face workshops and online tutorials support the development of skills used in conducting research; writing research proposals; and presenting scientific talks on methodological approaches selected for the small group research projects.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Andrea Yool

    Course Coordinator: Andrea Yool
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3359
    Email: andrea.yool@adelaide.edu.au
    Loction: Room N405, Medical School North, Frome Rd.

    Tutor: David Wilson
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3193
    Email: david.p.wilson@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Room S523, Medical School South, Frome Rd.

    Student Services Office
    Contat: Ryan Rosner
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5571
    Email: ryan.rosner@adelaide.edu.au
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Have learned the foundational concepts of neurophysiology from the molecular to the systems levels.
    2 Be able to explain the main theories and supporting evidence for principles of molecular neurobiology, bioelectrical and chemical signalling, the development and organisation of the nervous system, sensory perception and muscle control, the physiological basis of pattern generation and integration in nerve networks, and the functional roles of the nervous system in homeostasis and higher order cognitive functions.
    3 Be able to capably interpret case studies based on primary literature, to identify key signaling processes involved in neurophysiological functions, and to solve new problems and situations with logic and knowledge based on first principles in neurobiology.
    4 Be able to understand the physiological and pathophysiological basis of nervous system function and its relevance to fields of ethics, medicine, neurology, neuroscience and physiology.
    5 Have developed the abilities to read and critically evaluate scientific literature, to formulate and test a hypothesis, to carry out a research project, to quantitatively analyse data, and to interpret the outcomes using logic supported with statistical tests.
    6 Have gained competency in scientific written and oral communication skills in professional formats, acquired techniques for evaluating the quality and rigour of evidence presented to support an idea, and honed skills in critical thinking.
    7 Be able to explain major principles in neuroscience and discuss gaps in our knowledge base that remain to be explored.
    8 Understand how to locate relevant scientific information with on-line databases and search tools, formulate a testable research question, and design a theoretical experimental strategy to test the hypothesis.
    9 Demonstrate group team work, leadership skills, and technical skills in selected modern research methods.
    10 Be conversant in a broad range of investigative methods and scientific applications, including the selection, implementation, ethical use, and limitations of the experimental techniques in physiology, neuroscience and related fields of research.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 4, 7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 5, 8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 7-10
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 5, 6, 8, 10
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3, 5, 6, 8-10
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-2, 7-8
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4, 6, 10
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course reading will focus on review articles and published scientific papers, posted on the course MyUni website. There is no required textbook.
    Recommended Resources
    Online content tutorials and workshops will be used to support learning for the theory and practical components of the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Theory will be presented in lectures and assigned published scientific papers, and supported by in-class review sessions (‘lectorials’). On-line tutorials will revise concepts and allow development of problem solving skills. On-line content tutorials and face-to- face workshops will support technical skills development for the practical laboratory section of the course.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    COURSE NAME: Cell & Systems Neurobiology 2014 ANDREA YOOL
    Contact hours (semester)
    Type Number of sessions Duration of each session (hr) Total Hours
    Lectures 39 1 39
    Tutorials in-class ("lectorials") 4 1 4
    Practicals 12 4 48
    Exams 4 1 4
    Other (e.g., field trips, project work) 0
    95
    Assessment Tasks (semester)
    Summative tutorials 4 6 24
    Extended lab report / Assignments 0
    Practical reports: On-line "practorials" 3 3 9
    Presentation - oral report 1 10 10
    Summative tests 4 8 32
    Project design study 0
    Literature review 1 12 12
    Take-home exams 0
    Other (please specify): Supervisor assessment 1 1 1
    Online tutorials 4 4 16
      104
    Non-contact (semester)
    Weekly reading & other study (hours/lecture) 12 4 48
    Preparation for tutorial (hours/tutorial) 4 8 32
    Preparation for practical (hours/practical) 12 1 12
    Preparation for tests (hours/test) 0
    Exam preparation 4 5 5
    Other (please specify): 0
    Online tutorial quizzes 4 16 16
    113
    Total workload (hrs/semester) 312
    Workload/week (hr) 24

    Expected workload (hrs/week):
    3-unit course      -     12
    6-unit course      -     24
    9-unit course      -     36
    12-unit course    -     48
    Note that the workload model is based on 12 teaching and 1 non-teaching weeks

    Learning Activities Summary

    Week

    Lectures

    Online Tutorials

    Instructor

    1

    A1. Introduction to cellular and systems neurobiology

    A2. Overview of ion channels

    A3. Review Ion channelopathies

    A4. Ligand gated receptors

    Tutorial 1 Block A

    (2 marks)

    ***TUTORIAL 1 DUE***

    Thursday week 3

    AY

    2

    PUBLIC HOLIDAY

    A5. Voltage gated channels

    A6. Case study

    A7. Functional roles of TRP, Cl, connexins, and other channels

    AY

    3

    A8. Ionic mechanisms in repetitive and bursting firing

    A9. Modulation of synaptic transmission

    A10. Case study

    Lectorial session for Block A

    AY

    4

    B1. Introduction to sensory systems

    B2. Auditory processing

    B3. Case study

    Paper A EXAM

    (in class) 25% (14 marks)

    Tutorial 2 Block B

    (2 marks)

    ***TUTORIAL 2 DUE***

    Thursday week 6

    SW

    5

    B4. Olfaction and gustation

    B5. Eye and phototransduction

    B6. Case study

    B7. Retinal processing and LGN

    SW

    6

    B8. Central visual processing

    B9. Vestibular system

    B10. Case study

    Lectorial session for Block B

    SW

    mid-semester break

    7

    C1. Overview of the peripheral nervous system

    C2. Neural crest lineages and cell fate; case study

    11-12 NO LECTURE

    Paper B EXAM

    (in class) 25% (14 marks)

    Tutorial 3 Block C

    (2 marks)

    ***TUTORIAL 3 DUE***

    Thursday week 10

    EB

    8

    C3. Enteric NS- The second brain

    C4. Extrinsic modulation of the ENS

    C5. Case study

    C6. Pattern generation and pacemakers

    EB

    9

    C7. Neural control of smooth muscle

    C8. Neural control of organ functions

    C9. Case study

    C10. Genetic tools for analysing NS functions

    EB

    10

    D1. CNS Neurogenesis

    D2. Outgrowth & synaptic formation

    D3. Case study

    Lectorial session for Block C

    AY

    11

    D4. Blood-brain barrier & fluid homeostasis

    D5. Excitatory neurotransmission

    D6. Case study

    Paper C EXAM

    (in class) 25% (14 marks)

    Tutorial 4 Block D

    (2 marks)

    ***TUTORIAL 4 DUE***

    Thursday week 12

    AY

    12

    D7. Cellular basis of memory

    D8. The mind-machine interface

    D9. Case study

    Lectorial session for Block D

    AY/SW



    Instructors: Andrea Yool; Steve Wiederman; Elizabeth (Liz) Beckett.

    Paper D EXAM- The examination for block D (25%; 14 marks) will be held during the scheduled university final examination period, date to be announced.

    Open office hours-- Mon 9am and Tues 9am in the MSTRC room S419 in week 4 (AY), week 7 (SW) and week 11 (EB)
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Students will work in small groups, typically 3 to 4 students, as apprenticeship placements in working research laboratories at Uni Adelaide and affiliated research centres in Adelaide. Students enrol in projects of interest, and are encouraged to continue the placements in the second semester level 3 course. In the lab, students learn current research methods and gain an understanding of the goals and strategies of the research program by discussion and reading. The students design and carry out experiments to test a hypothesis, supervised by an experienced academic or research staff member of the Physiology discipline who drives the research program. Students analyse data, write a literature review and present a group oral report based on their research experience.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Exams on theory for each of the four lecture blocks Summative 4 x 14 = 56% 1-4, 7, 10
    In-class revision sessions
    (called “lectorials”)
    Formative 0% 1-4, 7, 10
    Online revision tutorials Formative & Summative 4 x 2 = 8% 1-4, 7, 10
    Literature review, individual Summative 12% 3, 5, 6, 8
    Oral presentation, group Summative 10% 5-6, 9-10
    Online skills tutorials for research methods (called
    ‘practorials’)
    Formative & Summative 9% 8-10
    Practical- Supervisor’s assessment of performance Summative 5% 6-7, 10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Barrier requirement: Students must earn at least 50% of the total possible exam marks (28 or more marks out of 56 marks possible) to meet the barrier requirement to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment summary (marks out of 100 total for the semester)

    64 Theory 56 Four block exams at 14 marks each
    8 Four on-line revision tutorials at 2 marks each
    36 Practical 12 Individual literature review
    10 Group research methodology poster presentation
    9 On-line practorials (research skills)
    5 Supervisor assessment of student laboratory performance

    100                TOTAL marks for the semester
    Submission
    All information on the electronic submission of essays, the use of cover-sheets, location for physical submission of practical reports, and the specification of submission through TURNITIN are provided in the Course Manual and on-line on the MyUni course website. The penalty for late submission is set in accord with School policy, at 30% per day late for level 3 courses. Requests for extensions to due dates require medical or compassionate certificate support, and an application form, as specified in University guidelines available on-line. Staff “turn-around” timeline on assessments and the provision of feedback to students depends on the size of the class and the complexity of the assignment. For tutorial assessments, feedback is provided within 24 hours of the due date. Block exam marking and literature review marking for a class of100 students will usually take at least 2 and often 3 weeks after the respective due dates.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    SELTS are run for the course and for the instructors at least once every 2 years.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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