PHYSIOL 3001 - Cellular & Systems Neurobiology

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

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 cognition, learning and memory. Research case studies from the primary literature are used to explore cutting edge concepts, introduce methods, and develop critical 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' hypothesis-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 Medical Sciences
    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 3001 Cellular and Systems Neurobiology
    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 cognition, learning and memory. Research case studies from the primary literature are used to explore cutting edge concepts, introduce methods, and develop critical 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' hypothesis-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: Dr Steven Wiederman

    Course Coordinator: Steve Wiederman
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4435
    Email: steven.wiederman@adelaide.edu.au
    Loction: Level 4, Medical School South, 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.


    Course Timetable

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


    WEEK    LECTURE TOPICS

    1            Neurotransmission
    2            Cellular basis of memory and learning

    3           Sensory systems
    4           Olfaction and gustation
    5           Visual system
    6           Hearing and balance;  clinical translation

    7           Overview of the peripheral nervous system
    8           Neural crest development, and neural control of homeostasis
    9           Neural control of smooth muscle and organ function; genetic tools

    10         Overview of ion channels
    11         Principles of electrical signalling
    12         Synaptic signalling and  information processing in the nervous system








  • 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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    4-7, 10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    7-10
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3-10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    7-10
  • 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 42 1 42
    Research Practicals 12 4 48
    Exams 3 1.5 4.5
    Other (e.g., field trips, project work) 0
    94.5
    Assessment Tasks (semester)
    Online tutorials 4 3 12
    Final examination (not cumulative) 1 12 12
    Practical skills workshop quizzes 4 3 12
    Group poster presentation 1 15 15
    Mid semester examinations 3 12 36
    Literature review 1 15 15
      102
    Non-contact (semester)
    Weekly reading & other study (hours/lecture) 42 1.2 50.4
    Preparation for prac courses, data analysis, readings 12 5.4 64.8
    95.2
    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    LECTURE TOPICS
    1            Neurotransmission
    2            Cellular basis of memory and learning
    3           Sensory systems
    4           Olfaction and gustation
    5           Visual system
    6           Hearing and balance;  clinical translation
    7           Overview of the peripheral nervous system
    8           Neural crest development, and neural control of homeostasis
    9           Neural control of smooth muscle and organ function; genetic tools
    10         Overview of ion channels
    11         Principles of electrical signalling
    12         Synaptic signalling and  information processing in the nervous system
    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
    Four block examinations  MCQ and essay 4 x 10 = 40% 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9
    Four online tutorials MCQ 4 x 2.5 = 10% 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
    Four online practical quizzes MCQ 4 x 2.5 = 10% 5, 7, 10
    Literature review Essay 15% 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9
    Group poster presentation Oral presentation 15% 8, 9, 10
    Research supervisor assessment Participation and effort 10% 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Barrier requirement: Students must earn at least 50% of the total possible exam marks (20 or more marks out of 40 marks possible) to meet the barrier requirement to pass the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment summary (marks out of 100 total for the semester)

    50 Theory 40 Four block exams at 10 marks each
    10 Four on-line revision tutorials at 2.5 marks each
    50 Practical 15 Individual literature review
    15 Group research methodology poster presentation
    10 On-line practorials (research skills)
    10 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 every year.
  • 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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.