Undergraduate Course: Sensory Physiology and Dysfunction (BIME10014)
|School||School of Biomedical Sciences
||College||College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This is a senior honours course which explores the development, function and pathophysiology of sensory systems. From the molecular basis of sensory transduction to systems level sensory integration, this course encompasses the wide range of sensory mechanisms that are essential in order to perceive and interact with our environment. To critically appreciate in detail the complexity of sensory systems we will focus on three main research themes; mechanosensation and hearing, pain and vestibular function.
The ┐mechanosensation┐ theme will introduce molecular mechanisms of mechanosensory transduction in hearing and proprioception in different model systems and explore current research approaches to investigate these mechanisms. We shall then concentrate on hearing by looking at the physiology of inner ear hair cells and their dysfunction in deafness, and then how basic research on the control of hair cell development might inform regenerative medicine strategies for therapeutic intervention to reverse deafness.
The ┐pain┐ theme will a) introduce the transduction apparatus and neural pathways that mediate pain; b) explore the plasticity that can occur within pain pathways that leads to debilitating chronic pain conditions and how these manifest in the clinic; c) discuss the challenges in translating basic pain research to the clinic and d) outline how this system develops and the consequences for somatosensation in the newborn.
The ┐vestibular┐ theme will discuss the organisation and function of hair cell mechanoreceptors in the vestibular system of the inner ear; their role in signalling head orientation and movement; the organisation of the brainstem networks that mediate vestibular reflexes, and the mechanisms of neuronal and synaptic plasticity which bring about recovery of function after damage to the inner ear (vestibular compensation).
Contributors: Andrew Jarman, Mayank Dutia, Sutherland Maciver
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 24,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 5,
Formative Assessment Hours 3,
Summative Assessment Hours 4,
Other Study Hours 4,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||In course assessment - Oral presentation 30%
Degree examination - 70%
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Sensory Physiology and Dysfunction||1:30|
| At the end of this course students should be able to:
- Understand molecular mechanisms of mechanosensation in hearing and proprioception.
- Understand how pain information is processed within the somatosensory nervous system and how this processing is disrupted in chronic pain conditions
- Understand how somatosensation develops in the newborn.
- Understand the mechanisms of vestibular function and the adaptive plasticity that promotes recovery from inner ear damage.
- Appreciate the challenges of translating basic research to the clinic
- Demonstrate the ability to examine in detail, critically appraise and orally present a selected research paper related to one of the main themes of the course
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Keywords||Transduction, sensory integration, plasticity, pain, somatosensation, vestibular, senses, hearing
|Course organiser||Dr Carole Torsney
Tel: (0131 6)51 9881
|Course secretary||Ms Lisa Ketchion
Tel: (0131 6)51 1629
© Copyright 2014 The University of Edinburgh - 12 January 2015 3:31 am