Undergraduate Course: Sensory Physiology and Dysfunction (BIME10014)
|School||Deanery 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.
Our aim is to detail the complexity of sensory systems by focussing on four main research themes; vision, chemical senses, hearing and pain.
The 'vision' theme will detail the anatomy and physiology of the visual system in mammals. The neuronal circuits that process visual information in the primary visual cortex will be introduced and recent scientific advances enabled by new imaging and genetic tools will be highlighted. Experience-dependent plasticity of neurons in the primary visual cortex will also be described.
The ¿chemical senses¿ theme will detail the sensory systems that detect smell, taste or respiratory gases. The organisation and function of olfactory, CO2 and O2 receptors and the organisation of the neural networks that mediate responses to chemical stimuli, to shape behaviour and maintain homeostasis of the organism will be described.
The ¿hearing¿ theme, will introduce molecular mechanisms of mechanosensory transduction in hearing and proprioception. It will focus on hearing by looking at the physiology of inner ear hair cells and their dysfunction in deafness, and how basic research is informing regenerative medicine strategies for therapeutic intervention to reverse deafness.
The ¿pain¿ theme will introduce the transduction apparatus and neural pathways that mediate pain, explore the plasticity that can occur within pain pathways that leads to debilitating chronic pain conditions and how these manifest in patients in the clinic.
This course will comprise a combination of lectures (basic background & detailed lectures on the main themes), student led sessions (reviewing background material for the main themes) and student led oral paper presentations (research papers related to the main themes).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
|Additional Costs|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand how visual information is processed within neural circuits in the brain and how experience can induce plasticity within this circuitry.
- Understand the principles of olfaction and the sensing of respiratory gases, and how this information is processed in neural circuits to generate adaptive behaviour.
- Understand the developmental, cellular, and molecular basis 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
- 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
|Specific reference lists and suggested readings will be provided for each of the lectures.|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Carole Torsney
Tel: (0131 6)51 9881
|Course secretary||Miss Rachel Allan
Tel: (0131 6)51 1514