Physiology is the scientific study of function in living systems. The option builds on knowledge of function at the cellular level to the complex operation of major body systems at the level of the whole organism. Over half of the option is devoted to the study of the major body systems, and the remainder takes an integrated approach to examine how these systems respond to various challenges from the everyday to the extreme.
It forms a part of the Natural Sciences course in the second year-Part IB, after completing IA exams successfully.
The course begins with a summary of the autonomic nervous system, and then continues to explore the cardiovascular system, breathing, the endocrine system, the kidney and body fluid homeostasis. The first part of the second term involves the study of reproductive physiology and following events from conception through implantation and embryonic development to parturition, and examining foetal, maternal, and neonatal physiology on the way. The second half of the second term looks at digestion, absorption and body weight regulation.
These include lectures, supervisions and practical classes.
Assessment for this course is through- unseen written examination based on the lecture course /practical work and practical examination (involving the interpretation and identification of slides, micrographs and experimental records).
The aims of this course:
- To learn and understand the fundamental scientific concepts relating to a broad range of topics in animal physiology.
- To become familiar with the basic factual information concerning the mechanisms and functioning of animals, that students will require in the rest of their scientific careers, to develop investigative skills and to become familiar with techniques of measurement.
- To gain practice and confidence in applying this knowledge, in a quantitative manner and for actual experiments.
Useful text-books for students:
- Berne, R.M., Levy, M.N., Koeppen, B.M. & Stanton, B.A. (eds) (2008) Physiology, 6th edition. Philadelphia: Mosby Elsevier.
- Boron, W.F. & Boulpaep, E.L. (2012) Medical Physiology, 2nd updated ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
- Frayn, K.N. (2010) Metabolic Regulation: a Human Perspective, 3rd ed. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Hall, J.E. (2011) Guyton & Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, 12th edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier
- Johnson, M.H. (2007) Johnson & Everitt’s Essential Reproduction, 6th edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
- Levick, J.R. (2010) An Introduction to Cardiovascular Physiology, 5th edition. London: Arnold.
- Young, B., Lowe, J.S., Stevens, A. & Heath, J.W. (2006) Wheater’s Functional Histology: a Text and Colour Atlas, 5th edition. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone.