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    Current research in neurophysiology at the molecular, cellular and systems levels. Themes may vary from year to year and are distinct from those in PHSL341.

    This paper is for those who are curious about the way in which the essential elements of the nervous system work, based on current biomedical neuroscience research, and who wish to gain an insight into Neurophysiological research by designing, performing, analysing, and presenting their own research project. Based on current biomedical research from leading researchers, the paper provides a theoretical and experimental basis to understand how the hypothalamus controls bodyweight and glucose homeostasis, fertility and pregnancy.

    About this paper

    Paper title Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurophysiology (II)
    Subject Physiology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    PHSL 231
    Schedule C

    One of five 300-level papers for Physiology majors.
    Optional paper for Functional Human Biology, Infection and Immunity, Reproduction, Genetics and Development, and Neuroscience majors.


    Teaching staff

    Lecturers: Associate Professor Alex Tups

    Associate Professor Phil Sheard

    Dr Joon Kim

    Paper Structure

    26 lectures and 12 laboratory sessions explore the physiology of the mammalian central nervous system, integrating across levels from the molecular to the behavioural. Topics covered will vary, but may include:

    • Neuroendocrine control of body weight and its potential disruption by jet lag.
    • Neural control of stress-related behaviour.
    • and changes that occur during ageing.

    In the laboratory course you will conceive, design, perform, interpret and present your own experiment in a guided process over the entire semester.

    Assessment consists of internal assessment (a written research proposal, a written research report and an oral or poster presentation of laboratory class work) and a 3-hour, essay-style final exam. A mark of at least 45% in the final exam must be attained to pass the paper as a whole.

    For further detail please refer to the undergraduate handbooks BSc PHSL or BBiomedSc FUHB, available to download.

    Teaching Arrangements
    You will attend two lectures each week and two 4-hour laboratory sessions every second week (alternating with PHSL 341).

    Readings consist of original journal articles.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will:

    • Acquire extensive knowledge of the physiology of neural systems
    • Develop a meaningful appreciation of the research process through design, experimentation, analysis and presentation of own experiment
    • Develop skill in science communication through written and oral communication tasks


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 14:00-17:50 12, 15, 17, 19, 21
    Wednesday 14:00-17:50 12, 15, 17, 19, 21


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-17:50 10
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