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PHSL342 Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurophysiology (II)

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.

Paper title Molecular, Cellular and Integrative Neurophysiology (II)
Paper code PHSL342
Subject Physiology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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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

Convenor: Assoicate Professor Alex Tups
Lecturers: Professor Colin Brown
Professor Rebecca Campbell
Assoicate Professor Alex Tups

Note, teaching staff may change. Check department website for updates.

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 may vary, but will include:

  • Neuroendocrine control of body weight and its potential disruption by jet lag
  • Neural control of reproduction and fertility
  • Hypothalamic regulation of reproductive and cardiovascular function

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

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22


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


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