Behavioural Physiology II.

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description
  1. What is pain? (terms and definitions, description of pain, pain and culture, functions of pain, types and dimensions/aspects of pain, pain behaviour, exmaination and recording pain)

  2. Biological bases of pain (nociception, nociceptors, pain pathways, spinal mechanisms, pain sytems in the brain, descending pain pathways)

  3. Theories of pain (the gate-control theory and other spinal ideas, the Cartesian-theater, pain-matrix, lateral and medial brain pain systems)

  4. Itching (itching and pain, receptors and pathways of itching, theories of itching)

  5. Psychophyasiology and psychology of pain (’deep pain’, visceral pain, acute and chronic pain, persistent pain, different forms of psychogen pain, symbolic pain, psychologicala nd physiological concomittants of pain)

  6. Diagnosis and therapy (differential diagnosis, pain management, complex pain therapy, special therapies, analgesia and its types)

  7. Terms and definitions of aging (aging as disease, the aging process, types of aging, trying to define, an operational definition)

  8. Chronology of aging (intervals and characteristics of ontogeny, life span, age, maximal age, methods of aging research).

  9. Theories of aging (early ideas, evolutionary theories, molecular theories, genetic theories, cellular theories, systems approach)

  10. Biology of aging (transversal and longitudinal studies, organ changes during aging, non-changing, monotonic, adaptive, and sudden changing processes during aging, facts and beliefs)

  11. Socio-biological aspects of aging and life-span (successful aging, society and aging, detours of the psyche, how long to live and why?)

  12. What is death? (trying to define, death as a factor of life, criteria of being dead, the dieing process).

  13. Near-death phenomena (models of dieing, pattern of NDE-s, explaining NDE-s, consequencies of near-death experiences, what NDE-s refer to?)

  14. Death and death-beliefs (beliefs and misbeliefs, developing death-beliefs, children’s beliefs, grief and mourning, approaches to death, death and culture).

  15. Psychophysiology of sexual dimorphism (biological determinants of gender, primary and secondary sexual characteristics, elements of the sexual behaviour, human ’imprinting’, behavioural patterns and sex, pathological sexual functions)

  • Emer M. G., Fleetwood-Walker S. M.. Organizing.pain. Trends in Neurosciences. 27:292-294, 2004.

  • Ferrari, A.U., Radaelli, A., Centola, M. Invited Review: Aging and the cardiovascular system. J. Appl. Physiol. 95: 2591-2597. 2003.

  • Greyson, B. Defining near-death experiences. Mortality, 4: 7-19, 1999.

  • Le Bourg, E. A mini-review of the of the evolutionary theories of aging. Is it the time to accept them?. Demogr. Res. 4: Art. 1. 8 Febr., 2001.

  • Rees, J., Murray, C.S. Itching for progress. Clin. Exp. Dermatol., 30: 471-473. 2005.

  • van Lommel, P., van Wees, R., Meyers, V., Elfferich, I. Near-death experience in survivors of cardiac arrest: a prospective study in the Netherlands. Lancet, 358: 2039-2045, 2001.

  • Weinert, B.T., Timiras, P.S. Invited Review: Theories of aging. J. Appl. Physiol. 95:1706-1716. 2003

  • Willis, W.D., Westlund, K.N. Neuroanatomy of the pain system and of the pathways that modulate pain. J. Clin. Neurophysiol. 14: 2:31. 1997.

  • Wilson, M-M.G., Morley, J.E. Invited Review: Aging and energy balance. J. Appl. Physiol. 95: 1728-1736. 2003.