Neurophysiology II.

Type of instruction




Part of degree program


Recommended in

Semester 3

Typically offered in

Autumn semester

Course description

1. Foundations of functional organistaion of vertebral (and nonvertebral) nervous system. Types and characteristics of movements, study methods. Vertebral skeletal muscle and the motor units.

2. Movement regulation in the spinal cord. Motor patterns and reflexes (functions of the lower motor system).

3. Motor neuronal nuclei and the central (descending) motor pathways. Posture of the body, of the head and of the extremities. Muscular tone. Balance. Eye movements and gaze.

4. Regulation of voluntary movements. The role of connections between cerebellum and the basal ganglia in the regulation of movements.

5. Stimulus-potential transduction. Sensory organs and sensory processes. Foundations of sensation and perception. Methods (from the objectiv electrophysiology through psychphysiology to pschology)

6. Sensory processing and the higher nervous activity. General body sensations..

7. Skin and deep-tissue receptors. Operation of the ascending sensory pathways. The thalamo-cortical sensory system. Thermo- and pain reception.

8. Hearing. Physiological processes in the inner ear. Central auditory pathways and central auditory processing. Taste- and smell reception: receptors, pathways, central processing.

9. Stimulus and sensory organ of vision. Structure and function of the retina. Light- and dark adaptation.

10. Function of the retinal ganglion-cells. Retinal mechanisms of shape-, movement- and colour-perception.

11. Central visual pathways. Brain-stem visual processing, regulation of eye movements, accomoadtion, photoperiodism. Structure and funczion of the lateral geniculate body. Cortical areas of visual processing.

12. Functional organisation of the cortical visual areas. Binocular vision. Analysis of colours. The two cortical visual processing system in the brain cortex.

13. Higher order visual analysis. Character-extraction and abstraction. Generalisation and discrimination. Visual perception.

14. Higher order processes of perception. Functional specialisation of the brain-cortex. Information-flow via the cortical neuronal circuits. Spatial perception. Recognition of an abstract meaning of an object. Prediction based planning of behavioural strategises.Complicated (skilled and manipulative) movements.

  • Kandel, E.R.: Principles of Neural Science, 5th ed., McGraw Hill Professional, 2013

  • Kandel, E.R., Schwartz, J.H. and Jessel, T.M. Essentials of Neural Science and Behavior Appleton and Lange, Stamford 1995

  • Carlson, N.R. Physiology of Behavior, 11th ed., Pearson, 2013, ISBN 9780205239399