Monash University Handbooks 2008

PHY2011 - Neuroscience of sensation, brain and movement

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Associate Professor Ramesh Rajan


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)


This unit examines, in four themes, the nervous, sensory, brain and muscle systems, which act as the body's detection, communication, analysis, and action systems. Theme 1 (The world within) explains nerves and intercell communication. Theme 2 (Registering the world) shows how the systems of touch, pain, hearing, vision, taste and smell detect stimuli. Theme 3 (Analysing the world) shows how the brain analyses information. Theme 4 (Action responses) details how the body responds through movement via muscles and limbs. Normal physiology and common dysfunctions of the systems are studied, to allow for a greater understanding of the normal physiology, and an appreciation of dysfunctions.


On completion of this unit, students will have achieved a basic knowledge and understanding of the structure and function of nerves, of cellular signalling systems, sensory systems, the central nervous system, and skeletal muscles; understood how cells in the body, and nerve cells in particular, signal information to other cells and organs in the communication systems of the body; understood how specialized sensory systems act as the detection systems of the body to provide information about the world and how this information is carried to the brain for interpretation in the analysis system of the body; understood how the skeletal muscles function to allow the body to respond overtly to the world as the action systems of the body; integrated the specific knowledge and insights gained in the study directed to the previous four objectives into a logical appreciation of the role in whole body physiology of the detection, communication, analysis and action systems of the body; developed an appreciation of the basis and manifestations of adaptations or dysfunction of these systems; developed an appreciation of the variability inherent in biological systems through laboratory exercises; promoted their abilities to organize and work in groups towards a common goal, through appropriate laboratory tasks and structured self-learning exercises; developed skills in laboratory techniques that are integral to the study of physiology; and developed skills in written communication through written reports on practicals and examination essays.


In semester multiple-choice tests: 30%
In semester problem quizzes: 5%
Practical class workbook assessment: 20%
End of semester practical written examination (2 hours): 15%%
End of semester theory written examination (3 hours): 30%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour hour practical class or progress review period per week


PHY2051 and BMS1052

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