Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Siew Yeen Chai and Professor David Spanswick


Explores cutting-edge research in the role of the nervous system in maintaining internal harmony in the body, and in coordinating appropriate responses to alterations in the external conditions which would otherwise disturb the body's homeostasis. Details current research ideas on normal function and dysfunction in this area, and new methodologies. Emphasis is placed on the cerebral cortex and its functions on memory, cognition and consciousness, as well as the mechanisms of brain development across life. Emphasis is on assisted self directed learning and project based learning.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain the physiological processes of synaptic plasticity and neurodegeneration;

  1. Describe how an organism senses and deals with stress, pain, ageing and sleep;

  1. Critically evaluate scientific information and communicate this in an oral or written format;

  1. Present scientific information in the format of a research grant application or a visual presentation.


In-semester assessment (will consist of oral presentations 20% and a test 20%): 40%
Written theory examination (2 hours): 60%

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical/discussion class per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


PHY2011 plus one of PHY2042 or PHY2032; or BMS1052 plus one of BMS2031, BND2011 or BNS1072; or permission from the unit co-ordinator.