Learning outcomes of the course unit
To define the physiological and symptomatological aspects of behavioral and psychiatric pathologies of interest for the following studies in the pharmacological and neuro-pharmacological fields.
Course contents summary
The course aims to provide a background on the physiology of behavior, on their related disorders and on the experimental methodologies and models used in this field.
Specifically, I will describe how the hormones and neurotransmitters operate to control coordinated behaviors. The systems in which these molecules act, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system and the limbic system, will also be treated. Particular intererest will be focused to the function of these systems in the modulation of behaviors such as fly or fight reactions, stress response and food-behavior. Finally, the behavioral and psychiatric pathologies associated with pathological changes of these systems will be dealt.
Introduction about what is the behavior physiology.
Description of the main nervous system structures involved in regulating the behavior. Main subdivisions of the central and the peripheral nervous system and of their components. Chemical basis of behavior: main neurotrasmitters and their localization in the peripheral and central nervous system. Hormones and their role in the regulation of the bilogical and physiological processes. Main systems on which the hormones act, among which hypothalamus-hypophysis-adrenal gland and the limbic system. Main methodologies used in the neuroanatomy and the neurophysiological investigations. The main processes at the basis of the regulation of behaviors such as the alimentary one, the termoregulation and the circadian rhythms. The fly or fight reaction system, the stress and the neuroimmunology.
Biological psychology. Introduction to behavioral, cognitive and clinical neuroscience "by Breedlove, Rosenzweig, Watson -
"Physiology of Behavior" by Neil R. Carlson of the Piccin editore.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written with two open questions and multiple choice ones.