Learning outcomes of the course unit
The student will must to be acquired knowledge on:
1) on the role of the various structures of the nervous system and of the various neurotransmitters and hormones involved in the modulation of behavior.
2) on the role of the various structures of the nervous system act in modulating the regulation of circadian rhythms, such as the sleep-wake cycle, and of complex behaviors, such as food intake.
3) On the role of alteration of physiological aspects determine behavioral, neurologic and psychiatric pathologies of interest for the following pharmacological studies.
4) on how to produce an elaborate written correct morphologically, syntactically and grammatically on the topics of the course.
5) on how to connect the different topics dealt with each other and with the basic and related disciplines, and how to update continuously by consulting the scientific publications of the sector.
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 interest 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. Overview on 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 biological and physiological processes at the basis of behavior. 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 neurophysiological structures underlying the regulation of biological rhythms and basic behaviors, such as food and fluid intake and attack-escape. The pathologies linked to stress and signs of neuroimmunology.
"Neurosciences: from physiology to clinical" by Franco Fabbro by Carocci publisher.
“Biological psychology. Introduction to behavioral, cognitive and clinical neuroscience" by Breedlove, Rosenzweig, Watson
"Physiology of Behavior" by Neil R. Carlson
"why zebras don't get ulcers" by Robert M. Sapolsky.
The teacher provides a copy of the slides on the Elly portal (http://elly.saf.unipr.it/), every week.
Assessment methods and criteria
Written with two open questions, 7 points for each, and twenty multiple-choice questions, 0.8 points for each.
The exam can be carried out, upon registration online, in the appeals of the official exam calendar of the Department of Food and Drug Sciences.