2023-2024 / PHYL0646-2

Physiology of the nervous system, Part I


30h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in psychology and education : speech and language therapy3 crédits 
 Bachelor in psychology and education : general3 crédits 


Philippe Kolh

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

  The introduction defines human physiology and anatomy, including the methods used to study them. The core of the course (divided into Physiology of Nervous System - partim 1 and Physiology of Nervous System - partim 2) aims at studying the nervous and endocrine systems. The partim 1 details the physiology of the neuron, and the anatomy and physiology of the central, peripheral, and autonomous nervous systems (Chapters I to VI). In more details, Chapters I to VI are structured as following:

- Chapter I: introduction to biological systems, physiology and anatomy:
   - hierarchy of biological systems; definition of physiology; hypothetico-deductive approach to the scientific method; functional allocation; chemical communication; vital functions and maintenance of life; internal environment and homeostasis; essential mechanisms of major functions; regulation systems.

- Chapter II: cell membranes and transport between compartments:
   - General function of membranes; structure of cell membranes; membrane protein channels and transporters; body compartments; movements across membranes; distribution of water and solutes in the body; separation of charges in the body.

- Chapter III: general organization of the nervous system and functioning of neurons:
   - General organization of the nervous system; histology and general functions of nervous tissue; classification of neurons; potential of resting membrane and ion channels; electrical responses of neurons; synaptic transmission.

- Chapter IV: anatomical and physiological organization of the central nervous system:
   - general considerations and development of the brain; regions and organization of the brain - cerebral ventricles, cerebral hemispheres (cortex, white matter, basal nuclei), diencephalon, brainstem, cerebellum, brain systems; protection of the brain; spinal cord.

- Chapter V: introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the peripheral nervous system:
   - Sensory receptors; nerves and nodes; motor endings.
- Chapter VI: introduction to the anatomy and physiology of the autonomous nervous system:
   - Main Features; comparative anatomy of the orthosympathetic and parasympathetic systems; neurotransmitters and receptors of the autonomic nervous system; general functioning of the orthosympathetic and parasympathetic systems; regulation of the autonomic nervous system.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The objective of the course is to understand the physiology of the nervous system, highlighting the important elements for students in physiological sciences and speech therapy, in the perspective of their future professional practice.
More specifically, the learning objectives correspond to the table of contents of the course, described in detail in the "contents of the teaching unit" section.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Cellular biology (studied in BLOC 1)

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Lectures with active participation of students; rehearsal sessions with student instructors

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face teaching if code green or yellow; distance learning if code orange or red

Recommended or required readings

Mandatory reading: Course syllabus, available on MyULg

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire )

Additional information:

The evaluation will be done by written exam in the form of multiple response questions (QRM),
with several proposals (items) for each question.

For EVERY question, any combination will be possible: either no proposition will be correct,
or one proposition will be correct, or two propositions will be correct, or three propositions
will be correct, ... or all the propositions will be correct. Abstentions will be possible.

This corresponds to a generalized "true-false" type examination (SMART terminology)

Work placement(s)

No training

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

No remark


Pr Philippe Kolh



04/3668445 (secretary)


The contact details of the student monitors are:

Catherine HONNAY: Catherine.Honnay@student.uliege.be

Sophie LOCIGNO: S.Locigno@student.uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs