Physiology 3120 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Inhibitory Postsynaptic Potential, Lamellar Corpuscle, Axon Hillock

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10 Feb 2016
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NEURO 1
Neurophysiology: Introduction
For this section on Neurophysiology you are responsible for only that material covered in
Lectures and in the Study Guide (not from textbooks). There is no assigned textbook for this
part of the course.
The function of the Lectures is to explain concepts. My teaching philosophy is to explain how
physiological mechanisms work. I do this by explaining concepts with respect to simple visual
diagrams or simple demonstrations. This bears some similarity to the simple way of explaining
a mechanism with a pencil and paper, or in past years, with a chalk diagram on a blackboard.
The function of the Study Guide is to be a record of the diagrams presented and the major points
discussed, i.e., to be a set of notes that covers most of the points presented in Lectures. The
Study Guide does not attempt to explain concepts.
Neurophysiology is a developing discipline with new information constantly replacing the old.
Consequently, correct answers to exam questions will come from one source only namely the
Lectures and the Study Guide. They will NOT come from information from anywhere else
including other courses, the internet, or textbooks.
Two up to date textbooks for reference at an advanced level (beyond the scope of this course) are
1) Kandel, Schwartz, et al. Principles of Neural Science, 5th Edition, McGraw Hill, 2013
2) Purves, Augustine, et al. Neuroscience, 5th Edition, Sinauer, 2012
Advice on how to do well on Exams:
1. Attend lectures
Each year new material will be presented in Lectures that is not in the Study Guide.
Sometimes scenarios are discussed in lectures that are used in MCQs.
Anything discussed in Lectures or that is in the Study Guide, including diagrams, is
examinable !
Do NOT get behind. With 3 lectures/week the amount of material is large, and can become
overwhelming if lectures are missed.
2. Read and answer Objectives:
Objectives are given in the Study Guide that allow you to test your knowledge.
3. Test yourself with recent exams.
Sample Multiple Choice Questions in the Study Guide are representative of those that will
be on the exam both in terms of content and in terms of what you will be expected to do
with the content.
All questions on the exam for this Neurophysiology section will be new.
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NEURO 2
Neuro I: The Brain, Neurons and Synaptic Transmission
Objectives:
1. Draw a diagram of the brain and spinal cord labeling the major anatomical features.
2. Name two main types of brain cells and their overall function.
3. Draw a representative neuron, label its parts, and indicate where incoming axons terminate
(synapse).
4. Name the feature of electrical and chemical synapses.
5. Give the values of the equilibrium potentials for a representative neuron.
What would happen if the membrane suddenly became permeable to:
(i) only Cl- (ii) only K+ (iii) only Cl- and K+ (iv) only Na+ and K+?
6. Describe the ionic mechanisms and the changes in membrane potential associated with an
excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) and an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP).
7. Describe the main signal flow within a neuron including how an action potential is initiated
at the axon hillock (initial segment).
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NEURO 3
Answers to Objectives:
1. Draw a diagram of the brain and spinal cord labeling the major anatomical features.
2. Name two main types of brain cells and their overall function.
Neurons are the information processing cells (electrically excitable)
Glial cells There are up to 10 times more glial cells than neurons
Glial cells provide support for neurons, e.g.
By supplying “back-up” glucose from glycogen (most glucose comes from blood)
By removing neurotransmitters,
By removing ammonia (a by-product of metabolism),
By taking up K+
By providing myelin sheaths for axons.
Rostral
(Front) Caudal
(Back)
Hypothalamus
Spinal Cord
Cerebellar
Deep Nuclei
Cerebellar
Cortex
Basal Ganglia
Cerebral Cortex
Postcentral
Gyrus
Central Sulcus
Precentral
Gyrus
Thalamus
Brain Stem Midbrain
Pons
Medulla
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