Subject description

Structure of the neuron, Nernst equation, transmembrane potential, the formation of an action potential, transmission of signals along the neurons and between neurons, synapses, neurotransmitters and their receptors. The idea of formal neuron and the basic neural networks. Muscles and specialities of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle. Hill’s equation, the process of muscle fatigue. Movement and its control: the lower motor neuron, upper motor neuron, the role of the brainstem, cerebellum, deeper brain structures and motor cortex. Receptors and sensory organs: the formation and shape of the signal, which is a result of perception; vision, hearing, pain and detection of chemical substances. Reflexes. Higher brain functions, memory, learning, sensory-motor integration. Electrotechnical devices that replace lost body functions.

The subject is taught in programs

Objectives and competences

To introduce the students with the activity of living organisms and their components. The focus of the course is in understanding the ways of acquiring various information from the environment, transferring information in the organism, information processing, integration different types of information and producing appropriate response to this information. Physiology of a living organism is represented by an engineering point of view. This concept allows the student the transfer of optimized solutions from the nature to the technical environment (bionics) or design of the new facilities that are appropriate for compensation of lost body functions.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be guided through lectures in the class, individual study and laboratory work.

Expected study results

To integrate knowledge of the physiology of living organisms from the engineering point of view and to use engineering knowledge in solving biomedical problems.

Basic sources and literature

  1. Purves D, Augustine GJ, Fitzpatrick D, Hall WC, LaMantia AS, McNamara JO, White LE.  Neuroscience. Sinauer Associates; 4th Edition edition, 2007.
  2. Deutsch S, Deutsch A. Understanding the nervous system An engineering perspective. Wiley-IEEE Press, 1993.
  3. Pflanzer RG. Experimental and Applied Physiology. McGraw-Hill, 2007.
  4. Guyton AC, Hall JE. Textbook Of Medical Physiology. W.B. Saunders Company: 10th ed. 2000.
  5. Barth FG, Humphrey JAC, Secomb TW. Sensors and sensing in biology and enginnering. Springer, 2003.

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University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

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