Experimental Physiology

Subject 536-222 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours of practical work and workshops, 12 hours of compulsory lectures, 12 hours of e-Learning activities
Total Time Commitment: 120 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: 536-201 Principles of Physiology
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed 536-202 Physiology (General Practical) prior to 2006 will not be permitted to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their active and safe participation in a subject are encouraged to discuss this with the relevant subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Dr D Hornery and A/Prof R Kemm
Subject Overview:

This subject aims to develop student understanding of the principles of experimental design appropriate for investigating underlying mechanisms of physiological responses. The subject will use the latest computer-based recording systems to investigate the biological responses to various challenges.

Experiments may include investigations on nerve communication, muscle contraction, blood pressure, electrocardiograms, respiration and maintenance of body fluids. The format of the subject allows every experimental topic to be covered in depth over three sessions. This comprises (i) a preparatory session, (ii) the experimental session, and (iii) a lecture and discussion workshop session, based on the experimental results and underlying theory as well as approaches for experimental design. The lectures will incorporate active interaction between students and lecturers using personal response system (PRS) clickers to answer questions during lectures.

Being a practical subject it is very skills orientated. Individual skills will concentrate on developing critical thinking, problem solving and research skills including devising experimental physiological methods, data collection, recording and analysis, appropriate interpretation of and conclusions from data, writing clear and concise reports, and developing physiological laboratory practices (including safety, ethics) and skills (tissues or whole organisms). Group skills include working collaboratively, group communication and information presentation.

Assessment: Five written reports of up to 1500 words each due during the semester (33%); class participation during the semester (5%); ongoing assessment of e-Learning activities - 20 submissions of less than 500 words each due during the semester (20% total); effective PRS participation and contributions (4%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (38%).
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

Not available for students enrolled in BBiomedSc.

This is a practical subject. Students need to enrol separately for the lecture subject 536-201 Principles of Physiology. Physiology 536-201 and 536-222 are both prerequisites for the 2nd semester practical subject 536-233 and most 3rd year Physiology subjects.

Experiments involving the use of animals are essential to this subject; exemption is not possible.

Students must have a white laboratory coat, safety glasses and closed-topped footwear to comply with safety regulations. Also required are dissecting instruments and two note books. A laboratory manual must be purchased and an electronic audience response keypad leased from the Level 3 practical Laboratory (Room N306, Medical Building, Level 3, North Wing) during the week before the start of the semester. Information regarding practical class session allocation will be emailed to students prior to the semester.

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