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Neurophysiology and Endocrinology

Code: 45054
ECTS: 6.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Hranilović
Lecturers: prof. dr. sc. Dubravka Hranilović - Seminar

dr. sc. Barbara Nikolić - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 15
Seminar 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
1. To explain functions of the nervous and endocrine systems in vertebrates
2. To integrate functions of the nervous and endocrine systems in the maintenance of homeostasis
3. To identify specificities of the mammalian nervous system in comparison to other vertebrates
4. To apply experimental methods in hypotheses testing.
5. To interpret the obtained experimental results.
6. To write a short review on a chosen topic from neurophysiology
7. To present the selected topic in a form of a short oral presentation

The course introduces structure and function of the mammalian nervous and endocrine systems and the way they coordinate their action in keeping homeostasis of an organism

1. Communication between the neurons: neuronal structure; electric conduction of the nerve impulse; chemical transmission in the synapse; types and roles of neurotransmitters;
2. Structural and functional organization of the nervous system
3. Prenatal and postnatal brain development; Evolution of brain and behavior
4. Audition: sound components and their perception; ear structure; auditory pathways; auditory cortex; speech and language; perception of music
5. Vision, Gustation and Olfaction: components of picture and their perception; eye structure; visual pathways; visual cortex; olfactory and gustatory receptors, pathways and cortices
6. Movement: reflexes and voluntary movements, motor cortex; somatosensory system and its role in movement; regeneration of the peripheral and central nervous systems
7. Biological Rhythms: types of biological rhythms; molecular regulation of biological rhythms; pineal gland; physiological roles of sleep; sleep stages and brain waves; neural basis of sleep; sleep disorders
8. Learning and memory: classifications of memory; neural circuits involved in explicit, implicit and emotional memory; brain plasticity; synaptic plasticity, aspects of cognition and brain regions involved in their control; intelligence
9. Glands and hormones: mechanisms of hormone action; hypothalamus-pituitary axis; endocrine system
10. Hormones which regulate growth and metabolism: growth hormone; thyroid hormones; thermoregulation
11. Hormones which regulate metabolism of glucose and minerals: pancreas; adrenal gland; metabolism of calcium and phosphate
12. Hormones which regulate reproduction: reproductive organs, sex hormones;
13. Reproductive physiology: fertilization, pregnancy, birth, lactation
14. Motivational mechanisms: causes of behavior; motivated behavior; neural regulation of behavior; hormonal regulation of behavior; emotions; examples of regulatory and non-regulatory behavior

1. Nervous system
Interactive 3D display of the human central nervous system on the computer; Observing the animal nervous system preparations under a light microscope
2. Brain
Isolation and section of the rat brain; preparation of the brain tissue for molecular analyses
3. Hearing
Visualization of sound and testing of its aspects with the computer program Visual Analyzer
4. Vision, smell and taste
Testing of the various aspects of the sensory perception using simple procedures (e.g. spatial organization of the taste receptors; the role of olfaction in taste determination; identification of a blind spot in a visual field, etc.)
5. Somatosensory system
Examining the function of haptic and thermoreceptors, and the role of proprioreceptors in balance and movement
6. Learning and memory
Examining various types of learning and memory by solving verbal and spatial tasks
7. Function of thyroid gland; simulation on PhysioEx
8. Female reproductive cycle: determination of estrus by vaginal smear
9. and 10. Correlation between emotions and autonomous reactions
Recording of autonomous reactions as a result of emotional reactions on the Biopac system; Analysis and interpretation of the results

1. Autonomous nervous system
2. Brain ageing
3. Similarities between bird song and human speech
4. Echolocation
5. Synesthesia
6. Navigation
7. CNS regeneration in vertebrates
8. How and how much do vertebrate animals sleep?
9. Animal intelligence
10. Pheromones
11. Hormonal and autonomous reaction to stress
12. Stress and the brain
13. Parental behavior
14. Farmacology of the nervous system
  1. Kolb B, Whishaw IQ (2011) An Introduction to Brain and Behavior. Worth Publishers, New York., 3nd ed.
  2. Sherwood L (2012). Essentials of Physiology. Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, Singapore, 4th ed.
2. semester
Mandatory course - Regular module - Physiology and Immunobiology
Consultations schedule: