Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Nervous System 1

UM LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DEPARTMENT Faculty of Medicine and Surgery

DESCRIPTION Important aspects and fundamental concepts of normal neurological function and Anatomy, related to posture, head and neck, provide the core material of the unit.

Emphasis is placed on the clinical relevance of important physiologic and anatomical principles. Moreover, clinical cases (including radiological material) are included to assist the student in integrating the topic.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims at:
- providing pre-clinical medical students with an integrated approach to the study of the neurological systems involved in posture, as well as the associated anatomy of the head, neck and vertebral column;
- providing the anatomical and physiological concepts which are involved in the head and neck;
- providing common clinical conditions which can affect the head and neck.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- describe the anatomy of the vertebral column, neck, skull, scalp and face, parotid and temporal regions, facial muscles and innervation, nose, sinuses, mouth, tongue, pharynx, larynx;
- describe the functional anatomy of the eyeball and orbit including its contained structures;
- describe the functional anatomy of the outer, middle and inner ear including their contained structures;
- explain the production and circulation of CSF;
- explain the general structure of the cerebrum and its functional divisions;
- explain the pathways of sound in the ear;
- discuss the receptors and neural pathways involved in hearing;
- discuss the auditory cortex and sound perception;
- describe the anatomy of the eye;
- describe the retinal circuitry;
- describe the process of phototransduction;
- describe the retinal circuits for detecting luminance change;
- describe the contribution of retinal circuits to light adaptation;
- outline the central projections of retinal ganglion cells;
- outline the basis for stereopsis;
- describe the properties of M and P ganglion cells;
- describe the properties of neurons within the primary visual cortex; and
- describe the functional organisation of the extrastriate visual areas.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- identify anatomical structures related to the head, neck, and spinal cord;
- describe the functional anatomy of the eyeball, orbit and the outer, middle and inner ear;
- outline methods of clinical examination of the associated anatomical structures;
- outline methods of neurological examination of face;
- identify the receptors and neural pathways involved in hearing; and
- differentiate between visual deficits caused by visual processing problems in the retina and the visual cortex.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main texts - Physiology:

- "Neuroscience" (Ed. Purves; Sinauer).
- "Textbook of Medical Physiology" (Ed. Guyton & Hall; Saunders).

Main texts - Anatomy:

- "Clinical Neuroanatomy and Related Neuroscience" (Ed. Fitzgerald & Folan-Curran; Saunders).
- Grays Dissection guide for Human Anatomy, Morton, Peterson and Albertine.
- Imaging Atlas of Human Anatomy, Weir, Jamie and Abrahams, Peter.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
MCQ and Written Examination (3 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Ruben Cauchi
Giuseppe Di Giovanni
Richard Muscat
Edith Vassallo
Neville Vassallo
Christian Zammit


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.