Fall 2021 - BPK 306 D100

Human Physiology II (3)

Class Number: 5806

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 10:30 AM – 11:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2021
    12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    BPK 207. Corequisite: BPK 305. Majors from outside BPK require BPK 205 (or BISC 305), MBB 231 (or 201), MATH 155 (or 152) plus permission of the instructor.



A detailed examination of the physiology and pathophysiology of the nervous system, skeletal muscle and connective tissue. The course focuses on integration of physiological mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and systems levels.


Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed upon regulatory mechanisms that stabilize or otherwise adjust function to suit the organism's needs. 

This course will use Canvas. Lecture slides will be posted before or soon after each lecture. It is expected that you will generate your own notes during and after class. Learning is an active process and multiple passes through the course content will help you develop the necessary skills to work with the material. All verbal or written material, covered in lectures or tutorials or found in required supplemental readings, is testable. In tutorials, you will solve problems that require you to use material learned in lectures. Each examination will include at least one question derived from relevant tutorials. 

13 weeks; 3 lecture hours and 1 tutorial hour per week


  • Neuromuscular Junction, Excitation-Contraction Coupling, Cross-Bridge Cycling
  • Muscle Physiology, Muscle Fatigue and Muscle Disease
  • Nervous System and Electrophysiological/Neurophysiological Techniques
  • Generation and Propagation of Action Potentials
  • Sensory Receptors and Signal Transduction
  • Synaptic Plasticity, Learning and Memory
  • Cortical and Brainstem Control of Movement, Cerebellum, Basal Ganglia
  • Auditory, Vestibular, Gustatory and Olfactory Systems
  • Physiology of the Visual System
  • Higher Brain Functions, Neural Networks
  • Neurophysiological Rhythms, Sleep
  • Neurological Disease


  1. Describe the molecular and cellular processes underlying and coupling motor neuron excitation, muscle fibre contraction and force generation.   
  2. Explain the aerobic and anaerobic metabolic pathways critical for muscle function.   
  3. Explain the physiological basis of muscle fatigue, recruitment, disease and plasticity.   
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the anatomy and function of the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system and autonomic nervous system.   
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of cellular biophysics and neurophysiology, and apply quantitative models to the characterization of relevant processes such as resting, passive, and active membrane potentials. 
  6. Explain the role of sensory and motor pathways to somatosensory and motor function, and describe how injury or disruption of these pathways correspond to specific functional deficits.   
  7. Explain how movement is controlled by the central nervous system, including reflexes, voluntary motor movement and eye movements.   
  8. Explain the physiological and anatomical bases of auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory and proprioceptive function, as well as the relationship between specific pathological symptoms and specific damage or disruption of these systems.   
  9. Describe the role of the cerebral cortex, neurophysiological rhythms and brain networks in higher cortical processes including perception and cognition.   
  10. Explain how in vitro and in vivo experimental techniques can be applied to answer scientific questions regarding the physiology of the nervous system and skeletal muscle. 
  11. Describe the mechanisms of pathophysiological conditions associated with disruption to diverse regions of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.   
  12. Integrate knowledge to solve novel problems in neurophysiology or skeletal muscle physiology, including experimental design.  


  • Weekly Tutorials 10%
  • Midterm 1 20%
  • Midterm 2 20%
  • Midterm 3 20%
  • Final Exam 30%


Tutorials will begin in the second week of classes and are a compulsory component of the course. Tutorial participation is mandatory and will facilitate an active learning environment to complement material presented in lectures. Tutorial material is examinable and will be featured on the midterm and final exams. The policy for missed tutorials is the same as the policy for missed exams. Tutorials will not be held during the weeks following midterm exams.



Berne & Levy Physiology, BM Koeppen & BA Stanton, Editors, 6th edition, updated, Mosby 2010. (QP34.5 P496 1020). This and two other recent textbooks are available in the library: Medical Physiology, WF Boron & EL Boulpaep, eds, 2nd edition, Saunders, 2009 (QP 34.5 B65 2009), Textbook of Medical Physiology, AC Guyton and JE Hall, 12th edition, Saunders, 2011 (QP 34.5 G9 2011). 

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.