Postgraduate Specialisation in Sport and Exercise Medicine

Physiology 3 (2019/2020)

Course code
Mario Rosario Buffelli

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff
DIDATTICA FRONTALE 1 BIO/09-PHYSIOLOGY not yet allocated Mario Rosario Buffelli
ATTIVITA' PRATICA 4 BIO/09-PHYSIOLOGY not yet allocated not yet allocated

Learning outcomes

The course aims to deepen the knowledge related to the neurophysiological mechanisms of motor control. In particular, the student at the end of the course must know:
1. the plasticity of the motor units;
2. the spinal circuits involved in the execution of voluntary and reflex motor activity;
3. the mechanisms underlying postural control;
4. the role of the basal ganglia and cerebellum in motor control and learning;
5. the organization of motor circuits assigned to voluntary movement;
6. sensory-motor integration at the cortical level during voluntary movement;
7. exercise-induced plasticity of the motor and somatosensory cortex.


1. Motorneurons and motor units: order of recruitment of motorneurons and functional properties of the different motor units.
2. Effects of strength and endurance training on the properties of motor units.
3. Muscle proprioceptors: neuromuscular spindles and Golgi tendon organs.
4. Motor functions of the spinal cord and spinal reflexes.
5. Brain trunk structures involved in postural adjustments.
6. Organization and functions of the cerebellum and basal ganglia.
7. Organization, function and plasticity of the motor cortex.
8. Connections between the motor, sensory and associative cortex.

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral exam: the exam will focus on the topics of the lessons and will evaluate the knowledge of the mechanisms underlying the motor control.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
McArdle Fisiologia dell’esercizio - L’essenziale Piccin 2019 978-88-299-2991-7
Kandel e coll. Principi di Neuroscienze (Edizione 4) Ambrosiana 2015 9788808184450

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