Nerve and Muscle (BMED2402)


This unit of study begins with a description and analysis of the basic anatomical organization of the musculoskeletal and nervous (central and peripheral) systems. The structure and function of excitable cells, muscle and nerve, will lead to a discussion of membrane potential, synaptic transmission and neuromuscular junction. After consideration of the mechanisms of contraction, the way in which nerve signals are integrated and coordinated are covered in more detail. The receptors involved in normal modes of communications are discussed. This is complemented by discussion of the effects of drugs on the nervous system, with special reference to pain and analgesics. An appreciation is gained of how toxins and infections can disturb the normal neuromuscular coordination. Thus, pharmacological and pathological considerations are studied with relevance to the physiological concepts. Various senses such as vision and hearing are introduced. In practical classes, students perform experiments to illustrate the functioning of motor control, coordination and the senses. In addition, students extend their anatomical and histological expertise by examining prosections and prepared microscope slides. Practical classes also include the effects of analgesics on experimental pain and case studies of tetanus and botulism.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2 lectures and 2-4 hrs prac/tut per week.


One 2hr theory exam (60%), two in-semester assessments (40%).


Human Physiology: An integrated approach Silverthorn D Pearson/Benjamin Cummings, 6th Edition, 2013; The Anatomy Coloring Book Kapit W and Elson LM Benjamin Cummings, 3rd Edition, 2002; Prescott's Microbiology Willey JM, Sherwood LM and Woolverton CJ McGraw-Hill, 8th Edition, 2010; Histology: A text and Atlas Ross MH and Pawlina W Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, 6th Edition, 2010; Medical Pharmacology at a Glance Neal MJ Blackwell Science, 7th Edition, 2012; Rang and Dale's Pharmacology Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower RJ and Henderson G Churchill Livingstone, 7th Edition, 2012; Robbins Basic Pathology Kumar V, Cotran KS and Robbins SL Saunders, Philadelphia, 8th Edition, 2008

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


42 credit points of Junior Bachelor of Medical Science units of study


BIOL2906 or BIOL2016 or PHSI2906 or PHSI2905 or PCOL2011 or MICR2922 or ANAT2008 or BIOL2916 or MICR2021 or BCHM2072 or MICR2921 or ANAT2010 or ANAT2910 or MICR2022 or BIOL2006 or PHSI2006 or NUTR2912 or BMED2806 or PHSI2005 or NUTR2911 or IMMU2101 or BCHM2972 

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.