Objectives-3, BIO 3360


  1. Define sensation.
  2. Describe a receptor and explain its role in sensory physiology.
  3. Describe a receptor potential. Indicate whether it is a graded or all-or-none potential.
  4. List the factors that influence the size of a receptor potential.
  5. Define stimulus transduction and explain how it occurs at the cellular level.
  6. Elaborate on the four features of the coding of sensory information.
  7. Define receptive field and two point discrimination.
  8. Explain how the size of the receptor field influences our ability to localize a stimulus.
  9. Define convergence and how it influences sensory localization and precision.
  10. Describe lateral inhibition and explain how it can “sharpen” a stimulus and help in its location.


  1. Name the receptors involved in vision.
  2. Describe the properties of light including their relationship to other electromagnetic waves and refraction.
  3. Name four different eye arrangements in different animals.
  4. Describe the location and function of the following features: cornea, lens, iris, pupil, retina, optic nerve.
  5. Describe the effect of sympathetic vs. parasympathetic stimulation on the size of the pupil.
  6. Describe the following retina features: macula lutea, fovea centralis, pigmented layer and optic disk.
  7. Compare and contrast rods and cones, including their photopigment, their relative location on the retina, their numbers and their sensitivity to light.
  8. Name the photoreceptors that are abundant in the fovea centralis. Describe the level of convergence in this location and how that relates to visual acuity.
  9. Name the vitamin needed in the synthesis of rhodopsin. Name the two main components of rhodopsin.
  10. Describe the resting membrane potential, including all factors that contribute to it, in the rod during the dark.
  11. Describe the molecular changes in rhodopsin once light stimulates it. Include in your description the resulting changes in adjacent neural components such as the bipolar and ganglion cells.
  12. Describe bleaching and explain how bright lights would make the rods inoperative.
  13. Describe the function of cones and how three colors of cones can result in the sensation of a wide variety of colors.


  1. Elaborate on examples of mechanoreception.
  2. Name the general type of receptor found in mechanoreception.
  3. Define mechanoreception.
  4. Describe how mechanoreceptors lead to an action potential in a sensory neuron.
  5. Describe the structure of the hair receptor including the terms kinocilium and stereocilia.
  6. Explain the difference between stereocilia leaning towards and away from the kinocilium.
  7. Define sound.
  8. Describe how loudness and pitch are determined.
  9. Elaborate on the hearing pathway. Include the terms external ear, middle ear, inner ear, ear canal, tympanic membrane, malleus, incus, stapes, oval window, round window, scala tympani, scala vestibuli, basilar membrane, spiral organ (= organ of Corti), cochlea and cochlear duct.
  10. Differentiate perilymph from endolymph.
  11. Explain the mechanism to equalize pressure on either side of the tympanic membrane.
  12. Explain the membrane potentials in the hair cells on the basilar membrane.
  13. Describe the length of the hair cells in the cochlear duct and how this relates to sound wave frequency.
  14. Describe the statocyst in the lobster and explain its purpose.
  15. Name the membranous portion containing receptors located in the vertebrate vestibule.
  16. Describe the receptor for head position, linear acceleration and deceleration.
  17. Define otolith.
  18. Describe the membranous portion containing receptors located in the vertebrate semicircular canals.
  19. Describe the receptor for rotational acceleration and deceleration.


  1. Compare and contrast skeletal and cardiac muscle
  2. Describe the function of the intercalated disk.
  3. Describe why the cells of the SA node are termed the pacemaker cells.
  4. Describe the electrical changes of the pacemaker cells.
  5. Trace the pathway of electrical conduction throughout the heart.
  6. List general functions of circulatory systems.
  7. Compare an open and a closed circulatory pathway.
  8. Name and draw the waves of a typical Lead II electrocardiogram. Indicate what happens during each EKG wave.


  1. Describe the cellular responses to an action potential in cardiac muscle.
  2. Trace the blood flow from the vena cava, through the heart and lungs, to the aorta in a mammalian heart. Include all heart chambers and valves. Indicate the oxygenation status in each structure.
  3. Name the two general phases of the cardiac cycle.
  4. Explain the origin of the lub-dupp heart sounds.
  5. Define cardiac output and relate it to stroke volume and heart rate.
  6. Describe the Frank-Starling law.
  7. Explain how changes in heart rate occur and how this influences cardiac output.
  8. Analyze the relationship between end diastolic volume and end systolic volume including mechanisms to adjust both values.


  1. Define flow and elaborate on its relationship to both pressure and resistance.
  2. Define pressure and indicate its relative value in the main types of blood vessels.
  3. Distinguish between laminar and turbulent flow.
  4. Define resistance and indicate three mechanisms that influence resistance.
  5. Describe the relationship between vessel radius and resistance to blood flow.
  6. Indicate where blood velocity is the slowest.
  7. Compare and contrast the three main types of blood vessels.
  8. Name the blood vessel associated with resistance, primary blood reservoir, diffusion, valves, elastic recoil, high capacitance (compliance).


  1. Differentiate between vasoconstriction and vasodilation.
  2. Describe the local factors affecting the arteriole smooth muscle.
  3. Describe the neurogenic and hormonal mechanisms resulting in vasoconstriction/vasodilation.
  4. Describe the renin-angiotensin relationship and its affect on vasoconstriction.
  5. Characterize the three major types of capillaries.
  6. Describe 4 mechanisms of movement across the capillary into the interstitial fluid.
  7. Describe water movement across the capillary. Integrate the significance of the lymphatic system into your answer.


  1. Describe the characteristics of a vein.
  2. Explain how veins can have decent blood flow in spite of very low pressures.
  3. Describe the relationship of mean arterial pressure to cardiac output and total peripheral resistance.
  4. Describe the relationship of volume to pressure of blood. Name the hormone, which is made by the brain and released from the pituitary gland, that acts on the kidneys to promote water reabsorption, thus increasing blood volume.
  5. Explain the baroreceptor reflex, locate its primary receptors and indicate how the reflex helps to overcome the effects of gravity on the circulatory system.