BME 306-0-20: Quantitative Systems Physiology



PHYSICS 135-2; junior standing recommended


Functional/structural aspects of mammalian nervous system. Neural biophysics.

Who Takes It

Juniors and seniors in biomedical engineering take this course. Some undergraduates from other programs (e.g., physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering) also take it. Many students take BMD ENG 301 to become familiar with the nervous system and quantitative and engineering approaches to its study.

What It's About

301 imageThe course covers the nervous system from the molecular to the behavioral level. The neural resting potential, action potential signaling, synaptic signaling and plasticity and computation by neural circuits are all introduced. Sensory and motor systems are covered to provide insight into neural behavior at the systems level. The application of engineering and mathematical principles to the nervous system in normal and diseased states is covered in addition to basic principles and concepts of neuroanatomy. Students who complete this course should have a solid foundation from which to build a deep understanding of all aspects of the nervous system and brain function.


Electrical Properties of the Neuron

  • Resting Potential
  • Action Potential

Signaling, Synaptic Plasticity and Neural Circuits

  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Synaptic Plasticity
  • Neural Coding
  • Neural Circuits

Sensory Systems

  • Sensory Pathways
  • Tactile Sensation
  • Proprioception
  • Pain

Motor System

  • Motor Pathways
  • Spinal Circuits
  • Brainstem Circuits
  • Motor Cortex
  • Basal Ganglia and Cerebellum
  • Control of Movement


Purves et al. (eds.) Neuroscience, 5th edition. Sunderland MA: Sinauer Associates Inc., 2012