Bio 342 Human Physiology

updated 1 December 2015 at 10:57 am

All lectures meet in Milliken 122 (The Pit)

Section A 8:30-9:20 MWF with Dr. Davis

Section B 9:30-10:20 MWF with Dr. Moeller

Section C 10:30-11:20 MWF with Dr. Moeller


All labs are in Milliken 206

Monday Lab 2-5 with Dr. Davis

Tuesday Lab 2:30-5:30 with Dr. Moeller

Wednesday Lab 2-5 with Dr. Davis

Thursday Lab 2:30-5:30 with Dr. Moeller


Dr. G.R. Davis Office RMSC 203E ext 4621 Dr. Davis's website

Dr. John Moeller Office RMSC 203D ext 4627 Dr. Moeller's website


Each instructor maintains a Moodle site for their sections of the course.
Very important information and assignments will be posted and accepted on those Moodle sites.

Check the Moodle Site frequently!

Students may attend only the lecture for which they are registered unless there are exceptional circumstances
and then only with prior approval from both instructors.


TEXT: Human Physiology by Vander, Sherman, & Luciano, 12th ed., 2011 or 13th ed., 2014




Week by Week list of Lab and Links for Human Physiology

Lab: Room 206 West Milliken ............Lab Section Photos


Lab for Week 1: 31 August-4 September : Using Live Animals in the Physiology Laboratory and Data Collection and Analysis with JMP 12 for Cutaneous Point Localization.

No advance preparation necessary. We will discuss ethical and other issues related to using live animals in teaching laboratories in preparation for our first exeriments next week.

We'll also collect data from each other that will allow us to evaluation the acuity of localizing a stimulus applied to the skin of the hand and to the calf. Wear clothing that will allow your lab partner access to your calf just below the knee. Data sheets provided in lab.

To establish the test order (hand or calf first) and the hand that holds the marking pen use these parameters:

If the penultimate digit of your SSN is EVEN, keep the marking pin in your dominant hand.
If the penultimate digit of your SSN is ODD, keep the marking pin in your non-dominant hand.

If the Last Digit of your SSN is EVEN, test your calf first, then your hand.
If the Last Digit of your SSN is ODD, test your hand first, then your calf.

Mark the origin (X = site of each of the three stimuli with the von Frey hair) with the black Ultra-fine Sharpie Marker.

Red pen for 1st trial, Green for 2nd, and Blue for 3rd trial.

Test the calf on the same side of the body as the hand that is holding the marking pen.

Use the calibrated Von Frey hair. Be sure to record the calibration of the VF hair you use.

Bring a computer with JMP 12 statistical software that you know is working.  You'll analysis how accurately you and your lab partners can localize a tactile stimulus on your hand and calf.  Find the JMP installation software under the Biology Tab within the Technology Tab in MyWofford.


Lab for Week 2: September 7-11: Reflexes in Frogs, Introduction to dissection and electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves.



Lab for Week 3: September 14-18: Case Studies in Endocrinology

Bring your textbook and computer to lab.

Bring your textbook (and laptop computer with wireless internet connection, if you wish) and be ready to do some problem-based learning! Each lab group will tackle several cases and will be responsible for presenting one case study to the class (chosen randomly during the lab). By the end of lab, everyone should be thoroughly familiar with all four cases and have a fuller understanding of the homeostatic mechanisms of the endocrine system and the negative feedback loops involved. We will work on several of the cases on The Endocrine Case Studies Webpage. There's a printable version of the five cases here.


Lab for Week 4: September 21-25: Creating Case Studies for Digestive System.

Before coming to lab: Download the questions for Chapter 15 and answer them as you read Chapter 15 The Digestion and Aborption of Food. It is important to have sufficient background to create a case study base on a disorder of the digestive system.

Bring your textbook and computer to lab.

Your lab table group will be given one GI disorder to develop into a case study using your textbook, the appropriate sections of the on-line Merck Manual and any other resources you find suitable. Follow the general format of the Endocrine Case Studies from last week: introduce the patient and their symptoms, the test that were conducted and the results of those tests, questions that lead to a diagnosis and treatment, the rationale for the treatment, and a short- and long-term prognosis.

Learn about your disease from good sources. Your main resource should be The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy Healthcare Professions Edition (

The lab period consists of six intervals:

Interval 1: You'll have 50 minutes to create your case on a jump drive (provided by the instructor.) Name your filed on the case number, NOT THE DISORDER. Create a second file that has the answers to your case and copy that file to the professor's master jump drive.

What are the typical symptoms?

If you provide lab tests, provide the patient's results and the typical/normal range.

Are there changes? Stages? Severity?


Etiology clues?

What follow-up test are done? Their results?

Your questions should be about the above plus.......

Organs/tissues/cells of interest and their normal function and malfunction in your case

Prognosis and treatment

Any further tests?

Remember.... these cases are intended to be an interesting way to learn the physiology of the GI System.


Interval 2: 15-20 minutes. Your group will review a case you haven't seen and prepare to offer editiorial suggestions and improvements according to table 1 below. The purpose of this phase to provide helpful feedback to the case creators. Were the questions clear? Were they in a proper sequence? Did the questions lead to a diagnosis? Did the case serve to illustrate principles of GI physiology? Does the case emphasize the functions of the organs and cell types involved? Does the case involve hormones? If so, does the treatment involve drugs that interact with those hormonal systems?

Table 1

Group #
Creates Case #
Editors for Group/Case #












Interval 3: 5-10 minutes to give and receive feedback about your cases.

Interval 4: 15-20 minutes to work with your group to make corrections, revisions, clarifications, and improvements based on peer review.
All corrections will be made on the jump drive file. Update your answer key file and copy it to your group's jump drive.

Interval 5: ~20 minutes. You'll give your revised case to a naive group to solve, while your group solves a case that you haven't seen.
Table 2 shows the pairings:

Table 2

Solve Case from Group/Case #












Interval 6: Each group is allocated 5-10 minutes to present case you solved to the entire lab so that all groups will have information about all five GI disorders.

As you leave, give your group's jump drive to the professor with two files: The case study and the answer key.





Lab for Week 5: Sept 28-Oct 2: Measuring Action Potential Conduction Velocity in Human Ulnar Nerves (2 hours) and
Diagnosing the Location of Spinal Cord Injuries based Sensory Deficits (1 hour)

Detailed instructions to be provided during lab; no advance readings necessary.

Students will use electronic stimulators to evoke action potentials in their ulnar nerve and measure the conduction velocity in meters per second with PowerLab equipment.

Determining the level and extent of spinal cord injuries by evaulating sensory deficit.:

Your lab instructor will review the anatomical pathways that convey pain, temperature, touch and proprioceptive information to the brain (see. Fig. 7-19 p. 201 (12th edition) or p. 206 ( 13th edition) of Vander text and based on that information, groups of students will determine the level and extent of spinal cord injury in seven cases.



Lab for Week 6: October 5-9: Visual System Part 1 and Sensory Physiology II and Check Answers to Spinal Cord Injury Cases.

For the first part of lab, we'll use a powerpoint file and demonstrations to look in detail at the visual system.

Prepare by reading section 7B.2 p. 202-212 in the 12th edition of the textbook or Section 7.6 p.207-217 in the 13th edition.
The lab period will be a combination of lecture and lab demonstrations and experiments.
Students should print a copy of the Visual System powerpoint before lab for note-taking during lab:

Visual System Powerpont file for students

Study Questions for the Visual System


Sensory Physiology II

Measure two-point discrimination of the back of hand, finger, calf and cheek using two point touch discrimination test protocol. Data sheets are provided in lab.

Follow up from Spinal Cord Injury Cases:

Answer keys will be available in lab for student to compare their answers to the seven cases of spinal cord injury from last week's lab.



Lab for Week 7: of October 12-16:
Visual System Part 2 and Sensory Physiology III Experiment and Statistical Analysis of Sensory Data.

Bring a computer with a working version of JMP statistical Analysis software to lab.


Students should print a copy of this powerpoint before lab for note-taking during lab:

For the first part of lab, we'll use a powerpoint file and demonstrations to look in more detail at the visual system.
By the end, you should be able to answer the remaining Study Questions for the Visual System.

Sensory Physiology III

We are working on a new protocol to assess cutaneous sensory adapatation. Details will be provided.


Lab for Week 7: October 19-23 : Muscle Physiology Experiments I: Isometric Contractions in Frog Muscles

Bring your textbook to lab.

Students will stimulate frog muscles to produce isometric twitch, summation, wave summation, tetanus, and measure time to fatigue.

Students can prepare by studying Figures 9-16, 9-18, 9-20 and 9-23 on pages 264-269 of the text.

Objectives and Instructions for this lab. Additional information will be provided during the lab period.



Lab for Week 8: October 26-30:
Muscle Physiology Experiments II: Using PowerLab to record Twitches, Summation, and Fatigue in Human Muscles,
Frog Muscle Lab Data Review,
Two Point Discrimination Data Review,
APCV Data Review, and
Groups will present the results of their statistical analysis of the Point Localization Experiments completed two weeks ago to the entire lab.

Some students could bring their laptop computers to lab to work on the JMP statistical analysis.

In the first part of lab, pairs of students will use the PowerLab equipment to examine fatigue in muscles responsible for hand grip and contemplate the various factors responsible for muscle fatigue.

Instructions for Muscle Fatigue (Photocopies of this handout will be at each lab table.)


Meanwhile, students waiting for their turn on the PowerLabs will answer questions to reveiw Frog Muscle Data from previous labs and Action Potential Conduction Velocity Data and Ascending Pathways.

Questions for Reviewing Frog Muscle Data and the associated Spread Sheet with data from the labs of fall 2015.

Summary results and questions for our fall 2015 Two Point Discrimination Experiment.

Questions for Action Potential Conduction Velocity and Ascending Pathways and the associated Spreadsheet Sheet with APCV data.

Each table is to use JMP Statistical Software to evaluate a question related to APCV and report the means, SEMs, n values, and p value for their results.

Table 1: Based on our experiments in lab, are there any differences in APCV in human ulnar nerves based on gender?

Table 2: Is APCV faster in dominant arms?

Table 3: Is APCV faster in men those who consider themselves “athletic”?

Table 4: Is APCV faster in women those who consider themselves “athletic”?

Table 5: Is APCV slower in the arms of those who report “damage?”

Table 6: Is APCV slower in individuals who've been under general anesthesia?

Each table will be given a question to evaluate with JMP and will summarize their work on a page to be turned in. That page should state the Table number, the question addressed, the data that was selected for analysis (which, if any subjects were excluded and why; which values of AP CV were used ; number of subjects in each group, means, standard errors of the means for each group, the p value. The sheet should also contain a concise conclusion statement. Students should be prepared to share their findings on APCV with the rest of the lab students.


Lab for Week 9: Nov 2-6: Physiology of the Frog Heart

We'll see how temperature and several pharmacological agents affect heart rate and myocardial contractility in frogs. Based on the changes in heart rate, you'll deduce which drugs were applied (EPI, atropine, ACh.) We'll attempt to produce 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree heart block and determine where the pacemaker(s) is(are) in these frog hearts. This is another long lab, but time flies when we're having fun! You'll receive all the instructions you need during lab but it would be helpful to reveiw the effects of EPI, atropine, and ACh (Fig. 12.9) before coming to lab and to look over Chapter 12 Section B part 12.3 Anatomy of the Heart & 12.4 Heartbeat Coordination especially Figure 12.11 Sequence of cardiac excitation.

This will be the last opportunity to pith a frog this semester so those students wanting to do so should arrive in lab 20 minutes early and give your lab instructor advance notice that you'd like to participate in pithing.


Lab for Week 10: Nov 9-13: Human Electrocardiograms, Blood Pressure, and Heart Sounds

Come dressed to exercise! Bring a calculator and your textbook. Wear clothes and shoes that you can run in comfortably.

You'll be recording electrocardiograms on each other at rest and immediately following exercise to examine the changes in the waveforms as a result of exercise. By the end of lab, you'll be able to read and interpret EKGs and gain additional practice by making some diagnoses based on several sample EKGs recorded from your predecessors. In addition, you'll measure blood pressure. It will be a long, busy, and enjoyable lab. Here's our webpage for this lab which lists the sections of the text to read and instructions for conducting the experiments.

A really cool website dealing with heart sounds and heart murmurs.

A convenient MS Word.doc data sheet for recording your interval measurements.


Lab for Week 11: November 16-20: Urinalysis


Urinalysis Lab

Drink plenty of water on the day of the experiment. Avoid eating or drinking caffeine or theophylline (all soft drinks, tea, chocolate).

On the day of your lab, empty your bladder completely an hour or two before lab time so that you can collect a control urine sample at the beginning of lab before ingesting a test beverage.

Lab will be rather hectic with collecting and analyzing urine samples every thirty minutes, so it is wise to be familiar with the instructions prior to arriving in lab.


A real hands-on lab! Bring a Calculator! Limit your fluid intake to non-alcoholic, non-caffeine beverages the day of your lab. Arrive in lab early if at all possible. You'll collect a urine specimen (from yourself) to analyze the volume and titrate for sodium content. Then, you'll consume 80 ml of a strong salt solution or 800 ml of a dilute salt solution or 800 of distilled water and collect and analyze urine samples every thirty minutes. You'll measure the water and salt excretion for the duration of the lab to see how much of the salt and water you injested has been excreted. At the end, we'll look at our data and see whether our results agree with the predictions from negative feedback loops. We'll diagram the feedback loops during lab in between our data collection and analysis.

A student may choose not to consume a test beverage. Furthermore, if a student even suspects that consuming one of the test beverages will interact with a medication or otherwise compromise their health, they must not participate in the experiment. Those who choose not to participate need not provide any explanation; it is assumed that there will be a sufficient number of voluntary participants such that the lab data will allow us to evaluate how the kidneys respond to various perturbations.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Empty your bladder an hour or two before coming to lab. Note the time! The first urine sample you take will be the control, and it is important to know the interval of time between your last urination and the collection of the control sample.

Detailed Lab Instructions for Urinalysis in Word.doc format

Pictures that show the procedure for titration.



No labs week of Nov 23 due to Thanksgiving Break


Lab for Week 12: Nov 30- Dec 4: Respiration Case Studies

We'll do one real-world case study (Case Study # 1) that illustrate the essential concepts of respiratory physiology. In the process we'll measure respiratory rate and tidal volume and conduct a pulmonary function test on at least one member of each lab group using the PowerLab hardware and software.

Before coming to lab, you should read and study the sections in the textbook that deal with
Lung volumes and capacities, dead space and alveolar ventilation (p. 459 and especially Figure 13.18);
Exchanges of Gases in Alveoli and Tissues (p. 462 and figure 13.20 and 13.21);
Partial pressures and diffusion of gases in liquids ( Table 13.6);
Matching ventilation and blood flow in alveoli;
Transport of Oxygen in Blood (dissolved and bound) and of extreme importance is Figure 13.26 the Oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve.


Instructions for the pulmonary function tests are here. Read these instructions before coming to lab, but don't print out this long document. If you don't read it before lab, you're likely to be confused by the large number of steps and terms.
A printed copy will be provided in lab.

Bring your calculators and textbook to lab. Respiratory physiologist use many equations. Don't allow yourself to be overwhelmed with numbers to the extent that you miss the "big picture." You'll be told which equations should be memorized.

Print out Case Study # 1 and bring to lab. Time will not permit us to cover all three case studies during lab but we'll do a good job with Case 1 which has been extensively revised for clarity.


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Cumulative Final Exams: You may sign up to take the exam at any of the following times if there are not conflicts with other exams.

Section A Davis Tuesday 2-5 pm
Section B Moeller Thurday 9-12
Section C Moeller Tuesday 9-12.