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PSL 431

Human physiology i


Molecular basis of physiological control systems, physiology of excitable cells, autonomic nervous system, function and regulation of cardiovascular and respiratory systems.


1) READ BEFORE EACH CLASS so you are prepared for the lecture. Having some idea of the concepts will help you make the most of the lecture period.

2) REVIEW YOUR NOTES OFTEN. Ideally do this after each lecture and again before the next one. Spending an hour out of class for each hour in lecture will help a lot.

3) STAY CURRENT. Each concept builds upon the one before, so you need to keep up with the material. DO NOT wait until the week before an exam to study--- you will be lost.

4) PUT IT INTO YOUR OWN WORDS. Don’t just passively look at lecture notes or listen to a lecture, that isn’t enough. You need to actively work with the material to learn it at a sophisticated level. Past students suggest the following techniques to master the material: • After you’ve listened to lecture and reviewed it a few times, Re-write each lecture to explain concepts in your own words / pictures. Do this within 1 week of the lecture. Handwriting works best for this because it gives your brain some time to synthesize what you are trying to learn. (Seriously, re-writing / drawing out each lecture in your own words is Dr. L’s #1 suggestion for PSL-431 success!!!) • Then, test yourself by covering up everything but the title from a lecture slide: can you describe the main “point” or process on the slide? If not, re-write and study till you can! • Teach a concept to someone else (this will test if you really know it…)

5) WRITE OUT ANSWERS TO THE LEARNING OBJECTIVES. This is the material that instructors are expecting you to understand for the exam, so you should know it!

6) INTEGRATE CONCEPTS. Simply memorizing the notes will not enable you to pass this class. Really. You need to be able to deeply understand the pathways, mechanisms and connect them to other topics/mechanisms. Re-writing lectures and recitations will help.

7) PRACTICE MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTIONS. The format of the exams/quizzes can trip students up. Practice with sample multiple choice questions in advance. Tips for this: • Carefully read the question. What is it asking for? • Next, look at each option as if it were a true / false question. • Write out WHY each option is true or false. What makes it false, if anything? • This process will help you identify the right option by understanding why the other options are not right.

8) ASK QUESTIONS AND DO IT SOON! Let your instructor or TA know if you are having trouble with a concept: we can’t help if we don’t know that there is a problem.