Reviews for course code PHYSL (Physiology)

PHYSL 403 – Neuroendoimmunomodulation (2016)

Difficulty: 2/5

Course Work: Midterm I (25%), Midterm II (25%), Final Exam (50%)

Instructor: Stephen Harvey (main instructor)

Review: The final exam is cumulative, however, the degree of difficulty is quite low. This course offers real life examples of how these three systems interplay with each other. There is no textbook needed and very straight forward. The key to this class is, do not worry about the key details, understand the concepts within each slide and always think about the bigger picture. When I say this I mean it quite literally, if you can give 5-8 example of a question relating to each system you are essentially good to go. If you have a strong 210/212 PHYSI background, this is the class for you.

His lectures typically follows the order of one class asking the class a bunch of questions pertaining to the topic that week and then one class of actually going over to slides. The former lecture is a critical lecture, where essentially all the examples that he brings up will be used as answers for the midterm. Memorize those and the test will be very easy and plus the average is an 3.7. Furthermore, the exam are written but they are a pick 3 out of 5 format giving you a choice to demonstrate your knowledge.

PHYSL 403: Neuroendoimmunomodulation (2018)

Difficulty: 2/5

Coursework: 2 Midterms (25% each), Final (50%)

Instructor: Dr. Shreen Hamza

Review: This is hands down one of the most interesting courses I have taken so far in my neuroscience career. If you enjoyed intro physiology and tend to be a more inquisitive student, this class is for you. It is an integrative take on how the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems work together and influence each other. The first two-thirds of the class is learning the different levels of modulation (nervous modulation of endocrine, endocrine modulation of nervous, immune modulation of endocrine, etc.). The last third of the class focuses on how all of these processes are integrated, as well as two examples of integrative physiology (pain and fever). The last third is when things start to get rocky and hard to follow, so it is absolutely necessary that you have a good grasp of the first two thirds of the class. It is also incredibly difficult to supplement your learning, as there is very little research and textbook material on this topic; however, Dr. Hamza is incredibly helpful and open to questions, and she provides very useful review opportunities to make sure you’re on track. The midterm exams had some multiple choice and fill in the blank but were for the most part written, and the final was entirely written. The midterms are not cumulative, but the final is – that being said, as this is an integrative physiology course, pretty much everything is relevant in some way.

PHYSL 405: Sensory Physiology (2014)

Difficulty: 4/5

Coordinator: Dr. G. D. Funk , Dr. Sauve

Assessment: Midterm and Final

Review: This was a very interesting class that covered the sensory systems including audition, vision, mechanoreception, nociception, proprioception, chemoreception, thermoreception and the vestibular system. While not all modules were covered equally (vision and proprioception/mechanoreception were more extensively studied), the course was taught by multiple experts of their respective sensory system, and thus reflected the experimental aspects of sensory physiology. Though each system was investigated in detail, emphasis in class (and exams) was placed on understanding the concept, application, and experimental methods that led to important discoveries. The class size was very small (around 14 people) and taught in a conference room which allowed for a very interactive learning environment, which was both enjoyable and effective. The midterm and final (consisting of short and long answer questions) were relatively challenging though it was clearly outlined what would be important for the assessments and what was expected of us. Overall the course was excellent! Both Dr. Funk and Dr. Sauve are very approachable and enthusiastic professors. If you can manage to get a seat, I strongly recommend taking this course!

PHYSL 405: Sensory Physiology (2015)

Difficulty: 3.7/5

Textbook: none

Exams: 35% midterm, 65% final

Review: I would almost recommend this class based solely on the fact that Dr. Sauve teaches the first half of this class (vision) – he is an amazing lecturer; really enthusiastic and always open to questions. The content itself of this class is not too difficult, but it’s easy to get caught up in the details (pro-tip: if he doesn’t mention it in class, you do not need to know the extraneous details presented on the slides). Class average on the midterm was 90% and it’s not curved so it’s definitely possible for everyone to do well in this class. One of the guest lectures so far was not that great, but fortunately all of their questions on the midterm came from his practice questions, so it wasn’t overly difficult. Paying attention in class and understanding concepts are the keys to doing well in this class.

PHYSL 405: Sensory Physiology  (2017)

Difficulty: 2.5/5

Course Work: Midterm (35%), Final Exam (65%)

Instructor: Yves Sauvé (primary instructor)

Review: Dr. Sauvé is one of the most passionate instructors I’ve come across. He genuinely wants the students in the class to enjoy what they are learning, and be interested in the topic, and succeed. Dr. Sauvé spent a class showing us in the lab the applications of some of the topics we learned in class, which really helped to clarify them. Both exams are 40% multiple choice, 60% written. Dr. Sauvé seems big on concepts, rather than tiny details, and writes his exam questions very fairly. The class covers vision, perception, touch, chemoreception, proprioception, pain, taste and smell, thermoception, as well as hearing and balance. I found it built quite well off of previous Neuro courses. The class is taught by several different profs, and they’ve all been really good. There were about 20 people in the class, so it’s a nice environment, with a pretty relaxed atmosphere where you can interact easily with the instructors. They all encourage you to participate, and are very good about answering questions and clarifying concepts anyone is confused about. Highly recommend!

PHYSL 444 – Current Topics in Neuroscience (2016)

Difficulty: 4/5

Course Work: Midterm (50%) Final (50%)

Instructors: Declan Ali, Peter Nguyen, Fred Tse, Clayton Dickson

Review: This is a paper-based course (you read papers and discuss them in class), but is not based on current neuroscience; the papers are most written within the last 10-30 years. This is quite a challenging course, especially as you will be pitted against roughly 10 others honours students in a class which assigns grades relative to the scores of other students. However, you will learn interesting material, be challenged, and learn to dissect a paper with ease.