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Lab 1 Introduction

Lab 1 Introductory lab

This first laboratory session will be divided into
three parts. Part I will be an orientation to the
laboratory and the course as a whole, you will
be given a short talk and then expected to work
through your laboratory manual. After Part I
half the class will work through Part II and the
other half with Part III. Allocation to either part
will be made according to your seating location
in the lab. Part II is an introduction to
anatomical terminology and the human
skeleton. Part III is an introduction to
physiological data collection using the LabTutor
computer system.
All future labs require pre-lab preparation. The
first page of each lab will have a section called
Pre-lab Preparation. You will get more out of
labs if you prepare by reviewing related lectures
and textbook material and completing tasks
where indicated.

Part 1
Laboratory Orientation

A Course Information
You have already been introduced to this course via
the course outline at the start of the lab manual.
It is important that you understand the structure and
organization of this course in order that you make
the most of the learning opportunities on offer.
You will sit in the same seat as you are sitting
today, on every day that you attend a laboratory
During laboratory sessions there will be instances
when half of the group complete a task first and the
other half second. When this occurs you will be
divided according to your seating location.
Those seated nearest the main entrance are sitting
in the East seats and the remaining students are in
the West seats.
Class representatives serve an important role in this
paper. Class reps meet with staff three times during
the semester and relay comments from the class to
the staff in order to improve the course.

Task A.1

This session will comprise an introduction to
the course and laboratory protocols.


From what you already know of the course

structure, construct a graphical representation of
the major components of the course including
assessments. This could be a mind map, a simple
table or a diagram. You should include the three
main learning opportunities used in this course
(clue: you are attending one of them right now!).

By the end of part I you should be able to:


Describe the course outline and the

purpose of the laboratory sessions.


Identify the HUBS 191 administrative

staff and the HUBS 191 office.


Ensure a safe working environment in

the laboratory for you and those around


Navigate the HUBS 191 Blackboard



Outline the legal, ethical and moral

considerations involved in using human
and animal material.


Describe learning styles

effectiveness of each.



Task complete

Explain the purpose and format of the

check-in and check-out process.


Lab 1 Introduction

Question A.1

Question B.1

What are the three disciplines that feature in


Where is the HUBS Office?

Microbiology, Physiology, Anatomy.

This is room GO1 on the ground floor of

Microbiology, and is next to the HUBS lab.

Question A.2

Question B.2

List three reasons why the labs are productive.

How can you identify the lab supervisor and the


eg. Bridging the gap between learning and

theory, teaching theoretical material, training
in observation, deduction, measurement and

Question A.3
Make a note of your seat position. Are you at
an East seat or a West seat? What are the
names of the two people sitting next to you?

Question A.4

Red lab coats for the lab supervisor, blue lab

coats for the demonstrators.

C Laboratory Safety
It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure a safe
working environment for ourselves and also for
those around us. In order to achieve this the
following rules must be observed:
Shoes must be worn in the laboratory at all
times. Lab coats must be worn unless you are
instructed otherwise.

Who are your class representatives?

Question C.1
Why are open toed shoes inappropriate in a
laboratory environment?
Someone could drop a scalpel/other equipment
directly into skin.

B HUBS administration
The following person should be your first point
of contact for most matters relating to this
Title: Course Administrator
Name: Mike McArthur
Phone: 479 7737
The names of other teaching staff are available
on Blackboard.


Personal belongings must be stored away
from public thoroughfares. Do not leave your coat
or bag where someone may trip over it. Do not
leave valuables in the corridor.
Do not put anything in your mouth while in
the laboratory.
All accidents, must be reported at once to
the demonstrator or lab supervisor. Do not attempt
to clean up spills of body fluids. Notify a
demonstrator at once.

Lab 1 Introduction

Question C.2
Should you clean up your own spills in the
No. You need to inform a demonstrator

Clocktower side of the laboratory should exit

through the MAIN LAB EXIT and assemble over
by the Leith near the Physics building. All others
should leave by the CUMBERLAND ST EXIT,
and assemble by the Leith also. If a fire is evident,
follow the instructions given by the staff at the

Pay attention to hazardous chemicals
information. You will be made aware of all
known hazards in your working environment
before you begin work. It is your responsibility
to listen and take any steps required to ensure
your own safety. If you dont understand, ask!
You are responsible for ensuring the
safety of those about you, as well as yourself.
All specimens of human origin must be
considered as capable of transmitting infectious
disease and treated accordingly (see safety
manual or ask the laboratory supervisor).

Question C.3
Discuss with your neighbour: Do you know
the names of any such infectious diseases that
are carried via body fluids?
Fig 1.1 Location of fire exits
Examples are hepatitis C and B and HIV.
Question C.5
All cuts and abrasions on hands must be
covered with an occlusive (not perforated)

In the event of a fire alarm, which exit should

you use?

Question C.4
Why would a normal plaster not suffice?

Task C.1

Perforations allow possibly infectious

/harmful material through and into contact
with the broken skin.

On fig. 1.2 indicate the positions of:

First Aid kit
Two emergency showers
Eye splash kit

Any skin puncture must be reported to
the laboratory supervisor immediately.

Two fire exits

Task complete

Familiarise yourself with the location
and use of safety equipment such as safety kits,
eye wash stations, fire extinguishers and fire
exits (see fig. 1.1).
no fire is evident in this lab, students on the


Lab 1 Introduction

You will be given a demonstration of how to log on

to Blackboard and find the HUBS 191 site. This
demonstration will include accessing each of the
following sections of the site:
[appear when you log on].
Course information
Course Outline
Textbook Information
Timetable Information

Fig 1.2 Safety equipment.

Exercise care when disposing of material
after laboratories. Do not endanger the health
of technical staff by disposing of hazardous
material in the wrong place. You will be
informed where potentially dangerous material
should go.
Report any unsafe practices or situations
to the laboratory.
Do not remove any material from the
laboratory that you did not bring in yourself.
Wash your hands in the hand basin
before leaving the laboratory.

Question C.6
What should you do if you accidentally splash
something in your eyes?

Course documents
Lectures (includes audio lecture resources)
Laboratories (includes Lab correct or model
Self-Directed Learning (includes specific
resources, SDL correct or model answers
and links to the assessment area)
Integrated Case Study
Discussion board
Staff Information
Class Representatives
SDL Assessments
Terms Test 1
Terms Test 2
Final Examination
Check Your Grade

Question D.1
What is the integrated case study and what is its
A video scenario that is related to questions and
discussions throughout the course. This allows
integration of the anatomy, physiology and
microbiology information learnt during the

D Blackboard and computer

Blackboard is the means by which we provide
resources relevant to this paper. It is also the
principle means by which staff can
communicate with students. You are strongly
recommended to use Blackboard.
You should have your login and password by
now, make sure you keep them safe and do not
disclose your password.


Question D.2
How often do you intend to visit the Blackboard
site, given the information that you know is
available on Blackboard.
A personal choice, but we recommend regular

Lab 1 Introduction

E Legal and Ethical issues

The use of animals in research and teaching is regulated by the Animal Welfare Act (1999). The National
Animal Ethics Advisory Committee has established guidelines to assist all institutions to comply with
these regulations. These require Institutional Animal Ethics Committees (IAEC) to regularly review all
studies involving the use of animals. The IAEC is empowered to approve, defer or decline proposed
animal work and has the authority to inspect facilities, observe animal manipulations and terminate
animal usage as necessary. The staff teaching this course can provide further details and explain the
operation of the University of Otagos Animal Ethics Committee.
In Lab 3 you will be given the opportunity to examine embalmed human joints. The use of such material
is important for your understanding of Human Movement and Sensation. These prosections must be
treated with respect. The use of such material is regulated by legal provisions (The Human Tissues Act,
1964). The most relevant of these for HUBS 191 course is that under no circumstances is anything to be
removed from the laboratory class. Any breach of these rules of conduct for handling prosected human
parts will be dealt with by the University authorities.
In Lab 3 you will dissect deer joints obtained from an abattoir. This means that you will have access to
both human and animal tissue along with other items such as bones and models in one room. In these
instances you must be particularly vigilant in order to avoid any cross contamination between these
elements. Different gloves must be used to handle each of them, and they must remain on their separate
and allotted tables.
You must treat all human tissue with respect as access to this is a privilege.
You must handle all models with care as they are extremely expensive and difficult to replace. Any
deliberate mistreatment of specimens or models will be taken seriously.

Question E.1

Question E.2

The removal of tissue from the lab is

prohibited by the Human Tissue Act. Do you
think that it might be appropriate to involve
the human tissue in the labs for any purpose
other than learning?

In what two ways can cross contact

(contamination) between human tissue and
other items in the lab be avoided?
By using gloves and by keeping the resources


F Learning styles

G Check-in and check-out

In order to learn efficiently it is important to think

about improving your learning style.

Check-in and check-out may differ from other

assessment systems that you may have
experienced. The emphasis is more on helping you
learn and understand than on testing your

There are many learning, studying and reading

strategies. Some methods are quite universally
accepted whilst others may or may not suit you as
an individual. We have included some of the
better established methods in this course.
Through SDL modules, lab sessions, lectures and
Blackboard we offer many learning opportunities.
It is up to you to make the most of these
opportunities primarily by engaging in the
activities on offer.
In addition, and outside of this direction, you will
need to develop your own learning style.

Check-in does not contribute to your final grade

for the paper, however check-out does. Each
successful check-out is worth 1% of your final
grade (a maximum of 6% for the six laboratory
As a student check-out gives you feedback on how
well you understand the lab and gives the teaching
staff an indication of how well we taught the


Lab 1 Introduction

Check-in structure
You will be asked to answer 5 questions on the
computer before starting each lab session. These
questions refer to the content of the laboratory.
For this to run smoothly, please ensure that you
arrive five minutes early for every lab session.
You will not be given your check-in results until
the end of the lab. This is to ensure that your lab
performance is not influenced by your check-in.
Check-out structure
At the end of each laboratory session, we will ask
you to answer five randomly assigned questions on
the labs content. In the 5th question you will
apply your knowledge to the integrated case.
If you have shown the required level of knowledge
and understanding, you are awarded 1%.
If you have not passed, a demonstrator will discuss
your check-out answers with you. After this
discussion you will be given an opportunity to
revise and then attempt check-out a second time.
If you need further help, we will ask you to attend
a tutorial after which there will be a third
opportunity to complete the check-out.

Question G.1
What percentage of your final grade does each
check-in and check-out assessment count for?
Check-in; 0%, check-out; 1%.

Check-in and check-out protocol

Check-out is conducted under examination
conditions. This means that you need to follow
the procedures below.
Wait away from students engaged in checkout until a computer becomes available.
Do not access books or your lab manual
during your check-out test.
Do not communicate with other students
during the check-out process.
After check-out collect your belongings,
leave the lab or move on to the SDL area.
Failure to follow these rules will jeopardize your
attainment of terms.

Question G.2
After the lab what should you do to ensure that
you get the most from each laboratory session?
You will need to look up the model answers for
the session on Blackboard.

You have finished Part I. You will now be

allocated to either Part II or Part III of the lab.

Fig. 1.3 Check-out process.

You must complete check-out before leaving the
class unless excused by the laboratory supervisor.
If you are absent from a class, due to exceptional
circumstances, you may be given an opportunity to
attend a catch-up tutorial session. This must be
arranged through the HUBS office.


Lab 1 Introduction

Part II
Anatomical Terminology
and Skeletal Anatomy
The first steps in understanding human movement
are to become familiar with the structures involved
and with their relationships within the body.
In this practical session you will be introduced to
anatomical terminology including the terms used
to describe movements. You will also be
introduced to the structure and form of human
bones and their function within the human

By the end of Part II you should be able to:

Define and demonstrate the anatomical

position. Use anatomical terms to describe
direction and position.


Define the anatomical planes.


Identify types of bones.


Name, identify and describe the positions of

selected major bones and bone groups of
the skeleton, including their relationships to
one another.


Use anatomical terms used to describe


Objectives A-E relate to the sections with the

corresponding letter.
You are expected to know all of the correct
anatomical terms or names mentioned here in bold.
These terms are also listed in the laboratory
manual glossary.

Please note the anatomy content in this laboratory

will be covered in lectures 5 (Terms), 6 (HMS 1)
and 11 (HMS 6).

Fig. 1.4 The anatomical position (Plate 1,

adapted from Kapit & Elson, The
Anatomy Colouring Book, Harper
Collins, 1977).
To avoid confusion the terms used to describe
positions, relationships and directions within the
human body are always related to a standard
anatomical position.
The anatomical position is standing upright,
looking straight ahead with the feet and the palms
of the hands facing forwards. Directional
terminology always refers to the body as if it were
in this position, regardless of its actual position.

A. The Anatomical Position

and Directional Terms
Anatomical terms are essential for the accurate
description of the orientation and relationships of


Lab 1 Introduction

Task A.1

Anterior (ventral) - closer to the front.

Pair up with your neighbour and assume the

standard anatomical position. Describe the
position to your partner and note down the
positions of the following body parts:

Posterior (dorsal) - closer to the back.

Feet ..............................................
Task complete

Now assess the skeleton.

Task A.3
Assume the standard anatomical position again
and demonstrate anterior and posterior to your
Task complete

Question A.3
Which structures lie anterior to the heel of the

Question A.1
The toes.
Is the standing skeleton demonstrating the
standard anatomical position? If not which
body parts are out of place?
Medial - closer to the median plane (see fig 1.4).
The upper limb may hang such that the palms
do not face forwards.

Directional Terms
Anatomical terms of direction and position
describe the position of one structure relative to
another. They are always related to the standard
anatomical position.

Lateral - further away from the median plane.

Task A.4
Assume the standard anatomical position again
and demonstrate medial and lateral to your
Task complete

Superior - closer to the head than another

structure in the body.
Question A.4
Inferior - closer to the feet.
Which structure lies more laterally, the spine or
the upper limb?
Task A.2
Assume the standard anatomical position again
and demonstrate superior and inferior to your
Task complete

Question A.2
Which structure lies superior, the nose or the
The nose.


The upper limb.

Lab 1 Introduction

Proximal - (used especially for the limbs) nearer

to the trunk.
Distal - further from the trunk.

Task A.5
Assume the standard anatomical position again
and demonstrate proximal and distal to your

Question A.7
Complete the sentence:
In the human body the skin can be described as
.................................. in relation to bone or

Task complete

B. The Anatomical Planes

Question A.5
Is it correct to say that the wrist is distal to the

Planes are imaginary flat surfaces (see fig 1.4)

along which the body can be sectioned (divided)
to enable precise descriptions of relationships
between structures. They are:
Sagittal plane - the plane running vertically
through the body, separating it into left and right
parts. The median plane is the sagittal plane
dividing the body into equal left and right parts.

Question A.6
Now move out of the standard anatomical
position by raising your upper limb (arm) above
your head and bending at the elbow so that your
hand is behind your head. Is it still correct to say
that the wrist is distal to the elbow and why?
Directional terms are always relative to the
anatomical position.

Question B.1
Demonstrate to your neighbour how you could
cut/section your own body into two pieces along
the median sagittal plane. Fill in the spaces:
You would be left with an equally sized
................... and ......................half of your body
Right and left..

Deep - further from the surface.

Question B.2
Superficial - close to the surface.

Task A.6
Assume the standard anatomical position again
and demonstrate deep and superficial to your

Demonstrate to your neighbour how you could

cut/section your own body into two pieces along
another, more laterally positioned sagittal plane.
Fill in the spaces:
You would be left with ................. sized right
and left portions of your body.

Task complete


Lab 1 Introduction

Coronal plane - the plane running vertically

through the body, separating it into anterior (front)
and posterior (back) parts. Otherwise known as
the frontal plane.
Question B.3

Task B.1
Locate the sagittal and coronal sutures (joint
lines) on the skull of a skeleton. Draw a superior
view of the skull, labeling these two suture lines
and the anterior and posterior aspects of the

Demonstrate to your neighbour how you could

cut/section your own body into two pieces along
the coronal plane. Fill in the space:
You would be left with a ........................ portion
and a ............................. portion of your body


Transverse plane - the plane running horizontally

through the body or a limb, separating it into
superior (upper) and inferior (lower) parts.

Question B.4
Demonstrate to your neighbour how you could
cut/section your own body into two pieces along
the transverse plane. If you took a section at the
level of the umbilicus (belly button) would you
be left with similarly shaped portions of your
No, your head and shoulders would be in one
portion and your legs and forearms in the other.

Question B.5
Stand in the standard anatomical position. The
palms of your hands lie in which plane?

Task complete

C. Identification of Types of
For the following tasks you will examine one of
the articulated skeletons (on stands) and the
disarticulated bones (loose bones on each table) to
become familiar with the range of sizes and
shapes. Bones are grouped into broad categories
of long, short, flat and irregular shapes. Use
the laminated sheet to help you if you need it.
Long bones - These bones, not surprisingly, are
longer than they are wide. They consist of a shaft
and two expanded ends, with articular surfaces
forming joints at the extremities.

Fig 1.5 A long bone (fig 7.22, adapted from

Marieb & Malliet, Human Anatomy
2nd Ed., Benjamin Cummins), 1997


Lab 1 Introduction

One end of a long bone is often termed the head.

This can be identified by its relatively round shape
compared with the other end. It is not necessarily
at the proximal end of the bone.
Short bones - these are roughly cube-like or

disarticulated bones. Also examine the bones and

bone groups mentioned using your own bodies.
It helps to fit the disarticulated bones into position
on your own or your neighbours body. Palpate
(feel) as much as you can of the bone in yourself.

Flat bones - these are thin, flattened and usually


i) Axial Skeleton

Irregular bones - those that fit none of the other


These are the bones that comprise the main axis of

the body, that is, the head, neck and trunk.
The cranium is the skull.

Task C.1
Identify an example of a long bone, a flat bone
and an irregular bone and then label them on fig
1.6 in your lab manual.
Task complete

Question C.1
To which category would the following bones
Thigh bone.

Task D.1
Identify and examine the cranium and then label
it on fig 1.6 in your lab manual.
Task complete

The vertebral column (spine), is composed of

individual vertebrae (singular = vertebra),
together with the sacrum, and the coccyx
(tailbone) at the inferior end of the vertebral

Finger bones.
Shoulder blade.

Task D.2

Long, long, flat

Identify and examine the vertebral column,

individual vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx and
then label them on fig 1.6 in your lab manual.
Task complete

D. Naming, Identification and

Description of Major Bone
Next we look further at hard tissues, the bones of
the human skeleton. These tissues form a rigid
framework which supports and anchors the soft
tissues which constitute the rest of the body. The
soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and other
joint tissues) associated with movement will be
covered in later practical sessions.

The ribcage is composed of the ribs attached to

the sternum.
Task D.3
On fig 1.6 in your lab manual, color or shade in
the bones of the axial skeleton.
Task complete

Major bone groups

ii) Appendicular Skeleton

The skeleton may be subdivided into axial and

appendicular parts.

These are the bones that comprise the appendages

(or limbs). The limbs each have three major long
bones. Groups of short bones and smaller long
bones make up the hand and foot.

For the following tasks examine the articulated

skeletons, the laminated sheet provided and the


Lab 1 Introduction

The Upper Limb

Task D.6

The pectoral girdle attaches the upper limb to the

axial skeleton. It consists of two differently
shaped bones.

Identify and examine the femur and then label it

on fig 1.6 in your lab manual.

The upper limb is the whole appendage from the

shoulder to the fingers. It consists of several
different regions.
The arm is defined as the region from the shoulder
to the elbow and has a single long bone, the

Task complete

Question D.2
Note the size, shape and position of the humerus
and the femur. Name as many characteristics as
you can that:
a) they have in common.

Task D.4

b) are different.

Identify and examine the humerus and then label

it on fig 1.6 in your manual.

a) Both are proximal limb bones, similar in

shape (long bones) with spherical heads and
distal condyles.

Task complete

The forearm is defined as the region from elbow

to wrist and has two long bones, the radius and the

b) The femur is larger, its head is angled. The

distal condyles are larger in the femur relative
to the bone and in actual size.

Task D.5
Identify and examine the radius and the ulna and
then label them on fig 1.6 in your lab manual.

The leg is defined as the region from the knee to

the ankle. The bones of the leg are the tibia, and
lateral to this, is the fibula.

Task complete
Task D.7
Question D.1
How many bones are there in the arm and what
is/ are the name(s)
One, the humerus.

The Lower Limb

The pelvic girdle or pelvis consists of two hip
bones articulating posteriorly with the sacrum (you
will remember this is the inferior end of the
vertebral column and therefore part of the axial
skeleton as well as a part of the pelvic girdle).
The lower limb is the whole structure from hip to
toes and consists of different portions. As in the
upper limb, there is a single relatively large bone,
the femur, forming the thigh (hip to knee) and
two smaller long bones forming the leg (knee to


Identify and examine the tibia and fibula and

then label them on fig 1.6 in your lab manual.
Task complete

Lab 1 Introduction

Fig 1.6 The human skeleton (plate 10, adapted from Kapit & Elson, The Anatomy Coloring Book, Harper
Collins, 1977).


Lab 1 Introduction

Question D.3
What difference can you see between the leg
bones (i.e. the tibia and fibula) and the bones in
the forearm (i.e. radius and ulna)?

E. The Anatomical Terms

Used to Describe Movements

The tibia and fibula are the larger bones. The

leg bones do not move over each other like the

Question D.4
What important function of the lower limb
might explain these differences and those
already noted between the femur and humerus?
Locomotion and weight bearing.

Question D.5
How many bones are there in the leg and what
is/ are the name(s)?
Fig 1.7 Anatomical terms for movement.
Two, tibia and fibula.

Integrated Case Question 1

How many bones do you think Patrick has
damaged in his thigh?

Integrated Case Question 2

Using anatomical terms describe the location
Patricks injury.
Lower limb, appendicular skeleton, femur,
thigh, proximal lower limb.

Flexion: The bending of a joint usually so that the

fleshy surfaces of the limb come into contact.
Most joints flex in an anterior direction (e.g. the
elbow) but others flex posteriorly (e.g. the knee).
Extension: The reverse of flexion at each joint usually straightening the joint, most often in the
posterior direction (but check extension of your

Task E.1
Stand in the anatomical position and then
demonstrate to your partner flexion and
extension at the following joints.

As with the hand, the foot consists of three series

of bones. They are structurally equivalent to the
bones in the hand, but they are generally larger and
more variable in size for the purposes of weight


Task complete

Lab 1 Introduction

Question E.1

Rotation. Turning the bone at the joint around its

long axis.

If your hip and knee were flexed, what position

might you be in?
Task E.4
Sitting, squatting, skiing, windsurfing, horse

Abduction: The movement away from (abduct)

the median plane of the body i.e. a movement
laterally in the standard anatomical position.
Adduction: The reverse movement i.e., towards
(adduct) the median plane, usually after the joint
has been abducted.

Rotate your arm at your shoulder joint. It is

important to ensure that it is your humerus which
is rotating and not your forearm.
Task complete

You can also rotate your forearm. In this case the

movement of turning the palm of your hand
backwards (while standing in the standard
anatomical position) is pronation while the
reverse movement is supination.

Task E.2
Stand in the anatomical position, abduct then
adduct at the following joints:
Task complete

Circumduction: This is not a single movement

but the sequence flexion, abduction, extension,
adduction (or reverse).
Several joints can

Task E.3
Stand in the standard anatomical position and
circumduct your shoulder and hip.

Fig 1.8 Pronation and supination (Fig 8.6,

adapted from Marieb and Mallatt,
Human Anatomy, 2nd Ed., Benjamin
Cummings, 1997).

Task complete
Question E.2
Pronate and supinate your forearm and the
forearm of a skeleton. What happens to the
radius (relative to the ulna) in full pronation?
The radius comes to lie diagonally across the


Lab 1 Introduction

Question E.3
A right-handed person unscrewing a jar lid
needs to forcefully perform which movement?

You have now finished Part II.

If you started with Part II, you will proceed to

If you started with Part III, you should revise in
preparation for check-out.
Dorsiflexion is when the toes are lifted upwards,
as in standing on the heel (note that this can also
be referred to as flexion).
Plantarflexion occurs when the toes are pushed
downwards, as in standing on tip-toes (note that
this can also be referred to as extension, so there is
potential for confusion).
Inversion - Turning the sole of the foot inwards.
Eversion - Turning the foot outwards.

Task E.5
Perform each of these four movements,
demonstrating them to you partner.
Task complete
Opposition is the movement of the thumb that
brings it across the palm to touch the tip of any
finger. This is a special movement as it allows for
the manipulation of objects.

Task E.6
Demonstrate opposition to your neighbour.
Task complete

Question E.4
Do most other mammals have opposable
No. Primates do have opposable thumbs
allowing them to manipulate objects and this is
a specialized skill.


Lab 1 Introduction

Part III
Introduction to Data
Collection in Physiology

Look for the following symbols as you go through

the lab. This symbol means:

Transfer to the computer.


Transfer to the lab book.

In this practical you will learn about recording and

analyzing physiological signals.

Indicates how long a section should take.


Print the data, insert it into your lab book.

By the end of Part III you should be able to:

Caution, important instruction follows.


Describe the major hardware and software

components of the LabTutor system and
their functions.


Record skeletal muscle activation using an

electromyogram (EMG).


Record, label, scale and measure

physiological data acquired using the
LabTutor system.

Physiology is the study of the function of the body,
that is, how the bodys cells, tissues, organs and
systems work.
To determine how the body works, physiologists
use the scientific method: a hypothesis is proposed
and is then tested by experimentation. The
experimental results either support or refute the
hypothesis. This is the process by which the body
of scientific knowledge is advanced.
The physiological data that you will collect in your
experiments are often small analog signals. It is
necessary to use specialized recording equipment
to observe such data. The data acquisition system
you will use is PowerLab and the software
program is LabTutor. In this part of the lab, you
will learn the principles of data acquisition and
how to use of this system.

Please note the physiology content in this

laboratory will be covered in lectures 18 - 19
(HMS 12 - 13) and lectures 23 - 24 (HMS 17 - 18).

Introduction to Data Collection
Background Theory
Most biological signals are analog signals e.g.
sound waves. The data acquisition system,
Powerlab, converts analog signals into a digital
format that can then be displayed on the computer.
In fig 1.10 a mechanical signal, the pulse sensed in
the finger, is first converted into an electrical
signal by a transducer. PowerLab digitizes this
electrical signal and then it is displayed on the

Fig 1.10 Data collection using LabTutor.

Fig 1.9 Example of a LabTutor recording.

The LabTutor system is used to record, display and

analyse physiological signals. LabTutor can record
a short-lasting signal, analogous to taking a
snapshot, as well as a continuous signal of longer
duration, similar to making a video recording.


Lab 1 Introduction

Experiment Aim
To record the electromyogram (EMG) as a means
to learn how to use the LabTutor system for the
collection of physiological data.

Question 2
What does the abbreviation EMG mean?
E electro

M myo

G gram

Work in pairs. Today, due to time constraints, we
will record from one subject only.
10 minutes
Go to the Introduction to LabTutor
experiment. Read pages 1 - 4.

Question 1
Circle the Bio Amp input on figure 1.11. This is
where the recorded signal feeds directly into the
PowerLab for interpretation and then displayed
in real time on the computer.

Question 3
What generates the electrical signals recorded in
an EMG?
An EMG is a surface recording of net electrical
activity that arises as action potentials are
conducted along the skeletal muscle cells

Question 4
Name another electrical recording that is
routinely used in clinical diagnoses.
ECG and EEG.

Fig 1.11 PowerLab, front panel view.

10 minutes
Continue with the Introduction to
LabTutor experiment (page 5). The setup for recording an EMG is shown in fig 1.12.

Fig 1.12 Electromyograph setup for recording

from the biceps brachii muscle.


15 minutes
Continue with the Introduction to
LabTutor experiment (pages 7 14).
Record your EMG and learn how to optimize the
data you collect.

Lab 1 Introduction

Print the LabTutor report (page 14) and paste it into the space below.
Insert EMG recording and graph here:


Lab 1 Introduction

Question 5
What is the relationship between the strength of
muscle contraction and the amplitude of the
An increase in strength of muscle contraction
correlated with an increase in the average
amplitude of the EMG (best shown from
measurements of positive integral amplitude).

You have completed Part III.

Close the LabTutor experiment by
clicking on the Home button.
Please ensure that you have left your work
station tidy.
If you started with Part III you will proceed to
Part II when instructed by your demonstrator.
If you started Part II please revise in
preparation for check-out.

Question 6
Do your observations support the hypothesis
that electrical activation of skeletal muscle leads
to its contraction?

Question 7
What further experimental evidence would you
need to prove that electrical activity initiates
skeletal muscle contraction?
Disrupt the electrical activity and see if muscle
still contract. ?how disrupt the electrical
activity: nerve damage, ECF,T dcr.

Integrated case question

Would EMG activity be detected from Patricks
thigh muscles if the nerve supply to these
muscles had been damaged?
EMG activity would be reduced or absent, loss
of innervation would correspond with no EMG

Insert the LabTutor icons for the following:
Start icon
Autoscale icon
Marker icon
Delete icon