Introduction to Neurophysiology (SPS202)

10 credits

Aim of this module

This module will provide the trainee with the knowledge, understanding and awareness of the diversity of patients referred to a Neurophysiology Department. Trainees will undertake a range of investigations and assist with the assessment and management of a wide range of patients with conditions affecting the central or peripheral nervous system.


  1. Measure visual, auditory or somatosensory evoked potentials in a normal subject.
  2. Measure and label, using the correct nomenclature, the major components of a patient evoked potential (visual, auditory or somatosensory).
Number Work-based learning outcome Title Knowledge
1 1

Control infection risks in accordance with departmental protocols.

2 1

Minimise risks and hazards in compliance with Health and Safety policies.

3 1

Plan evoked potential recordings.

4 1

Prepare environment, equipment and subject for evoked potential recordings

5 1

Explain the procedure to the subject and address any questions they may have relating to the procedure, including the process after the procedure and how they will be informed of the results.

6 1

Gain informed consent for evoked potential recordings.

7 1

Obtain a full patient history from an adult patient.

8 1

Measure and apply the electrodes for the recording of a visual evoked potential on a normal subject and assist in performing evoked potential recordings.

9 2

Measure and document the latencies and amplitude of the major components of the evoked potentials

10 1,2

Identify causes of error/artefacts encountered and the non-pathological effect in the recording of evoked potentials and their elimination.

11 1,2

Complete and annotate evoked potential recordings.

You must complete
1 Case-based discussion(s)
1 of the following DOPS / OCEs
Assessment Title Type
Perform internal and external calibration on neurophysiological equipment DOPS
Perform evoked potential of choice DOPS
Obtain a full patient history from an adult patient relevant to the investigation and record the information accurately OCE

Important information

The academic parts of this module will be detailed and communicated to you by your university. Please contact them if you have questions regarding this module and its assessments. The module titles in your MSc may not be exactly identical to the work-based modules shown in the e-portfolio. Your modules will be aligned, however, to ensure that your academic and work-based learning are complimentary.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe, compare and contrast a range of methods and equipment used for the routine neurophysiological assessment of patients.
  2. Explain the internal and external calibration of neurophysiological equipment, describing the effects of the recording characteristic of the equipment components.
  3. Evaluate the type of patient recording derivations and stimulus and recording parameters used in the recording of all modalities of evoked potentials (visual, auditory and somatosensory).
  4. Recognise, measure and label using the correct nomenclature the major components of all modalities in patients when using evoked potentials (visual, auditory and somatosensory).
  5. Critically evaluate the causes of error encountered and the non- pathological effects in the recording of evoked potentials and their elimination.
  6. Describe patient special needs and circumstances as applied to neurophysiology services, such as people with learning difficulties, cognitive, sensory impairment, physical disabilities, older people, paediatrics and intensive care.
  7. Describes the ways that non-NHS or external statutory, voluntary, charitable agency services in the community can assist with patient care in neurophysiology services, e.g. social services.

Indicative Content

  • Routine test procedures and equipment used in neurophysiology for assessment of neurological conditions
  • Instrumentation and internal and external calibration of neurophysiological equipment
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the components and their function of the equipment used in Clinical Neurophysiology for the recording of the signals
    • Amplifiers
    • Filter
    • Signal average
    • Delay lines
    • Triggers
    • Nomenclature for measuring all modalities of normal evoked potentials
    • Electroretinography: flash; pattern
    • Visual evoked: full; central; half field
    • Auditory evoked; brainstem
    • Somatosensory evoked; upper/lower limb measurement
  • Types of recording derivation, stimulus and recording parameters used for the recording of all modalities of evoked potentials
  • Types of stimulators and electrodes used in all modalities of evoked potentials
    • Pattern; onset/offset; flash pattern; Ganzfeld
    • Click; tone; pips
    • Constant current; voltage; magnetic
  • Non-pathological effects on all types of evoked potential (i.e. contrast and luminance, stimulus rate and duration, age and gender)
    • Visual/auditory/somatosensory
    • Visual acuity, age and gender
    • Attention and fixation
    • Contrast and luminance
    • Check and field size
    • Temperature
    • Anaesthesia
    • Stimulus rate, intensity, rate, duration and polarity
    • Physical contributes, i.e. height, limb length
  •   The diversity of neurophysiology services; special needs; people with learning difficulties, cognitive and sensory impairment, physical disabilities, older people, paediatrics, intensive care
  •   Statutory, voluntary, charitable agencies or services, e.g. social services