Mind and brain

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
- Develop a strong research background and understanding of the scientific foundation of cognitive psychology and neuroscience.
- Develop a knowledge base of human behavior across the broad areas of psychology.
- Become aware of the applications of cognitive psychology in different fields, such as research, education, and cognitive empowerment.
Expected learning outcomes
2.a Knowledge
- Demonstrate knowledge of the major theoretical approaches and findings in psychology,
- Develop a sound understanding of the biological basis of cognitive processes and of the crossroad between psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind
- Know the research methods used in psychology,
- Critically assess information related to the study of behavior and cognitive processes, and use the critical assessment in shaping conclusions and arguments
2.b Applied knowledge
- Use of different methods and technologies for studying concepts and conducting research
- Develop the ability to read a scientific report critically to be able to find strengths and limitations. Develop specific skills in writing science reports using an interdisciplinary approach
- Communicate ideas effectively in writing and orally using a research reporting style
- Use of the neuro-cognitive approach to face practical issues in different fields such as education, teaching, communication, emotion management, relationships.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The course will be delivered so to allow easy access by students and better organizational management in relation to the necessary security measures. In addition, the lessons will be available in streaming on the Microsoft Teams platform and all the information, as well as the didactic material and slides used by the teacher, will be available on the ARIEL platform. The teacher will be available for questions and clarifications during the reception day, which will be held both on-site and at-distance (via Skype). There are no program differences between attending and non-attending students.
The exam will consist of an oral examination on-site or remotely (by Microsoft Teams system). The information related to the exam modalities will be present and updated on the Ariel platform and will be sent via email to the students enrolled to a specific examination trial.
Course syllabus
This class will introduce students to the fundamental theories, research, and conversations within neuroscience. Historically, studies of mind and brain occurred within the individual disciplines of biology, psychology, and philosophy of mind. Still, now a multidisciplinary language is needed to investigate and understand the interlocked space of neuro-cognitive sciences.
In this class, students will investigate the growing perspective of neuroscience, learn critical methods and theories within neuroscience, and pushed to interrogate themselves on the relationship between mind and brain.
In the Mind and Brain class, students will also learn how the latest findings in cognitive science bear on fundamental questions of education, such as how people learn and what we can do to improve this process.
We will consider neural arguments about various cognitive processing, including attention, learning, thought, feelings, interpersonal relationships, and consciousness from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Then, we'll focus on how to apply neuroscientific knowledge in different fields. In particular, the class will describe the translational potential for teaching and learning in educational settings. Methods and techniques will be introduced and discussed to promote the development of interdisciplinary thinking and research-analysis skills.
Prerequisites for admission
Students need only to meet the minimal requirements for admission to the degree course in Philosophical Science.
Teaching methods
frontal teaching
Teaching Resources
"Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience: a Beginner's Guide", by Nicole M. Gage and Bernard J. Baars, Academic press (chapters 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
"Emotions, Learning, and the Brain: Exploring the Educational Implications of Affective Neuroscience", by Mary Helen Immordino-yang, W W Norton & Co Inc.
Suggested readings and other materials will be uploaded on the Ariel platform.
Assessment methods and Criteria
Verification of learning includes an oral examination. This consists of an interview on the program topics, aimed at ascertaining the knowledge of the concepts and methods introduced during the course, as well as their applications in the areas of interest.
The oral examination will evaluate:
the achievement of the objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding;
the ability to apply the concepts and methods illustrated in various contexts;
the autonomy of judgment and critical thinking;
the mastery of the specific language of experimental psychology and the ability to present the arguments in a clear and orderly manner.
Unita' didattica A
M-PSI/01 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
M-PSI/01 - GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)
thursday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. via Skype or Teams