Anatomical-physiological bases of the cognitive processes

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
BIO/09 MED/26
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing students with basic knowledge of the anatomy and the physiology of the nervous system, which are essential for an understanding of the main integrative functions of the brain. The teaching course is organized into two modules. Specifically, the "Physiology" module will illustrate the concepts relative to the functioning and organization of the nervous system (both central and peripheral) supporting behavior. This knowledge constitutes the fundamental prerequisites for understanding the bases of higher cognitive functions typical in health and neurological pathology.
The main topics covered in the "Physiology" module will be:
- anatomy of the nervous system
- physiology of excitable cells
- communication between nerve cells (synapses)
- learning and synaptic plasticity
- organization of motor and sensory systems
- sense organs: sight and hearing
- EEG and sleep
- neurophysiological basis of consciousness
The "Neurology" module will provide students with knowledge regarding higher cognitive functions and the related syndromes caused by brain injury.
The main topics covered in the "Neurology" module will be:
- neuroanatomy
- principles of neuromodulation
- neuroimaging
- language
- attention
- memory
- frontal lobes and executive functions
- neuropsychological evaluation
- anatomical and physiological bases of cognitive disorders: aphasia, apraxia, amnesia, prefrontal syndrome, dementia
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have acquired knowledge on:
- the main cognitive functions and on the biological substrate from which they originate
- the main consequences of acquired brain injuries and on the consequences of neurodegenerative processes
- the main neurophysiological investigation techniques
- the main diagnostic and intervention techniques applied in the management of patients with cognitive disorders
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

BIO/09 - PHYSIOLOGY - University credits: 6
Lessons: 40 hours
Professor: Sarasso Simone
MED/26 - NEUROLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours