cod. 1005489

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - Second semester
Professor responsible for the course unit
ROLLO Dolores
integrated course unit
10 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Course unit structured in the following modules:

Learning objectives

1. Knowledge and understanding. Students will need to achieve a good understanding of the theoretical and methodological bases of the psychology of cognitive development between normality and pathology.
2. Applying knowledge and understanding. Students should be able to use the knowledge on theoretical frameworks acquired to explain trajectories normal and pathological related to early childhood and throughout the life cycle.
3. Making judgments. Students will develop critical thinking and reflection on methodological issues and the relationship between the specific theoretical positions and the recent empirical results.
4. Communication skills. Students should acquire the ability to critically discuss the concepts of normality and pathology related to cognitive development and to identify the boundaries between developmental psychology and neuropsychology of development.
5. Learning skills. Students should be able to learn the most recent theoretical approaches and the main techniques of investigation of the neuropsychology of development.


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Course unit content

The course aims at making students a full knowledge of current approaches, with which developmental psychology to explain the causes of typical and atypical cognitive development. Students will master the key concepts arising from empirical research and the most recent studies on the ontogeny of knowledge and its domains. We will also provide updated skills and critical of the theoretical and methodological issues related to the intersections between neuropsychology and development.

Full programme

Methodological problems and research techniques in the study of cognitive development and neuropsychology of development. The development of the nervous system. The plasticity of the brain. The neural basis of cognitive development. The domains of knowledge. Attention, memory and executive functions. Categorization: general theories for the domain. Numbers and math. Social cognition and theory of mind. Evolutionary conditions characterized by a more or less severe impairment: learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, mental retardation, autism. Cognitive models of autism. Preterm birth and development. Assessment and rehabilitation in children.
General Issues (Precis of Neuroembriology, Brain Plasticity, Psychomotor development, Emotional and relational development). The neurology of the newborn and the child (Neurological examination of the newborn, Standard neurological examination). Epilepsies (Epidemiology of Epilepsies, Brain mechanisms of epileptic seizures, Precis of EEG, Neonatal seizures, Epilepsisy in Infancy, Epileptic Encephalopathies). Cerebral Palsy(Etiology, Clinical Taxonomy, Cognitive Aspects).Brain and Spinal Tumors (Medulloblastoma, Astrocytoma, Glioma, Tumors of the spinal chord). Neurocutaneous Syndromes (Tuberous Sclerosis, Neurofibromatosis, Angiomatosis). Autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorders (Epidemiology, Neural Mechanisms, Diagnosia and Treatment)


Valenza E., Turati C. (2019). Promuovere lo sviluppo della mente. Un approccio neurocostruttivista. Bologna: Il Mulino.
Siegel D.J. (2009). Mindfulness e cervello. Milano: Raffaello Cortina ed.
Roberto Militerni (2009) Neuropsichiatria Infantile (V Edizione) Editrice Idelson Gnocchi, Napoli

Teaching methods

The course will be held through lectures to Students either in the classroom (“in presenza”) or in synchronous-streaming (“in telepresenza”) on the Teams platform. Therefore, the opportunity of Student/Teacher interaction will be preserved both face to face and remotely, by the simultaneous use of the Teams platform.
Lectures will be supported by slide presentations, which will be available to students on the Elly platform (

Assessment methods and criteria

Oral examination.
In case of the persistence of the health emergency, the exams will be conducted remotely, as follows:
remote oral questions, through the Teams platform (guide
Students with SLD / BSE must first contact Le Eli-che: support for students with disabilities, D.S.A., B.E.S. (

Other information

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