cod. 1006763

Academic year 2020/21
1° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Psicologia generale (M-PSI/01)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
56 hours
of face-to-face activities
8 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

1. Knowledge and ability to understand. Students will have to achieve a good knowledge of the research fields and the study tools of psychophysiology.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. Students must be able to use the theoretical knowledge acquired especially in the analysis of scientific literature, and in the ability to work in a psychophysiological laboratory.
3. Autonomy of judgment. Students will have to develop critical skills on methodological problems and on the relationships between specific theoretical positions and recent empirical results.
4. Communication skills. Students will need to acquire the ability to critically discuss literature in the context of emotions and cognitive processes.
5. Learning skills. Students should be able to learn the new theoretical paradigms and innovative techniques of investigation resulting from a psychophysiological approach.


Basics of anatomo-physiology of the central and autonomic nervous system; basics of General Psychology; basics of methodology of research in Psychology.

Course unit content

The psychophysiological research: background and definitions.
. Recording and processing of the EEG signal: evoked potentials (ERPs) and brain oscillations (ERD, ERS)
. How to use ERPs in cognitive sciences (e.g., perception, attention, face processing, memory, language, decision-making)
. Psychophysiology of orienting
. Psychophysiology of emotion: Theories and methods
. Psychophysiological indices of emotional response: Relationships between subjective, behavioral and physiological responses
. The startle reflex and emotion
. The psychophysiological approach to the study of the relationship between cognitive processes (attention and memory) and emotion
. Clinical psychophysiology: limitations and advantages

Full programme

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Pennisi, P., Sarlo M., Indici Elettrofisiologici in Psicologia. Padova: CLEUP Editrice, 1998.

Materials (slides and scientific review and articles) provided by the teacher on the university platform Elly

Teaching methods

The course includes theoretical lessons, discussion of scientific articles, video projection and practical tests of recording the electroencephalographic signal at the psychophysiology laboratory.
For the current academic year 2020/2021, following the health emergency due to COVID-19, teaching will take place in mixed mode, with traditional lessons delivered mainly at a distance and seminars in small groups in class, guaranteeing distances required by safety procedures. All the material will be videotaped and uploaded to the Elly platform

Assessment methods and criteria

The final test will be an oral interview. It is considered part of the final evaluation also the study and the elaboration of N.2 scientific articles
provided by the teacher, and to be presented in the form of written draft to be sent to the teacher (a power point schematization accompanied by a summary in word) to be emailed to the teacher 2 weeks before the chosen exam appeal. In addition, the student will have the option to make a presentation of the article during the regular class, in order to get more credits for the final exam.

Other information

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