cod. 1005498

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Psicologia generale (M-PSI/01)
Psicologia generale e fisiologica
Type of training activity
42 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

The course aims to make students acquire the advanced principles that regulate high-order mental functioning, with particular attention paid to the most current paradigms and tools adopted in scientific research in the field of cognitive sciences and neuroscience.
The main cognitive functions, such as attention and memory, and the relationship between these functions and emotions will be illustrated.
The final goal of the course is to make the student autonomous in formulating critical thinking based on the scientific method, and to provide the main tools for a continuous and fruitful dialogue with scientific literature and related application implications.


Knowledge acquired in the course of General Psychology (bachelor in Psychology).

Course unit content

The first part of the course presents a general overview of the methodology of research in cognitive psychology, introducing the techniques most commonly used in the neuroscience field to measure mental processing (event-related potentials, eye movements). The fundamental questions that catch the current scientific debate will then be addressed, also offering exercises in understanding and discussing scientific articles. Particular attention will be paid to the increasingly intriguing contamination between emotions and cognition.

Full programme

Attention - Visual search models - Attentional capture and distractor inhibition - The selection history model - Learning and attention - Studying attention through the technique of potential event-related (ERPs). Learning and memory. The role of cognition in learning. From learning to memory: The distributed practice; The importance of the test phase (testing effect); Learning and predictability; Mechanisms underlying mnemonics; From short-term memory to working memory. The multicomponential model: Working memory theories. Episodic memory: the levels of processing; Transfer-appropriate processing. Semantic memory: The activation propagation model. Emotions and memory: The errors of memory. General principles governing retrieval. The principle of specificity of coding. Retrieval and reconstructive memory. Recognition memory and the signal detection theory; The different factors that generate forgetting. Interference phenomena Ritrieval-induced forgetting. Motivated oblivion: directed forgetting, think / no think.


Psicologia cognitiva. Connettere mente, ricerca, ed esperienza comune
di E. Bruce Goldstein (2015)

- scientific articles available on ELLY.

Teaching methods

face-to-face lessons

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam will take place in written form through 2 open questions and 5 closed questions (multiple choice).
The open questions will be evaluated with a score from 0 to 10, and the closed ones with 2 points each, for a total of 30 points.
The duration of the exam is 40 minutes.

The exam, as well as the bibliography, is the same for attending and non-attending students.

The exam is carried out only in the appeal sessions. There are no intermediate tests or extraordinary exams.

Other information

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