Psychobiology (2016/2017)

Course partially running (all years except the first)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Mirta Fiorio
Mirta Fiorio
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. IA (31.10.16 sosp.lezioni), Sem. IB

Lesson timetable

Sem. IA (31.10.16 sosp.lezioni)
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Thursday 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Sem. IB
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 4:50 PM - 7:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall H from Nov 16, 2016  to Nov 16, 2016

Learning outcomes

The Teaching aims to provide the conceptual and methodological bases needed to understand the biological correlates of behavior and cognitive functions.


The program will touch the main issues addressed in Psychobiology, such as memory, learning, attention, perception, action, language. All of these cognitive functions will be dealt with a physiological point of view, by describing also the neural bases.

Introduction to Psychobiology:
a) Background
b) the principal methodological tools and techniques

Biological bases of behavior:
a) neurons and synapses
b) neuronal circuits
c) long-term potentiation

The cycle "perception-action"
a) from sensory stimuli to motor outputs
b) movements and actions
c) the neural basis

a) endogenous and exogenous attention
b) experimental paradigms
c) the neural basis

a) types of memory: short-term and long-term
b) experimental paradigms
c) the neural basis

The language:
a) the main theories on language
b) the neural basis

a) theories of conditioning
b) experimental paradigms
c) neural mechanisms

The brain plasticity:
a) virtuous and harmful plasticity
b) functional reorganization
c) inter-hemispheric inhibition
d) neuromodulation

a) centra and peripheral theories
b) components of the emotions
c) biological bases

Teaching methods
Teaching consists of frontal lessons, for a total of 36 hours (6 CFUs). The first lesson will serve to guide students thought the course: information will be provided about the program, the lesson schedule, the reference textbooks, and the exams. In addition, for each topic discussed during the lessons, the reference will be provided to the chapters in which that topic is described. Additional materials will be provided on the e-learning platform of the University.
Throughout the academic year, a student reception service is available, with a weekly fixed schedule.

Suggested textbooks
- Zorzi M, Girotto V. Fondamenti di psicologia generale. Ed Il Mulino.
- Gazzaniga MS, Ivry RB, Mangun GR. Neuroscienze Cognitive. Ed Zanichelli.
- The slides of the lectures will be available on the web page for the Course.
- Bibliographic references to scientific papers published in international journals will be provided.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Zorzi M., Girotto V. Fondamenti di Psicologia Generale Il Mulino 2004 978-88-15-11426-6
Gazzaniga, Ivry, Mangun Neuroscienze Cognitive (Edizione 2) Zanichelli 2015

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam consists of one written test with 31 closed questions and multiple choice answers. The written test is intended to ensure knowledge of the topics addressed in the course and covers all the topics discussed during the lessons. The written test will be expressed in scores of thirty.