93513 - Applied Cognitive Neuroscience

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Elisa Ciaramelli (Modulo 1) Vincenzo Romei (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Psychology of Wellbeing and Social Inclusivity (cod. 5700)

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students know the behavioral and neural underpinnings of individual well-being, and the interventions aimed at its promotion

Course contents

The course focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying higher cognition processes, such as perception, decision, episodic simulation, mind-wandering, their psychological function and contribution to individual wellbeing, their alteration in neurological and psychiatric conditions, and the behavioral procedures and neural-based techniques capable to improve them.

The course articulates in two modules, lasting 30 hours each, which include:

Elisa Ciaramelli's module (Module 1)

  • The neural bases and psychological function of episodic simulation
  • The brain default network and mind-wandering
  • Brain default network alterations in neurological and psychiatric diseases
  • The neural mechanisms of mindfulness meditation and psychotherapy

Vincenzo Romei's module (Module 2)

  • The neural bases of perception and perceptual decision-making
  • A predictive coding account of wellbeing and social behaviour
  • From mental health to mental illness: the continuum hypothesis
  • Shaping the plastic brain to improve its functions

The course will take place during the I semester (September/December 2021) at the Department of Psychology of Bologna (address: viale Berti-Pichat 5).


Scientific papers and other course materials will be made available in the course website. These readings are mandatory to pass the final exam.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, complemented with media contents such as powerpoint slides and videos. Moreover, there will be interactive presentations and collective discussions of scientific papers and current topics tackled with the methods of cognitive neuroscience. For this reason, attending the course is highly recommended though not obligatory.

Assessment methods

The final exam assesses the expected learning outcomes outlined above, including knowledge of the neural bases and psychological function of cognitive processes, their alteration in neurological and psychiatric diseases, and the contribution cognitive neuroscience can give to their understanding and management.

The exam is written, lasts 1.5 hours, and consists of 4 open questions (2 questions relative to V. Romei’s module, 2 questions relative to E. Ciaramelli's module), each of which can receive a maximum score of 30. The final score (expressed out of 30) is the average of the scores attained at the 4 questions. The maximal score (30/30) will be given to students proving to know and reason critically and flexibly about the topics of the course, and which will respond to all questions precisely and completely. A final score of 30 cum laude will be given to students who will attain a score of 30 on each question. On the basis of the correctness and completeness of the answers, scores will range from 30 to 18.

During the exam, it will not be allowed to use any support, including books, notes or IT devices.

It is necessary to sign up for the examination through the dedicated website, and within the deadline. Any problem in registering through the website should be promptly communicated to the administrative staff.

IMP: Any changes in the exam procedures necessary due to the health emergency will be promptly communicated in the News section.

Teaching tools

Frontal lectures with Power Point slides, scientific papers and reviews, collective discussions.

Office hours

See the website of Elisa Ciaramelli

See the website of Vincenzo Romei


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.