47946 - Cognitive Neurophysiology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Pharmacy (cod. 9219)

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed to provide the topics useful for the knowledge of physiology of relationship and of central integrative functions typical of human. The topic focused on the physiologic mechanisms for integrative functions of central nervous system and in particular the cerebral hemisferes. The more recent experimental models are presented, in particular the highest cognitive functions.

Course contents

Research in Integrative Neuroscience: Concepts of Integrative Neuroscience. Ethical issues in Neuroscience Research. The rule of 3R in the research on animal models. Alternative methods in research.

Methodological approaches in System Neuroscience research and their basical principles.

Central processing of sensory information. Partition of cerebral cortex from K. Brodmann. Primary sensory cortices. Associative sensory cortices.

Vision as model of cortical functions. Visual perception: from receptors to cerebral cortex. Processings underlying vision and visual perception.

Encoding of the position of the objects in the visual field. Encoding of the shape, the color and the movement of a stimulus. Central visual pathways. Dorsal and Ventral visual stream in cerebral cortex.

Conscious and unconscious perception, optical illusions. Blind-sight-

Movement control: from the frontal lobe to the muscles. The associative frontal cortex and the action planning.

Attention, learning and memory

Associative cortices: the associative parietal cortex and its role in the attention and spatial perception. The associative temporal cortex and memory.

Classical and operating conditioning. Positive reinforcement. Learning and memory. Classification of the types of memory on the basis of content and duration.

Amnesia. Memory and ageing. Neural circuits for different types of memory.

Complex behaviors

Language: language and brain. Hemispheric lateralization.

Cortical plasticity: modification of cerebral circuits as result of experience. Critical periods. Language development. Basical concepts on the development of the central nervous system.

Emotions: cerebral circuits underlying emotion. Memories with emotional content.

Time and numbers: brain processings for the encoding of magnitude information and time perception.

Physiology of relation life: sex and brain: neural bases of sexual behavior. Neurophysiological bases of the emotional behavior and motivation.


Purves et al., NEUROSCIENZE, ed Zanichelli, 2021
Purves et al., Neuroscienze cognitive, ed Zanichelli 2009, 2013

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons using Power Point presentations.

Interactive methods (e.g. Kahoot, Quizizz, etc…) learned in recent didactic laboratories of UNIBO will also be added, so to have a richer interaction among students and between students and professor.

Assessment methods

Oral examination (registration in Alma RM at least 4 days before the date of the exame). The student will present two different subjects from the program, chosen by the examiner. The student needs to have a decent preparation on both topics, in order to pass the examination.Students following lessons have the possibility to perform a partial examination "in itinere" (it elapses after 6 months).

The final exam aims at assessing and evaluating the achievement of the educational aims:

- knowledge of neurophysiological mechanisms organizing integrative functions of the central nervous system and in particular of the cerebral hemispheres

- knowledge of recent experimental models used to study the highest cognitive functions.

It will be assessed the student's capability to orient within the various topics of physiology program. It will be evaluated with excellence the achievement of a global view of course topics together with a critical use of them, the ability to perform conceptual correlations, the demonstration of both expressive and specific language mastery competence.

Teaching tools

Lectures will be done in a Power Point presentation format. The material for the slides (e.g. figures, photos) will come mainly from the suggested textbooks. All teaching material will be available on the designated digital platforms (servers) of the University.

In order to prepare for the exam it is suggested to attend actively the lectures, study from a textbook and use both the notes taken during lectures and the material put by the tutor on the server of the University.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Patrizia Fattori


Good health and well-being Gender equality

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