B2976 - Hot Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Moduli: Vincenzo Romei (Modulo 1) Elisa Ciaramelli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Cesena
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Neuroscience and Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (cod. 5964)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student: - knows and can integrate literature on topics of neuroscience and neuropsychology of recent interest - can critically interpret neuroscientific evidence and integrate it with other sources - is able argue to argue about the weak and strong points of a neuroscientific/neuropsychological theory and to propose new avenues of investigation

Course contents

The course focuses on new trends and debated topics in the study of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying low level perceptual processing and higher cognition functions, such as perception, attention, decision-making, episodic simulation, mind-wandering, their adaptive functions and their maladaptive alterations in neurological and psychiatric conditions.

The course articulates in two modules, lasting 16 hours each, which include:

Elisa Ciaramelli's module (Module 1)

  • Non-mnestic functions of the medial temporal lobe
  • Episodic memory sharing and the representation of others’ memories
  • Spontaneous cognition and mind-wandering

Vincenzo Romei's module (Module 2)

  • The neural bases of perception, attention and perceptual decision-making
  • A predictive coding account of functional vs. dysfunctional 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 (Oct - Dec 2023) at the Department of Psychology, Cesena.


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 mandatory.

Assessment methods

The final exam assesses the expected learning outcomes outlined above, including knowledge and critical discussion of the emerging trends in the study of neural bases and psychological function of cognitive processes, their alteration in neurological and psychiatric diseases, and the contribution that cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology 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 and Prof. Romei, who will ultimately admit the student to the exam session.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint slides, Video Clips, scientific articles

Office hours

See the website of Vincenzo Romei

See the website of Elisa Ciaramelli


Good health and well-being

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