30770 - Psycholinguistics (2) (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The learning objective of this course is to understand how cognitive processes interact with language processes. Applications of psycholinguistics in different fields will be examined.

Course contents

Psycholinguistic (2) LM course (30 hours of lessons) must be integrated with the one of Psicolinguistica (1) LM (30 hours of lessons) to obtain 12 cfu.

The applied nature of the course will aim at address the issue of the experimental research on language.

At the beginning of the course the teacher will present the main topic as being representative of the main issues and views that characterize the contemporary research in cognitive psychology on language. Students will be required to read a paper and comment and discuss it in class under the supervision of the professor. Given the nature of the course, the attendance becomes very important for the preparation of the exam.

The aim of the course is to deepen a current topic of debate in the scientific community and to collectively co-construct a critical elaboration of this topic.

Psycholinguistics (2) (LM) (6 CFU) will be held at the Department of Philosophy and Communication, via Azzo Gardino 23, Aula D.

The schedule will be as follows:

Thursday 21 March 14.00-17.00 AULA B
Friday 22 March 11.00-14.00 AULA RENO
Tuesday 26 March 15.00-17.00 AULA A
Wednesday 27 March 13.00-17.00 AULA C

Monday 1 April 10.00-14.00 AULA C

Thursday 2 April 15.00-18.00 AULA C

Wednesday 3 April 13.00-17.00 AULA C
Wednesday 17 April 09.00-12.00 AULA D

Friday 3 May 14.00-17.00 AULA D


The Bibliography differs according to whether the student is attending or not attending, specifically:

- Attending students: In addition to the bibliography required for the Psicolinguistica (1) LM exam, students who have also attended Psicolinguistica (2) LM have to study the paper they presented during the course and 2 other papers to be discussed during the course

- Not attending students: In addition to the bibliography required for the Psicolinguistica (1) LM exam, students who have not attended Psicolinguistica (2) LM must study 5 articles, more specifically:

- the three following articles:

  1.  Barsalou, L.W. (2009). Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 364, pp. 1281-1289.
  2. Caruana F., Borghi, A.M. (2013). Embodied Cognition: A new psychology. Italian Journal of Psychology, XXXV, pp. 23-48.
  3.  Mahon, B.Z., Caramazza, A. (2008). A critical look to the embodied cognition hypothesis and a new proposal for grounding conceptual content. Journal of Physiology, 102, pp. 59-70.

- two papers chosen from the following list:

  1. Borghi, A.M., Binkofski, F., Cimatti, F., Scorolli, C., & Tummolini, L. (2017). The Challenge of Abstract Concepts. Psychological Bulletin, 143, 263–292.
  2. Boyer, T.W., Maouene, J., Sethuraman, N. (2017). Attention to body-parts varies with visual preference and verb–effector associations. Cognitive Processing, 18, 195-203.
  3. Buccino, M., Marino, B., Bulgarelli, C., Mezzadri, M. (2017). Fluent speakers of a second language process graspable nouns expressed in L2 like in their native language. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1306. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01306.
  4. Calabrese, S. (2012). La metafora e i neuroni: stato dell’arte. Enthymema, VII 2012, p. 1-14.
  5. Cangelosi, A. (2010). Grounding language in action and perception: From cognitive agents to humanoid robots. Physics of Life Reviews, 7, 139–151.
  6. Costello, M.C., & Bloesch, E.K. (2017). Are Older Adults Less Embodied? A Review of Age Effects through the Lens of Embodied Cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:267. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00267
  7. Dove, G. (2014). Thinking in Words: Language as an Embodied Medium of Thought. Topics in Cognitive Science, 6, 371–389.
  8. Gibbs, R.W., De Macedo, A.C.P.S. (2010). Metaphor and Embodied Cognition. D.E.L.T.A., 26: especial, 679-700.
  9. Kana, R.K., Sartin, E.B., Stevens, C., Deshpande, D.H., Klein, C., Klinger, M.R., Klinger, L.G. (2017). Neural networks underlying language and social cognition during self-other processing in Autism spectrum disorders. Neuropsychologia, 102, 116–123.
  10. Kühne K and Gianelli C (2019) Is Embodied Cognition Bilingual? Current Evidence and Perspectives of the Embodied Cognition Approach to Bilingual Language Processing. Frontiers in Psychology, 10:108. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00108
  11. Lankoski, P., Järvelä, S. (2012). An Embodied Cognition Approach for Understanding Role-playing. International Journal of Role-playing, 3, 18-32.
  12. Liuzza, M.T., Candidi, M., & Aglioti, S.M. (2012). Non farlo! Negazione linguistica e simulazione delle azioni. RIFL, 5, 127-136.
  13. Mahon, B.Z. (2014). What is embodied about cognition? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(4), 420-429.
  14. Markus Kiefer, M., Schuler, S., Mayer, C., Trumpp, N.M., Hille, K., Sachse, S. (2015). Handwriting or Typewriting? The Influence of Pen- or Keyboard-Based Writing Training on Reading and Writing Performance in Preschool Children. Advance in Cognitive Psychology, 11(4), 136-146.
  15. Repetto, C., Pedroli, E., Macedonia, M. (2017). Enrichment Effects of Gestures and Pictures on Abstract Words in a Second Language. Frontiers in Psychology. 8:2136. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02136.
  16. Turri, M.G. (2015). Oggetti, atti, linguaggio. RIFL, 2, 74-91. DOI 10.4396/201512207
  17. Vasc, D., Ionescu, T. (2013). Embodying cognition: gestures and their role in the development of thinking. Cognition, Brain, Behavior. An Interdisciplinary Journal, XVII, 149-169.

The articles can be found online from the Unibo library portal. To download them remotely from your computer, when you are not connected to the Unibo Wifi network, you need to access via the Unibo proxy service (link: http://www.biblioteche.unibo.it/portale/strumenti/proxy).

Students who have problems finding the article, are invited to contact the professor.
Students who are interested in other specific subjects (for degree thesis or research projects, etc.), are asked to contact the professor.

Teaching methods

Lectures with power point presentations and shared discussion of the articles presented by the students, moderated and integrated by the professor.

During each lecture, specific research studies in the psycholinguistics filed will be presented and discussed

Assessment methods

The exam will be in written form and students will be asked to answer to 6 open questions (but with limited space) that will cover the topics studied and their applications, and which may require students to design an experiment related to one of the course topics.

The exam test aims to verify:

1. the competence on the acquired contents

2. the level of assimilation and critical-conceptual elaboration of the proposed contents

3. the ownership and congruity of the linguistic expression of the different subjects examined

4. the ability to orientate between the main lines of interpretation

They will be evaluated with marks of excellence:

  • the ability to know how to express properly and with appropriate language to the subject matter
  • the acquisition by the student of an organic vision of the topics addressed in class together with their critical use

They will be evaluated with discrete marks:

  • a mnemonic knowledge of the subject,
  • a capacity for synthesis and analysis articulated in a correct language, but not always appropriate

They will be evaluated with insufficient marks:

  • knowledge gaps and / or inappropriate Language
  • lack of orientation in the bibliographic materials offered during the course

The exam offers a further opportunity for discussion with the teacher, a comparison that the student is invited to look for during the lessons, intervening in person with the request for clarification or with proposals for further information.

Students who have already taken a Psycholinguistic examination may, if they wish, opt for an oral interview in which they will have to present and discuss a paper on a topic covered during the course. In this case students are asked to contact the teacher.

Foreign students who feel more confortable to take the exam in English, are kindly asked to contact the professor in order to arrange the examination procedure.

Teaching tools

Participation in experimental sessions for the deepening of experimental paradigms

Office hours

See the website of Luisa Lugli