76292 - Neuropsychology.

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

Neuropsychology is a psychological science devoted to the understanding of cognitive processes and their neural substrates. Students will acquire knowledge about the scientific methods of neuropsychology (e.g., study of the behaviour of brain-damaged patients), and about humans' cognitive systems (e.g., memory, attention, language), their functional properties, their neural underpinnings, and their impairment.  

Course contents

Neuropsychology of cognitive processes and other aspects of human higher cognition, in particular: attention, memory and future thinking, language, movement, spontaneous cognition and mind-wandering. We will focus on: (1) cognitive systems, their neural bases, their dysfunction; (2) the main experiments at the basis of extant neuropsychological theories; (3) the methods of neuropsychology.

The macro-themes of the course, concerning the neural bases of cognitive processes, make contact with those of the Cognitive and Social Neurosciences course (II year). The Neuropsychology course, however, is more focused on the neuropsychological approach to the study of human cognition. Therefore, it is more markedly based on the analysis of the cognitive profile and behavior of patients with acquired brain damage, and on the study of the specific experiments involving brain-damaged patients that have contributed to shape the prominent theories of the operation and neural underpinnings of cognitive processes in humans.

The course will take place during the I semester (September-November 2021), at the Cesena Campus of the Department of Psychology, p.zza A. Moro, 90).


Obligatory course readings:

1) Làdavas E, Berti A. Neuropsicologia. Il Mulino. 2014 (excluding the chapters on 'neural plasticity' and on 'cognitive deterioration').

2) the slides presented during each class. Please note these are meant as integrative, not alternative, of the course readings. The slides will be available after the classes on https://campus.unibo.it/ 

Additional, optional couse readings will be proposed during the course, and made available on https://campus.unibo.it/ 

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, complemented with media contents such as powerpoint slides and videos of neuropsychological patients. Moreover, there will be interactive presentations and collective discussions of scientific papers focusing on debated topics studied with different neuropsychological methods. 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 cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying cognitive functions, of the causes and characteristics of their impairment following brain damage, and of the main experiments at the basis of current neuropsychological theories.

The exam is written (duration: 1.5 hours), with 4 open questions, each of which can receive a score up to 30. The final score (expressed out of 30) is the average of the scores attained at the different questions. The maximal score (30/30) will be given to students proving to know the neuropsychology of cognitive processes (neural and cognitive bases, functional properties, and dysfunction), and will respond precisely and completely to all questions. Broadly, a high score (27-30) will be given to answers that are correct and complete, and that present the relevant neuropsychological theories along with the experiments that support them, an intermediate score (26-23) to answers that contain information that is correct but not fully articulated or connected, a sufficient score (22-18) to answers that are scant or contain some incorrect information, and an insufficient score (<18) to answers markedly poor or incorrect. A final grade of 30 cum laude may be given to students who attain 30 in all the four questions.

There will be an early exam at the end of the course for students who regularly attended the course (i.e., signing a dedicated form to assess presence at least 6 out of 8 times during the course), with the same characteristics of standard exams.

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. Any problem in registering through the website should be promptly communicated to the administrative staff.

IMP: Any changes in the exam procedures 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, videos about the main neuropsychological syndromes, collective discussion of clinical cases.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Elisa Ciaramelli