78194 - Forensic 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 Reduced inequalities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will have knowledge of: -neuropsychology applied to the forensic practice, - the social and juridical consequences of cognitive and behavioral disorders,- the consequences and assessment of loss of capacity, especially with regard to the assumption of responsibility.

Course contents

Contents will include both the theoretical aspects of the interaction between law and neuroscience (e.g., neuroethics, and the impact of neuropsychological research on judicial decision making), as well as more practical aspects (e.g., the use of neuropsychological evidence in legal proceedings).

The course articulates in two modules, lasting 30 hours each, which will focus on:

Elisa Ciaramelli's module (Module 1)

  • the neuropsychological assessment in the forensic context
  • the cognitive and neural bases of free will
  • psychogenic amnesia, simulated amnesia, and lie-detection techniques
  • the assessment of brain and emotional trauma, and post traumatic stress disorders

Michela Candini's module (Module 2)

  • the psychology of eyewitness testimony
  • false memory and suggestibility in criminal proceedings
  • the cognitive and neural bases of moral judgment in psychopathy

The course will take place during the II semester (March/April 2022), at the Cesena Campus of the School of Psychology and Education (address: p.zza A. Moro, 90).


Obligatory course readings:

  • Stracciari A., Bianchi A., Sartori G., Neuropsicologia forense, Il Mulino, Bologna, 2010.
  • 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 lessons, discussion of scientific papers, discussion of expert cases, practical exercitations and discussions held by students.

Assessment methods

The final exam assesses the expected learning outcomes outlined above, including knowledge of the techniques, methods, and criticalities of forensic neuropsychology, and the contribution the neurosciences can give to law and legal proceedings, for example in terms of the assessment of capacity and imputability, and of the consequences of brain and emotional trauma.

The exam is written, lasts 1.5 hours, and consists of 4 open questions (2 questions relative to E. Ciaramelli's module, 2 questions relative to L.Sammicheli'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, their theoretical rationale and implication for the forensic context, and 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

PowerPoint slides, scientific papers and reviews, collective discussions of expert cases. For this reason, attending the course is highly recommended though not necessary.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Elisa Ciaramelli

See the website of Michela Candini