72600 - Methodology of Research in Neurosciences (A)

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

At the end of the course the students: i) posses knowledge about functional neuroanatomy and the major manifestations of neurological disorders; ii) possess knowledge about the principal experimental techniques and data analysis tools in neuroscience; iii) posses knowledge about methods and experimental designs in neuroscientific research; iv) knows how to plan a research project in neuroscience and how to make a report of neuroscientific data

Course contents

The course will take place during the first semester (from September to December 2020) at the Department of Psychology, Cesena Campus. Lectures will be held in Aula Informatica I (address: piazza A. Moro, 90). Students could also attend the lectures using the software Teams.  

The course involves 3 modules aimed at providing advanced knowledge on research methods and techniques in Neuroscience, analysis of neuroscientific and behavioral data through software (Excel, SPSS).


- Methods and Experimental designs in Neuroscience;

- Tabulation, data analysis and graphs with Excel;

- Data analysis (ANOVA, regression) with statistical software (SPSS);

- Writing a report: description, interpretation and discussion of data.

The order of the three modules is: Module 1, 2 and 3.


1) Slides and solutions of exercises published online on "Virtuale".

2) Optional teaching material: students may want to consult statistical handbooks addressing the following arguments: analysis of variance (ANOVA: repeated measure, between groups, factorial designs, mixed designs, planned comparisons and post-hoc analysis), correlation, bivariate and multiple regression.

3) Optional teaching material for further insights: A) Geoffrey Keppel, William H. Saufley jr., Howard Tokunaga (2001). Disegno sperimentale e analisi dei dati in psicologia. Edizione italiana a cura di Violani C. Napoli: Edises; B) Donald H. McBurney, Theresa L. White (2008). Metodologia della ricerca in psicologia. Bologna: Il Mulino.

Teaching methods

Frontal lessons and practical exercises in laboratory. Class attendance plays an important role in the learning process, as individual or group work will be performed in each lesson using computers and the final exam will be modeled based on such practical exercises in laboratory. Students could also attend the lectures using the software Teams.

To optimize class attendance and the possibility to interact with the teachers during practical exercises, the course is divided into 2 distinct channels, based on the initial of the surname (Channel A: surnames A-L; Channel B: surnames M-Z). Classes will start with Module 1/Channel A followed by Module 1/Channel B, then Module 2/Channel A, Module 2/Channel B, Module 3/Channel A, Module 3/Channel B as indicated in the teaching calendar.

In view of the type of activity and the teaching methods adopted, the attendance of this course requires prior participation of all students to the training modules 1 and 2 on safety in learning places, in e-learning mode.

Assessment methods

Written exam on a computer lasting 3 h. The exam includes answering theoretical questions about methods and experimental designs in neuroscience research, analyzing real data using Excel and SPSS software, and reporting the results and interpretation of statistical analysis using Word software. The final mark will be attributed in thirtieths based on the correctness and completeness of the exercise.

The exam will be assigned a maximum score (30L) if the student is able to respond to theoretical questions with precise answers, and report and discuss data analysis in an accurate and complete manner. On the basis of the correctness and completeness of the answer the final mark could range from 18 to the maximum score.

If the pandemic conditions allow it, the exame will take place in Aula Informatica at the Department of Psychology. The possibility to participate online will be guaranteed, through the Zoom platform.

The student is required to complete the online registration (Almaesami) within the terms in order to be admitted to the exam. In the case of technical problems the student is required to promptly contact the Segreteria Studenti and email prof. Avenanti (within the terms) who will consider the request and decide about the admission.

Teaching tools

Presentation of slides and data to analyze in class with datasheet, word processor and statistical software

Office hours

See the website of Alessio Avenanti

See the website of Vincenzo Romei

See the website of Michela Candini