37202 - Cognitive Sciences (1) (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Laura Calzà

  • Credits 6

  • SSD L-LIN/01

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Italian Studies, European Literary Cultures, Linguistics (cod. 9220)

  • Course Timetable from Nov 08, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


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

The aim of this course is to provide basic elements for understanding the cultural debate on cognitive sciences, with particular reference to language, with the aim of bringing the point of view of the scientific world as close as possible to the humanistic field and specifically to the field of theoretical and applied linguistics.

Course contents

Part I: introduction and methods of study

1. notes on the form and function of cells and organ of the mind (2 hours)
2. study methods in cognitive science (2 hours)

Part II: theories of mind
- Mind, body and the brain: a story of duality (2 hours)
- Innateness, learning, memory (2 hours)
- Perception, thought, conscience and autocoscience (2 hours)

Part III: Language
- Nature and culture, neuroanatomy, neuropsychology and language (2 hours)
- Lesions of the brain and cognitive neuroanatomy of language (2 hours)
- Acquisition and development of written and spoken language (2 hours)
- Perception of speech and language production (2 hours)
- Morphology and syntax in the brain (2 hours)
- The brains of multilingual (2 hours)
- Sign language (2 hours)
- Evolutionary perspective of human language (2 hours)

Part IV: Beyond the mind-body dualism
- The emotions and the mind (2 hours)
- The emotions and the choice of words (2 hours)
- Facial expressions and language (2 hours)


Neuroscienze cognitive, Gazzaniga MS, Ivry RB, Mangun GR (eds), Zanichelli, 2005
Principi di Neuroscienze Cognitive, edizione italiana a cura di A. Zani, Zanichelli, 2009

Teaching methods

lectures with 15 minutes of questions and answers

Assessment methods

For both attending and non-attending Students:

final exam with critical commentary on a text, on linguistics topics, using neuroscience studies ("thesis"). Articles to be analyzed will be made available to students, or the student can agree on a different topic with the teacher. Questions related to terminology and very general principles of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology will also be proposed.

The learning tests will privilege the conceptual aspects over the purely notional ones, and will aim to evaluate the fundamental knowledge of the subject, the autonomy of judgment, the ability to learn even with autonomous tools, the ability to communicate scientific concepts.

Teaching tools

Teaching material presented to class will be available through a username and password at Risorse didattiche su Virtuale - University of Bologna.

The educational material presented in class does not replace but supplement the reference texts, and is a guide for the selection and understanding of the subject matter. It is advisable not to print the material well in advance of the lesson of reference: the teacher could make changes.

Office hours

See the website of Laura Calzà