87466 - Neuroscience of Aging

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 student: - knows the changes that occur in the nervous system and in the cognitive and emotional-motivational functions in healthy and pathological aging; - knows the epidemiological, clinical and neuropsychological characteristics of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases; - is able to set up an assessment of cognitive functions and interventions for prevention and cognitive stimulation in healthy and pathological aging.

Course contents

The course will take place during the first semester (from September to December 2021) at the Department of Psychology, Cesena Campus (address: AULA EUROPA 1 - First floor - Viale Europa, 115 - Cesena).

 Students will also be able to take lessons online via Teams software.

The course aims to provide advanced knowledge on biological and functional changes in cognitive and affective processes that are impacted by physiological and pathological aging.

The course involves 2 modules, whose specific contents are the following:

Module 1 (Prof.ssa Borgomaneri)

The module 1 is designed to provide advanced knowledge of the impact of physiological aging on the anatomy and physiology of the human brain and on the impact that these changes have on the motor system and on high-level cognitive processes, such as memory and emotion perception. The impact of healthy aging on different cognitive domains will be investigated, assessing the physiological changes (e.g., alteration of electroencephalographic markers) and behavioral changes that impact the daily life of elderly people.

Modulo 2 (Prof.ssa Molinari)

The module 2 of the course is designed to provide advanced knowledge of cognitive and behavioral impairment in dementia and other neurological disorders. The course is focused on cognitive processes, behavioral characteristics, epidemiological data, clinical aspects, neuroimaging correlates and diagnostic criteria of: normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, typical and atypical Alzheimer's disease, fronto-temporal lobe dementia, progressive primary aphasia, extrapiramidal syndromes, vascular dementia, rapidly progressive dementia, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.


Scientific papers and other course materials for this course will be made available at the course website. These readings are mandatory to pass the final exam.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures during which the topic of each module will be interactively discussed, group discussions of neuroscientific papers, works in small groups with class presentation.

Assessment methods

The final exam ascertains the acquisition of the expected knowledge about the processes that underlie physiological and pathological aging, neuropsychological profiles and the differential diagnosis of the different types of cognitive impairment, and the ability to develop a diagnostic profile based on the use of neuropsychological tests and clinical interviews.

Written exam with 3 open-ended questions (one question concerning Module 1, two questions concerning module 2) to complete in 1 hour (approximately 20 minutes per question).

There will be 10/30 points maximum for correctly answering each of the three open-ended questions. The final mark is calculated as the sum of the points obtained at each of the 3 questions.

During the exam students are not allowed to consult any materials, such as textbooks, notes, electronic 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 and send an email to Prof. Borgomaneri.


NOTE: In case of health emergency linked to Covid-19, exams will take place remotely via Teams, and will consist of 1 question for module 1 (Borgomaneri), and 2 questions for module 2 (Molinari). Each correct answer will allow you to get 10 points, for a total of 30 points / 30.

Teaching tools

Slides (PowerPoint) and video clips

Office hours

See the website of Sara Borgomaneri

See the website of Maria Angela Molinari