30770 - Psycholinguistics (2) (2nd cycle)

Course Unit Page


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

Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The learning objective of this course is to understand how cognitive processes interact with language processes. Applications of psycholinguistics in different fields will be examined.

Course contents

In order to attend the Psycholinguistic (2) LM course (30 hours of lessons - 6 cfu) it is necessary to attend to Psicolinguistica (1) LM (30 hours of lessons - 6 cfu).

The aim is to deepen some representative themes of the main problems and perspectives that characterize contemporary experimental research in psychology on language, taking advantage of the skills acquired in the first module (Psycholinguistics 1).

The applied nature of the course will aim at address the issue of the experimental research on language.

At the beginning of the course the teacher will present the main topic as being representative of the main issues and views that characterize the contemporary research in cognitive psychology on language. Students will be required to read a paper and comment and discuss it in class under the supervision of the professor. Given the nature of the course, the attendance becomes very important for the preparation of the exam.

The goal is to deepen a current topic of debate in the scientific community and to collectively co-construct a critical elaboration of this topic.

Psycholinguistics (2) (LM) (6 CFU) will start on the IV period for a total of 30 hours of lessons.


The Bibliography differs according to whether the student is attending or not attending, specifically:

- Attending students: In addition to the bibliography required for the Psicolinguistica (1) LM exam, students who have also attended Psicolinguistica (2) LM have to study the paper they presented during the course and 2 other papers to be discussed during the course

- Not attending students: In addition to the bibliography required for the Psicolinguistica (1) LM exam, students who have not attended Psicolinguistica (2) LM must study 5 articles, more specifically:

- the three following articles:

  1.  Barsalou, L.W. (2009). Simulation, situated conceptualization, and prediction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 364, pp. 1281-1289.
  2. Caruana F., Borghi, A.M. (2013). Embodied Cognition: A new psychology. Italian Journal of Psychology, XXXV, pp. 23-48.
  3.  Mahon, B.Z., Caramazza, A. (2008). A critical look to the embodied cognition hypothesis and a new proposal for grounding conceptual content. Journal of Physiology, 102, pp. 59-70.

- two papers from the following list:

  1. Adornetti et al. (2018). Embodied cognition. e origine del linguaggio: il ruolo cruciale del gesto. Lebenswelt, 13, 43-56
  2. Barca et al (2017). Pacifier Overuse and Conceptual Relations of Abstract and Emotional Concepts. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:2014. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02014
  3. Beltrami (2020). “Too Strange for Reality, Too Real for Fairy Tales: Views from Cognitive and Unnatural Narratology on A.S. Byatt’s ‘A Stone Woman’”. Enthymema, n. XXV, pp. 250-63.
  4. Bodo (2016) Taste and smell words form an affectively loaded and emotionally flexible part of the English lexicon, Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 31(8), pp. 975-988, DOI: 10.1080/23273798.2016.1193619
  5. Borghi et al (2017). The Challenge of Abstract Concepts. Psychological Bulletin, 143, pp. 263–292
  6. Cariola (2020). “Inside or Outside”: The Container Schema of High and Low Barrier Personalities. And Remarks on Covid-19. Language and Psychoanalysis, 9 (2), pp. 28-53
  7. Carlo et al (2021). Il ruolo della costruzione di scenari nella spiegazione dei disturbi macrolinguistici della schizofrenia. Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia, 12 (1), pp. 88-105. DOI: 10.4453/rifp.2021.0007
  8. Davis & Yee (2020). Building semantic memory from embodied and distributional language experience. Cognitive Science, e1555., https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.1555
  9. Dubova (2022). Building human-like communicative intelligence: A grounded perspective. Cognitive Systems Research, 72, pp. 63–79
  10. Fascilli (2012). La negazione e le teorie simulative della comprensione linguistica. RIFL, pp. 54-63 (Azione, percezione e linguaggio). DOI 10.4396/20120305
  11. Garagnani et al (2021). Semantic Grounding of Novel Spoken Words in the Primary Visual Cortex. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15:581847. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2021.581847
  12. Gibbs (2020). How metaphors shape the particularities of illness and healing experiences. Transcultural Psychiatry, 0(0), pp. 1–11. DOI: 10.1177/1363461520965424
  13. Gunther et al (2018). Symbol Grounding Without Direct Experience: Do Words Inherit Sensorimotor Activation From Purely Linguistic Context? Cognitive Science, 42(2), pp. 336-374
  14. Humphries et al (2019). From action to abstraction: The sensorimotor grounding of metaphor in Parkinson’s disease. Cortex, 121, pp. 362-384
  15. Lewis & Watson (2016). Effects of lexical semantics on acoustic prominence. Language and Cognition, 8, pp. 314– 334
  16. Mahon, B.Z. (2014). What is embodied about cognition? Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2014.987791
  17. Markus et al (2015). Handwriting or Typewriting?vThe Influence of Pen or Keyboard-Based Writing Training on Reading and Writing Performance in Preschool Children. Advance in cognitive psychology, 11, 4, pp. 136-146
  18. Muraki et al (2020). Heterogeneity in abstract verbs: An ERP study. Brain & Language, 211, pp. 1-16
  19. Sandler W (2018). The Body as Evidence for the Nature of Language. Frontiers in Psychology 9:1782. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01782
  20. Schmidt et al. (2019). Embodied learning in the classroom: Effects on primary school children’s attention and foreign language vocabulary learning. Psychology of sports and exercise, 43, pp. 45-54.
  21. Stins et al (2017). Words That Move Us. The Effects of Sentences on Body Sway. Advance in cognitive Psychology, 13(2), pp. 156-165
  22. Sullivan (2018). Learning and Embodied Cognition: A Review and Proposal. Psychology Learning & Teaching, 17(2), pp. 128–143
  23. Zhou et al (2021). The conceptualization of emotions across cultures: a model based on interoceptive neuroscience. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 125, pp. 314-327
  24. Wall et al (2022). Embodied Action Scaffolds Dialogic Reading. Educational Psychology Review, 34, pp. 401–419

The articles can be found online from the Unibo library portal. To download them remotely from your computer, when you are not connected to the Unibo Wifi network, you need to access via the Unibo proxy service (link: http://www.biblioteche.unibo.it/portale/strumenti/proxy).

Students who have problems finding the article, are invited to contact the professor.
Students who are interested in other specific subjects (for degree thesis or research projects, etc.), are asked to contact the professor.

Teaching methods

Lectures with power point presentations and shared discussion of the articles presented by the students, moderated and integrated by the professor.

During each lecture, specific research studies in the psycholinguistics filed will be presented and discussed.

Assessment methods

The final exam will be an oral exam.

Those who have chosen to take the 12 credits exam will have to take the first part (Psycholinguistics 1 - 6 credits) in written mode (multiple choice test) and the second part (Psycholinguistics 2 - 6 credits) in oral mode.

To take the Psycholinguistics exam (1) (first part - 6 credits) one, please refer to the exams published on Almaesami.

To take the Psycholinguistics exam (2) (second part - 6 credits), please contact the professor by email (l.lugli@unibo.it).

The exam aims at verifying:

1. the competence of the acquired contents

2. the level of assimilation and critical-conceptual elaboration of the proposed contents

3. the ability to orientate between the main lines of interpretation

They will be evaluated with marks of excellence:

  • the students' acquisition of an organic vision of the topics addressed in class together with their critical use

They will be evaluated with discrete marks:

  • a mnemonic knowledge of the subject,
  • a capacity for synthesis and analysis

They will be evaluated with insufficient marks:

  • knowledge gaps
  • lack of orientation in the bibliographic materials offered during the course

The exam offers a further opportunity for discussion with the teacher, a comparison that the student is invited to look for during the lessons, intervening in person with the request for clarification or with proposals for further information.

Foreign students who feel more confortable to take the exam in English, are kindly asked to contact the professor in order to arrange the examination procedure.

Teaching tools

Participation (also online) in experimental sessions for the deepening of experimental paradigms

Office hours

See the website of Luisa Lugli