32035 - Cognitive and Social Neurosciences

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 Life on land

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

A the end of the course, students will know a) the main techniques involved in Cognitive Neuroscience; b) the neural bases of cognitive and affective processes; c) neural basis of social interaction.

Course contents

The course of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience is divided into two teaching modules:

Module 1 (6 training credits, Prof. di Pellegrino):

  • Vision
  • Visual object recognition
  • Visuo-motor interaction
  • Visual selective attention
  • Learning and memory
  • Cognitive control

Module 2 (6 training credits, prof. Avenanti):

  • Methods in social and cognitive neuroscience
  • Action
  • Emotion
  • Social neuroscience

The course takes place in the first cycle of lessons (from September to December 2023). The lessons are held at the Department of Psychology, Cesena Campus, Piazza Aldo Moro, 90.

The topics of module 2 will be treated first, followed by the topics of module 1.


GAZZANIGA Michael S, IVRY Richard B, MANGUN George Neuroscienze Cognitive, Zanichelli (2021)

In particularly, Chapter 2, 3, 5-10, 12-13)

In addition, the slides presented durning the lecture, and some articles in English will be made available to students.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures, presentation and discussion of clinical cases and experiments, brief video clips projections, analysis of scientific articles.

Assessment methods

Verification of the learning outcomes takes place through the final exam that ensures the acquisition of the expected outcomes (see Learning outcomes) by carrying out a written test lasting 40 minutes.

The exam consists of 40 multiple choice questions divided into:

  • 20 questions relating to Module 1
  • 20 questions relating to Module 2

Evaluation criteria

Each question has 5 possible answers of which only one is correct. The correct answer to each question yields 0,75 points. Each wrong or not given answer is scored 0 points.

The final grade is calculated as the sum of the points for the correct answers plus a constant of 1.5. In the case of a non-integer score, the final grade is rounded up to the upper unit for decimals equal to, or greater than, 0.5, and to the lower unit for decimals lower than 0.5.

For example,

in case of 40 correct answers (40x0.75+1.5=31.5), grade 30/30 and honor;

in case of 35 correct answers (35x0.75+1.5=27.75), grade 28/30;

in case of 22 correct answers (22x0.75+1.5=18), grade 18/30.


Partial tests

Both attending and non-attending students can take the exam through 2 partial tests.

The 1st partial test, lasting 20 minutes, with 20 multiple-choice questions on the topics covered in Module 2 (Alessio Avenanti), will take place on November 2, 2023.

The 2nd partial test, lasting 20 minutes, with 20 multiple-choice questions on the topics covered in Module 1 (Giuseppe di Pellegrino), can be taken within the calendar year 2024, during the exam sessions in winter, summer, and autumn.

In each exam session, it is always possible to take the entire exam (40 multiple-choice questions, lasting 40 minutes).

Please note: The grade for the 1st partial test remains valid for the winter, summer, and autumn exam sessions in 2024. The grade for the 1st partial test will no longer be valid starting from the calendar year 2025.


During the exam, the use of supporting material such as textbooks, notes, computer media is not allowed.
It is necessary to register for the exam via the electronic bulletin board on the AlmaEsami website, in compliance with the deadlines set. Any problem in registering through the dedicated website must be promptly communicated to the didactic secretariat.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint slides, video clips

Office hours

See the website of Giuseppe Di Pellegrino

See the website of Alessio Avenanti