First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP3049862, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS1089, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MICHELA SARLO M-PSI/02

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/02 Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology 9.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 9.0 63 162.0 No turn

Start of activities 09/10/2017
End of activities 12/01/2018

Examination board
Examination board not defined

Prerequisites: Basics of anatomo-physiology of the central and peripheral nervous system; basics of General Psychology; methodology of basic research in Psychology.
Target skills and knowledge: The mutual relationship between psychological (cognitive, emotional, social) and physiological (central and peripheral) events is the main course topic. The student will acquire competence on the recording of the main biological signals, and advanced knowledge on their meaning as indicators of behavioral and psychological processes, in the light of the most recent literature evidence in the field of psychophysiology and cognitive/affective neuroscience.
Examination methods: Written exam with 4 open questions (3 of which requiring short answers) and 8 multiple-choice questions. Exam duration: 45 minutes.

For the exam, only UniWeb subscription will be allowed; it will not be possible to subscribe via telephone or email under any circumstances. In case of technical problems with UniWeb, students should refer to the appropriate technical assistance resources before the closing of the subscription list.

International students can take the exam in English upon request, by sending an e-mail at least one week before the date of the exam.
Assessment criteria: Evaluation of student achievement will be made in relation to the acquisition of a solid knowledge and integration of key concepts, processes, and research methods in the field of psychophysiology. The use of scientific language, with rigorous and accurate terminology appropriate to the specific methodology and discipline, will be valorized.
Course unit contents: The main goal of the course is the thorough examination of psychophysiological methods and their application to the study of cognitive and emotional processes (and their interactions):
- Advanced methods in psychophysiological research.
- Psychophysiological bases of stimulus-response specificity.
- Autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular psychophysiology: cognitive activity and emotional responses.
- Psychophysiological bases of emotional processes.
- Psychophysiological bases of decision making.
- Psychophysiological bases of sleep and dreaming.
- Psychophysiological bases of motor control.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will involve a combination of lectures, discussions of scientific papers, demonstrations, and exercises. In-class exercises will expand and deepen course topics, and will include audio-visual projections, multimedia materials, exam simulation.
Guided practical experiences will be organized at the Laboratory of Psychophysiology, Department of General Psychology, if allowed by the number of students. Participation is voluntary and does not imply any evaluation concerning the final exam.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Besides the reference textbooks, the lecture slides (available in the Moodle course website) and the following scientific papers/chapters (available in the Moodle course website or at the Psychology Library) are MANDATORY study material for both attendant and nonattendant students:
- Blascovich, J. (2008). Challenge and threat. In A.J. Elliot (Ed.), Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation (pp. 431–445). New York: Psychology Press.
- Bechara, A. (2011). Human emotions in decision making: Are they useful or disruptive? In O. Vartanian & D.R. Mandel (Eds.), Neuroscience of decision making (pp. 73-95). New York: Psychology Press.
- Hobson, J.A., & Pace-Schott, E.F. (2002). The cognitive neuroscience of sleep: neuronal systems, consciousness and learning. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 3 (9), 679-693.
- Walker, M. P., & van Der Helm, E. (2009). Overnight therapy? The role of sleep in emotional brain processing. Psychological Bulletin, 135 (5), 731-748.

Class attendance is strongly encouraged. NONATTENDANT students are encouraged to contact the professor (even by phone) during office hours to obtain more information and guidance about the study material.

Suggested readings for students who do not have the basic knowledge needed by this course:
- Trapanotto, M., Lezioni di psicobiologia. Padova: CLEUP, 2001.
- Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A., Neuroscienze: esplorando il cervello (terza edizione). Milano: Masson, 2007.
- Carlson, N.R., Fisiologia del comportamento (terza edizione). Padova: Piccin, 2014.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Stegagno, L. (a cura di), Psicofisiologia: Dalla genetica comportamentale alle attività cognitive. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2009. CAPITOLI 2, 3, 4 e 5. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cacioppo, J.T., Tassinary, L.G., Berntson, G.G. (Eds.), Handbook of psychophysiology, second edition. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000. CAPITOLI 20 e 22. Copia di tali capitoli è reperibile presso la Biblioteca di Psicologia (centro stampa). Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pennisi, P., Sarlo M., Indici Elettrofisiologici in Psicologia. Padova: CLEUP Editrice, 1998. TUTTI I CAPITOLI. Cerca nel catalogo