First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP4069061, 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 ALESSANDRO ANGRILLI M-PSI/02

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: In continuity with basic courses (Psychobiology, Clinical Psychology) the class makes many connections with clinical psychology, psychiatry, neurosciences and neuroanatomy. Therefore, students must own good knowledge in Applied Biology, Psychobiology and Clinical Psychology. Requirements for preparing students at the same starting level are three chapters of the basic text Bear, Connors, Paradiso (Neurosciences, third Edition 2007): Chapt. 6 - Neurotrasmitters, Chapt. 15 – Chemical control of brain and behavior; Chapt. 22 – Mental disorders.
Target skills and knowledge: The course is aimed to provide students a large view over main classes of psychoactive molecules, from pharmaceuticals used for treating the main psychological-psychiatric disorders (anxiety disorders, depression, schizophrenia, etc.) to drugs inducing addiction, including cognition stimulants, and common drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and analgesics. Part of the course will be on biological bases of mental disorders (14 h) and on neurotransmitter alteration involved.
Examination methods: The exam consists of multiple choice questions with four possible responses, only one correct. Overall duration 30 min.
Course unit contents: 1) Principles of action of drugs, pharmacokinetic and toxicity [6]
2) Biological bases of anxiety disorders [4]. Drugs that inhibit central nervous system, barbiturates, anti-epileptics, benzodiazepines, and alcohol [13]
3) psychostimulant drugs, cocaine, amphetamine, caffeine, and nicotine [10]
4) Psychobiological bases of affective disorders [6]. Drugs for the treatment of affective disorders, major depression, and bipolar disorders [4]
5) Biological bases of schizophrenia [4]. Antipsychotic (neuroleptics) and antiparkinson drugs [4]
6) Biological bases of pain, oppioids, stupefying drugs (morphine, heroin), psychedelic drugs, LSD, marijuana, and analgesic medicines [10]
Additional notes about suggested reading: From the main textbook Julien, chapters 1-14 (not including chapt 3). Partially, chapt. 15 pp. 476-483 487-491 and chapt. 18 pp. 561-569(DDAI).
Integrative material includes:
- chapters 6, 15 and 22 from the textbook Bear, Connors, Paradiso (Neuroscienze, esplorando il cervello, Masson, IV Edition).
- From N.R. Carlson (Fondamenti di Psicologia Fisiologica, Ed. Piccin): Chapt. 15 – Schizofrenia, disturbi affettivi e disturbi d’ansia, pp. 487-520 (5th edit. 2003).
- Article from Le Scienze, June 2010: Insel, T.R. (2010). Circuiti cerebrali difettosi. Le Scienze, 502, pp. 46-53.
- Article: Andreasen, N. (1997). Linking mind and brain in the study of mental illnesses: a project for a scientific psychopathology. Science, 275, 1586-1593.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Robert M. Julien, Claire Advokat, Joseph E. Comaty, Droghe e farmaci psicoattivi. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2012. There is an english version of the book with a more advanced edition (better to use the english 12th edition corresponding to the Italian edit.) Cerca nel catalogo