First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSN1032217, A.A. 2016/17

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2016/17

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS1091, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2016/17
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination NEUROPSYCHOLOGY OF AGING
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
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 GIORGIA CONA M-PSI/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/02 Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 27/02/2017
End of activities 01/06/2017
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 2019 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 CONA GIORGIA (Presidente)
BONATO MARIO (Membro Effettivo)
6 2018-1 01/10/2018 30/09/2019 CONA GIORGIA (Presidente)
BONATO MARIO (Membro Effettivo)
5 2017-1 01/10/2017 30/09/2018 CONA GIORGIA (Presidente)
BONATO MARIO (Membro Effettivo)
4 2017 01/10/2016 30/09/2017 BISIACCHI PATRIZIA (Presidente)
CONA GIORGIA (Membro Effettivo)
SARLO MICHELA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The student should ideally possess notions of neuroscience and neuropsychology. English knowledge is also recommended.
Target skills and knowledge: The student will acquire knowledge and competences about cognitive, psychological and neural changes associated with healthy and pathological aging, and about the principal methods of assessment and intervention.
The student will acquire practical knowledge of the neuropsychological assessment tools and on the guidelines recommended for the promotion of successful aging, and for the diagnosis and intervention of pathological aging (e.g., dementia).
Examination methods: The exam will be written, with multiple-choice questions and open questions (short responses), and it will take place in rooms with specially-equipped computers.
Assessment criteria: The student will have to acquire knowledge about:
- cognitive changes associated with healthy aging
- neural alterations in healthy aging
- main cognitive and psychological problems occurring with advanced age (e.g., anxiety, depression, insomnia)
- cognitive and neural alterations associated with pathological aging (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease…)
- neuropsychological tools
- methods and interventions to prevent cognitive decline
Course unit contents: The course will be subdivided in three main parts:
The first part will focus on healthy aging and will deal with:
- principal theories and models
- changes in specific cognitive functions (e.g., memory, executive functions) and in the neural mechanisms associated with such functions
- problems occurring with advanced age (e.g., anxiety, depression, insomnia, changes in personality traits)
- cognitive reserve and prevention of cognitive decline
- pharmacological interactions with cognitive functioning

The second part of the course will deal with different aspects of pathological aging, which are the characterization, assessment and intervention of diseases, such as:
- Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
- Dementias (e.g., Alzheimer, Parkinson, fronto-temporal)
- Cognitive impairment associated with cerebrovascular pathologies
- Hepatic Encephalopathy

The third part will involve the study and practice of the most commonly used neuropsychological tools and of the guidelines designed for the evaluation, differential diagnosis and the management of the diseases associated with aging.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will comprise frontal lessons, and student-centered instruction, participatory learning, and hands-on learning. Practical exercitations will concern:
- administration of the neuropsychological tools
- presentation and discussion of scientific papers chosen by students
Additional notes about suggested reading: Course material will be available in the Moodle course website or at the Psychology Library.
Study material for both attendant and nonattendant students:

- The lecture slides and selected scientific papers (available in the Moodle course website).

- The Chapter: “Neuroimaging of healthy cognitive aging.” Dennis, N. A., & Cabeza, R. (2008). In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.), Handbook of aging and cognition (pp. 1-54). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Available also online:

- “Handbook on the Neuropsychology of Aging and Dementia”; Editors: Ravdin, Lisa D., Katzen, Heather L. (Eds.) Chapters 1, 2, 5-8, 12, 16-22, 29.

- “Handbook of the Psychology of Aging”(Eighth Edition) Editors: K. Warner Schaie and Sherry Willis. Chapters: 1, 5, 7-13, 15.
Available also online:

For students who may lack adequate prior knowledge, the following texts are suggested:

- Neuroscience: Exploring the brain. 3d ed. Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., and Paradiso, M.A. (2007). Philadelphia: Lippincott.

- The Neuropsychology Handbook. Horton, A. M., & Wedding, D. (2008). Springer Publishing Company.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Katzen, Heather L.; Ravdin, Lisa D., Handbook on the neuropsychology of aging and dementia. New York: Springer, 2013. Chapters 1, 2, 5-8, 12, 16-22, 29. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Schaie, K. Warner; Willis, Sherry L.; Knight, Bob G.; Levy, Becca; Park, Denise C., Handbook of the psychology of aging. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2011. Chapters: 1, 5, 7-13, 15. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Dennis, N. A., & Cabeza, R., Neuroimaging of healthy cognitive aging. --: --, 2008. Book chapter in F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.), Handbook of aging and cognition (pp. 1-54). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Cerca nel catalogo