First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP5073004, 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
PS1932, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination NEW TRENDS IN NEUROSCIENCE
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENCE AND CLINICAL NEUROPSYCHOLOGY (Ord. 2017)


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 26/02/2018
End of activities 01/06/2018

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
4 2018-1 01/10/2018 30/09/2019 BISIACCHI PATRIZIA (Presidente)
3 2017-1 01/10/2017 30/09/2018 BISIACCHI PATRIZIA (Presidente)
CONA GIORGIA (Membro Effettivo)
VALLESI ANTONINO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: • Good level in reading of scientific English.
• Basic knowledge in (undergraduate level) about cognitive processes, experimental design and Neuroscience
• Basic knowledge about basic software (word processing, etc) and Internet.
Target skills and knowledge: Knowledge and skills to acquire :
- The student will know / understand:
The cognitive processes involved in attention, and the tasks and experimental paradigms commonly used to study it, differentiating between different attentional functions such as Alertness, Attentional Orientating and Cognitive Control.
Current Theories on attention. The brain areas involved in attention.

- The student will be able to:
Perform a literature search to elaborate on a particular aspect of attention.
Analyse a situation in relation to the attentional processes involved, and the critical variables that determine the involvement of these processes. Plan the use of different attentional tasks to measure attentional performance.
Examination methods: The exam will be composed of short questions and/or multiple choice questions, and a more general question of integration.
Assessment criteria: • Attendance and attitude in the sessions: quality of the questions prepared for each session, and participation in the discussion. Students must upload to the teaching platform a critical summary of the reading together with some thought questions for discussion during the session. (30%)
• Oral presentation of a specific topic. Each student will present at a session, trying to integrate into a single presentation the different articles, in case there is more than one for that session. (20%)
• Evaluation questions prepared for each session. After each session, the students must design and upload to the teaching platform a multiple-choice question with a statement, and 4 alternatives (three false and the correct choice). (15%)
• Search and presentation of a paper in which attentional functions are investigated in a particularly interesting population (15%)
• Exam about the level of integration about the content of the course (20%). This exam will consist, in part, of the questions prepared by all students, and a more general question of integration, to be selected by the teacher. In consensus with students this part of the evaluation can be substituted by the preparation and defence of a small research project on some aspect of attention.
Course unit contents: Session 0. Presentation of the course.
Session 1. Psychology of Attention: historical and conceptual introduction.
Session 2. Psychology of Attention: the different attentional functions.
Session 3. Spatial orientating of attention and inhibition of return.
Session 4. Attentional orienting to social-emotional cues: the case of gaze and emotional cues.
Session 5. Selection of Information.
Session 6. Attention, processing and selection of information: Perceptual Load Theory.
Session 7. Attention, processing and perceptual awareness.
Session 8. Attention, learning and memory: Implicit vs. Explicit.
Session 9. Temporal orientating of attention.
Session 10. Alertness and Sustained Attention.
Session 11. Automaticity and Cognitive Control Processes.
Session 12. Mechanisms of conflict monitoring and adjustment.
Session 13. Action control: Task Switching and multitasking.
Session 14. Measuring the functioning of the attentional networks, or other attentional mechanisms in different populations.
Final Session. Review or Discussion and sharing of a research project about attention.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: • The course will develop in 20 sessions of 2 hours, plus other non-contact activities, preparation for individual sessions and individual work. For the development of course teaching platform will be used. Specifically, the page of the subject can be found at the following address:
Briefly, the sessions will consist of the following activities:
• Presentation and explanation by the teacher
• Critical analysis and discussion of articles in group
• Oral presentations by students about specific topics
• Development of evaluation questions for the contents of each session
• Assessment of the integration of all the topics covered in the course
Moreover, every student will carry out these non-class activities:
• Literature searches on specific topics
• Critical reading of articles
• Development of thought questions about the read articles to discuss in the classroom
• Preparation of oral presentations on specific topics
• Individual tutorials with Professor
Additional notes about suggested reading: Specific material will be provided for each topic at the beginning of the course.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)