First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP5070657, A.A. 2019/20

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

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
PS2192, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2019/20
bring this page
with you
Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SPATIAL COGNITION
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 PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE

Teacher in charge CHIARA MENEGHETTI M-PSI/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/01 General Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

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

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2015 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 2019 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 MENEGHETTI CHIARA (Presidente)
BORELLA ERIKA (Membro Effettivo)
CARRETTI BARBARA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Knowledge of introductory aspects of psychology (as perception, language, memory and learning), models of cognitive psychology and individual differences.
Target skills and knowledge: By the end of the course students will know:
- how to make appropriate use of the key terms referring to spatial cognition
- the main models and research paradigms for acquiring, forming, maintaining and retrieving spatial information
By the end of the course students will have acquired the following target skills:
- competences in the use of the main research methods, paradigms, stimuli for studying spatial information processing, the formation and retrieval of spatial representations
- critical thinking and problem-solving on spatial questions and spatial cognition models.
Examination methods: The final exam will be held on the official dates proposed by the School of Psychology.
It will be a written exam and will last one hour.
The assessment of knowledge will cover all the topics taught (based on all course material, i.e. book and slides); it will be based mainly on multiple choice and true/false questions.
The target skills will be ascertained with open questions that test the student’s knowledge and its application to the interpretation of experimental results, spatial individual difference profiles, comparing classifications, models and paradigms of spatial cognition.

The exam will includes:
a) 30 multiple-choice and true/false questions
b) 3 open questions

The exam will be the same for students who do or do not attend the lectures.
For students who attend, there will also be facultative additional open questions relating to practical experiences specifically conducted during the lectures (spatial tasks, measurement practice in the field and in the lab, etc.).
Assessment criteria: The assessment criteria will concern:
- terminological appropriateness and use of precise expressions on contents;
- argumentative accuracy on different components and aspects of spatial cognition;
- the ability to translate understanding of spatial cognition into knowledge for use in practice and applications
Course unit contents: The course content includes:
- Space and cognition: key aspects (philosophical approaches; cognitive map definition; developmental models)
- Geographical space (analysis of the territory, cartography)
- Measurements of spatial knowledge (places, distances, directions, distortions)
- Spatial knowledge acquired from maps: map features, frame of reference to organized information in spatial memory
- Spatial knowledge acquired by navigation: locomotion and wayfinding models and modalities for assessing navigation (real exploration and virtual environments); experiences and simulations of different navigation modalities
- “Spatial brain”: the main neuro-cognitive structures involved in cognitive maps formation, landmark recognition, allocentric and egocentric knowledge and switching between them
- Clinical conditions associated with spatial orientation and knowledge: Topographical disorientation, spatial neglect and agoraphobia
- Weakness and challenges in spatial knowledge and representations: individuals with intellectual disabilities, older adults and blind people
- Space and language: spatial terminology (prepositions, linguistic diversity), spatial descriptions (different kinds of descriptions, perspectives and mental models), spatial discourse (route direction, the role of landmarks and models)
- Individual visuo-spatial differences in processing and representing spatial information: visuo-spatial abilities (mental rotation, perspective taking), self-reported attitudes, preferences and strategies*
- The relationship between individual visuo-spatial differences and environment learning using different modalities (maps, navigation and descriptions) *
- spatial representations in motor activities and sport*

* The topic will be presented mainly in the slides
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The lessons will include:

- frontal lectures
- video presentation
- small group activities (for critical thinking questions and comments on research data)
- weekly self-assessments with quizzes, open questions and interactive games
- working groups on a paper research
- outside field and lab experience
Additional notes about suggested reading: The course material includes PowerPoint presentations with specific contents. Power points with contents not included in the book will be clearly indicated.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Denis, M., Space and Spatial Cognition: A Multidisciplinary Perspective.. London and New York: Routledge, 2018. Chapters: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15 (mandatory for the exam) Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Concept maps
  • Active quizzes for Concept Verification Tests and class discussions
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)
  • Top Hat (active quiz, quiz)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Good Health and Well-Being