First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP3049862, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS1091, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 9.0
Type of assessment Mark
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
E-Learning website
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

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

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

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

Start of activities 07/10/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
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 ANGRILLI ALESSANDRO (Presidente)
BEGLIOMINI CHIARA (Membro Effettivo)
CELLINI NICOLA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: It is assumed that students have adequate knowledge of central and peripheral nervous system anatomy and physiology, basics of General Psychology, and methodology of basic research in Psychology.

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.
Target skills and knowledge: Upon completion of this course the student will possess:
- advanced knowledge of the mutual relationship between psychological and physiological (central and peripheral) events, with specific applications to the study of cognition and affect;
- competence in the recording and analysis of key biosignals and advanced knowledge on their physiological bases;
- ability to understand the meaning of the key physiological measures as indicators of behavioral and psychological processes;
- ability to integrate the knowledge acquired in this context and to apply them to new research contexts.
- ability to critically discuss the experimental evidence of the most recent literature in the fields of psychophysiology and cognitive/affective neuroscience, and to independently extend personal knowledge.
Examination methods: The assessment of learning occurs through the final exam, which ascertains the acquisition of the expected knowledge and competence.
The final exam consists in a written test including 4 open questions (of which 3 requiring brief answers) and 8 multiple-choice questions. The written test lasts 45 minutes. The final grade is computed as the sum of the scores obtained in each question.

For the exam, students must subscribe to the appropriate list through UniWeb. 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 criteria for assessing the expected knowledge and competence are the following:
- completeness of the acquired knowledge on the theoretical and methodological principles addressed during the course;
- ability to critically describe the technical characteristics of the physiological measures addressed during the course as a function of the information they provide as indices of psychological processes;
- ability to employ a scientific and specialized language, with the usage of terminology appropriate to the specific subject area and methodology;
- ability to integrate the acquired knowledge independently and knowingly.
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.
- Autonomic nervous system and cardiovascular psychophysiology: cognitive activity and emotional responses.
- Psychophysiological bases of stimulus-response specificity.
- Psychophysiological bases of sleep and dreaming.
- Psychophysiological bases of motor control.
- Psychophysiological bases of emotional processes.
- Psychophysiological bases of decision making.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will involve a combination of frontal theoretical lectures, discussions of scientific papers, demonstrations, in-class exercises and laboratory practical experiences. 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.

Class attendance and participation to laboratory practical experiences is strongly encouraged.
Additional notes about suggested reading: 1) The PowerPoint lecture slides will be available on the Moodle course platform and are MANDATORY as study material for both attendant and nonattendant students.

2) Besides the lecture slides and the reference textbooks, the following scientific papers/chapters (available on the Moodle course platform) 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.

3) NONATTENDANT students are encouraged to contact the professor (even by phone) during office hours to obtain more information and guidance about the study material.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Stegagno, Luciano (a cura di), Psicofisiologia: dalla genetica comportamentale alle attività cognitive. Bologna: Zanichelli, 2010. CAPITOLI 2, 3, 4 e 5. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Cacioppo, John T.; Tassinary, Louis G.; Berntson, Gary G. (Eds.), Handbook of psychophysiology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007. CAPITOLI 20 e 22. Copia di tali capitoli è reperibile presso la Biblioteca di Psicologia (centro stampa). Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pennisi, Paola; Sarlo, Michela, Indici elettrofisiologici in psicologia. Padova: CLEUP, 1998. TUTTI I CAPITOLI. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Questioning
  • Peer assessment
  • 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