Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


ANATOMIC PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNDAMENTS OF PSYCHIC ACTIVITIES
FONDAMENTI ANATOMO-FISIOLOGICI DELL'ATTIVITÀ PSICHICA

A.Y. Credits
2021/2022 8
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Michela Sarlo Online, on Fridays 10:00 am-12:00 pm - prior e-mail contact required (michela.sarlo@uniurb.it)
Teaching in foreign languages
Course with optional materials in a foreign language English
This course is entirely taught in Italian. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Psychology - Sciences and Techniques (L-24)
Curriculum: PERCORSO COMUNE
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course provides the acquisition of knowledge about the anatomical structure and the main functions of the nervous system. The main aim of the course is to provide students with the knowledge necessary to understand the biological bases of behavior and mental processes.

Program

The program is divided into three parts:

Part I: Structure and functions of the nervous system cells (10 hours)

- Introduction to the study of the biological bases of behavior.
- Anatomy and physiology of the neural cells: neurons and glial cells.
- Generation, transmission and integration of neural signals: resting potential; action potential; synaptic transmission; general hints on neurotransmitters; postsynaptic potentials.

Part II: Anatomy of the nervous system (20 hours)

- The general organization of the nervous system: introduction to the anatomical terminology; macroscopic anatomy of the central and peripheral nervous system; meninges, ventricular system, and cerebrospinal fluid.
- The Telencephalon: neocortex and cerebral lobes; the basal ganglia and the limbic system; organization of the white matter.
- The Diencephalon: thalamus and hypothalamus.
- The Brain Stem: structure and main functions; main nuclei of medulla, pons and mesencephalon; cranial nerves.
- The Spinal Cord: structure and functions; organization of the gray and white matter; spinal nerves.
- The Autonomic Nervous System: structure and functions; the main characteristics of sympathetic and parasympathetic branches.
- The Cerebellum: structure and functions; main afferent and efferent pathways.

Part III: Introduction to the main sensory systems (18 hours)

- The somatosensory system: structure and functions; receptors and mechanisms of transduction; stimulus intensity encoding; afferent tactile, proprioceptive, nociceptive, and thermal pathways; organization of the primary somatosensory cortex; association areas.
- The visual system: general principles of optics; laminar and functional organization of the retina; photoreceptors and mechanisms of phototransduction; retinal processing; retinofugal pathways; laminar and columnar organization of primary visual cortex; extra-striate areas; dorsal and ventral pathways.
- The auditory system: structure and functions; receptors and mechanisms of transduction; sound frequency and intensity encoding; sound localization; afferent pathways; organization of the primary auditory cortex; association areas.
- The vestibular system: structure and functions; receptors and mechanisms of transduction; afferent pathways; cortical areas involved.

Bridging Courses

None.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Knowledge and understanding:

Upon completion of this course the student must demonstrate:
a. the acquisition and mastery of the basic knowledge about the anatomical structure and functioning of the nervous system;
b. the understanding of the physiological mechanisms and processes underlying the generation, transmission, and integration of neural signals;
c. the knowledge of the structure and organization of the main sensory systems;
d. the understanding of the contribution that the knowledge of neural correlates provides to the study of behavior and mental processes.

Applying knowledge and understanding:

Students must demonstrate the ability to select and apply the anatomical and physiological knowledge of the nervous system to describe the neural mechanisms underlying the main mental functions.

Making judgements:

Students must demonstrate the basic ability to critically judge the role played by the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying the mental functioning and its possible alterations, to identify open questions, and to independently deepen their knowledge.

Communication skills:

Students must demonstrate the ability to clearly and coherently convey the acquired knowledge, and to master the specific terminology in the field of neurophysiology and cognitive neuroscience, with the additional purpose of adequately understanding the relevant scientific literature.

Learning skills:

Students will have acquired a good ability of independence in integrating the study material, reading and interpreting information on the neuroscientific aspects of psychological phenomena, purchasing useful scientific information to deepen and update their knowledge.

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

In-class/e-learning exercises will be held weekly.


Didactics, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Didactics

The course will include frontal lectures and in-class/e-learning exercises that will deepen course topics through audio-visual projections, multimedia materials, and exam simulation.

Attendance

Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended.

Course books

- Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A. (2016). Neuroscienze: esplorando il cervello (quarta edizione). Edra Masson: Milano. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 (including the Appendix), 9, 10, 11, 12, and 15.
[English version: Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A. (2016). Neuroscience: Exploring the brain (fourth edition). Wolters Kluwer: Philadelphia].

- Matelli, M., Umiltà, C. (2007). Il cervello: Anatomia e funzione del Sistema nervoso centrale. Il Mulino: Bologna.

The lecture slides, which will be available on the Moodle course platform (Blended Learning Uniurb), are part of the study material.

Assessment

The learning achievements will be assessed through two written tests:

1) A written multiple choice test to assess the knowledge and topics addressed in each of the three parts of the course. The test consists of 30 questions, with each question including 4 alternatives. Each question has a value of 1 point. There is no penalty in case of incorrect responses. The student has 45 minutes to complete this test.

2) Open question on one of the subjects of the course. In this case, the student is required to produce a short essay about a topic illustrated during the course. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the learning of the specific language of cognitive neuroscience and to evaluate the student’s ability to master the concepts learned during the course by highlighting also the links among different topics. The student has 45 minutes to complete this test.

In order to pass the examination, it is necessary to get a score of at least 18/30 in both tests; the final grade is computed as the average of the scores obtained in the two tests.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Didactics

Non-attending students are asked to refer to the instructional material uploaded on the Moodle course platform (lecture slides, videos, exercises, etc.), through which they can integrate the study of the textbooks recommended in the “Course books” section.

Attendance

Attendance is not mandatory, but it is strongly recommended.

Course books

- Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A. (2016). Neuroscienze: esplorando il cervello (quarta edizione). Edra Masson: Milano. [English version: Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W., Paradiso, M.A. (2016). Neuroscience: Exploring the brain (fourth edition). Wolters Kluwer: Philadelphia]. Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 (including the Appendix), 9, 10, 11, 12, and 15.

- Matelli, M., Umiltà, C. (2007). Il cervello: Anatomia e funzione del Sistema nervoso centrale. Il Mulino: Bologna.

The lecture slides, which will be available on the Moodle course platform (Blended Learning Uniurb), are part of the study material.

Assessment

The learning achievements will be assessed through two written tests:

1) A written multiple choice test to assess the knowledge and topics addressed in each of the three parts of the course. The test consists of 30 questions, with each question including 4 alternatives. Each question has a value of 1 point. There is no penalty in case of incorrect responses. The student has 45 minutes to complete this test.

2) Open question on one of the subjects of the course. In this case, the student is required to produce a short essay about a topic illustrated during the course. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the learning of the specific language of cognitive neuroscience and to evaluate the student’s ability to master the concepts learned during the course by highlighting also the links among different topics. The student has 45 minutes to complete this test.

In order to pass the examination, it is necessary to get a score of at least 18/30 in both tests; the final grade is computed as the average of the scores obtained in the two tests.

Notes

Foreign students can contact the lecturer to get information on the course material in English. Moreover, they can take the exam in English upon request, by sending an e-mail at least one week before the date of the exam.

Some optional (nonmandatory) scientific papers (in English) will be available on the Moodle course platform during the course.

« back Last update: 29/11/2021

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