Mirror neuron system and ontogenesis
Learning outcomes of the course unit
1. Knowledge and ability to understand. Students must achieve a good knowledge of the most recent theories of intersubjectivity.
2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding. Students must be able to use the acquired theoretical knowledge.
3. Autonomy of judgment. Students will have to develop critical and reflective skills on methodological problems and on the relationships between specific theoretical positions and recent empirical results.
4. Communication skills. Students should acquire the ability to critically discuss intersubjectivity and its neurobiological correlates.
5. Learning skills. Students should be able to learn the most recent theoretical approaches and the main survey techniques related to the course topic.
All students will have to acquire updated knowledge on the cognitive processes of human intersubjectivity and on the methods used to study it.
The course will provide conceptual and methodological tools:
-to deepen the anatomical-functional characteristics of cognitive functions of intersubjectivity through cognitive models, neurofunctional and electrophysiological methods of investigation and psychometric tools. In particular, the course will allow students to acquire updated and critical notions of:
- basic features of mirror neurons;
- the main models of intersubjectivity;
- the relevance of the mirror mechanism to build a new model of basic forms of intersubjectivity.
Students must be able to apply the acquired knowledge to concrete problems of research on the cerebral bases of the cognitive processes of intersubjectivity. They will also have to be able to apply the learned methods to the analysis of the various cognitive, neurobiological and behavioral aspects of healthy individuals and of those suffering from neuropsychiatric pathologies.
Notions of the anatomo-physiological organization of the central nervous system.
Course contents summary
The course will address a new model of perception, embodied simulation, applied to the study of intersubjectivity.
Action-Perception-Cognition. The main theoretical models of intersubjectivity Theory of Mind; Theory-Theory; Simulation Theory; Empathy). The mirror system in macaques and humans. Mirror mechanisms in emotions and sensations.. The model of Embodied Simulation and its bearing on linguistics, psychopathology and aesthetics.
Slides available online.
Ammaniti e Gallese - La Nascita dell'Intersoggettività. Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2013.
Gallese e Guerra - Lo Schermo Empatico. Raffaello Cortina Editore, 2015.
Frontal lectures with audio-visual material.
Assessment methods and criteria
Oral examination consisting of two questions. The examination will be succsefful (Score > 18/30)if students will answer both of them in a pertinent way.