The educational objectives of the course according with the Dublin descriptors are:
1) Knowledge and comprehension skills. Students will have to be able to understand the reciprocal relationship between psychological and physiological events, the procedures for the registration and analysis of the main biosignals and their physiological basis
2) Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension. Students will have to be able to apply the acquired concepts and methods to the study of the physiological correlates of psychological processes
3) Independent evaluation skills. Students will have to develop critical and independent evaluation of the most recent experimental evidence in the psychophysiological literature
4) Communication skills. Students will have to be able to effectively present scientific research in the psychophysiological field
5) Learning ability. Students will have to be able to learn experimental approaches and procedures and methods for collecting physiological indices as indicators of psychological processes
Course contents summary
The course aims at deepening the knowledge of the reciprocal relationship between psychological and physiological events and the methodological principles that characterize the psychophysiological approach.
- Introduction to psychophysiology
- Emotional brain theories. The discovery of the neural basis of emotions
- Methodology of psychophysiological research
- Heart rate variability
- Polyvagal theory, regulation of emotions and psychopathology
- Neurovisceral integration model. Psychophysiological research at the time of COVID-19
- Psychophysiology of stress
- Mind-body therapies: psychophysiological aspects of Top-Down and Bottom-Up mechanisms
- Animal models in psychophysiology
- Ethnic differences in hypertension: a psychophysiological perspective
- Psychophysiology of sleep
- Notes of the course given by the teacher
- Neil R. Carlson. Fisiologia del comportamento. Edizione italiana a cura di L.Petrosini Piccin Ed.
- Luciano Stegagno. Il cuore psicologico. Psicofisiologia cardiovascolare. Carocci Faber
- Psicobiologia. J.P.J. Pinel. Il Mulino, 2000
- Thayer & Lane. Claude Bernard and the heart–brain connection: Further elaboration of a model of neurovisceral integration. Neurosci. Biobhev. Rev. 2009 Feb;33(2):81-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2008.08.004.
- Porges. The Polyvagal Perspective. Biol. Psychol. 2007 Feb;74(2):116-43. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2006.06.009. Epub 2006 Oct 16
The course includes theoretical lectures, presentation and discussion of scientific articles, practical exercises in the classroom and laboratory activities.
In case of enduring emergency, lessons will be possibly held in a mixed modality, i.e. part of the students will be allowed to attend in the classroom following online reservation, part of them will be able to attend telematically via online streaming. In any case, audio/video recording of each lesson will be available on Elly platform, as well as the pdf files containing the slides of the lessons.
Assessment methods and criteria
Learning assessment will be performed at the end of the course and will consist of: (1) an oral test with 2 open questions (2/3 of the final mark), (2) a presentation of a report related to the laboratory activity (1/3 of the final mark). In this way, it will be possible not only to verify the knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and practical aspects of the course (First Dublin descriptor), but also the ability to use the concepts learned in the course (Second Dublin descriptor).