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Social cognitive neuroscience (a.a. 2018/19)


Social cognition refers to a set of neurocognitive processes underlying the individuals’ ability to “make sense of others’ behavior” as a crucial prerequisite of social interaction. Such a complex ability entails a variety of skills, rangingfrom decoding social information (e.g., faces and emotional expressions) and drawing inferences on others’ mental oraffective states, to making decisions consistent with social norms and others’ welfare. Within social cognitive neuroscience, these processes are addressed in terms of the brain areas mediating their role in making sense of others’ behavior and planning socially appropriate actions. The first part of the course will introduce the students tothese subjects in terms of cognitive processes and their modulating variables, andthen with regard to the available neuroimagingevidence on their neural correlates. The second part will focus  on social cognitive impairments, representing a prominent concern, or even a core facet, of several neurological  conditions, such as neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental conditions, traumatic brain injury or stroke.


February 18th, 2019 - 10:00-12:00; 14:00-16:00
February 19th, 14:00-16:00
February 20th, 2019 10:30-12:30; 14:00-16:00

Classroom 1-15


  1. Arioli M, Crespi C and Canessa (2018). Social cognition through the lens of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience. Biomed Research International.
  2. Canessa N, Cappa S (2018) Il ruolo delle neuroimmagini nello studio dei processi empatici nel paziente neurologico. In Empatia, danno cerebrale, ricostruzione del sé, Umberto Bivona & Alberto Costa (Eds).
  3. Optional additional-up material
  4. Jamie Ward (2011) The Student's Guide to Social Neuroscience Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  5. David M. Amodio and Kyle G. Ratner (2013). The Neuroscience of Social Cognition, in The Oxford Handbook of Social Cognition Edited by Donal Carlston


The evaluation will be based on an oral exam.

Credits: 2

Nicola Canessa

Professore Associato di Psicobiologia e Psicologia fisiologica

Ciclo : XXXIV

Tipologia corso : Tipo a

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2018-2019

Durata : 10 ore