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Social Neuroscience a.y. 2021/22


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, ranging from decoding social information (e.g., faces and emotional expressions) and drawing inferences on others’ mental or affective 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 course will be mostly devoted to introduce these subjects in terms of cognitive processes and their modulating variables, and then with regard to the available neuroimaging evidence on their neural correlates. The final part of the course 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 28th, 2022, 09:00-12:00
March 1st, 2022, 09:00-11:00; 14:00-16:00
March 2nd, 2022, 09:00-12:00


Suggested readings (provided by the teacher)
Arioli M, Crespi C and Canessa N (2018). Social Cognition through the lens of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience. Biomed Research International.

Arioli M, and Canessa N (2019). Neural processing of social interaction: coordinate-based meta-analytic evidence from human neuroimaging studies. Human Brain Mapping.

Arioli M, Gianelli C and Canessa N (2020). Neural representation of social concepts: a coordinate-based meta-analysis of fMRI studies. Brain Imaging and Behavior.

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).

Optional additional material
Jamie Ward (2011) The Student's Guide to Social Neuroscience Taylor & Francis Ltd.

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 : XXXVII

Tipologia corso : Tipo a

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2021-2022

Luogo : Marelli - aula 1

Durata : 10 ore