The PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience comes from the merger, in early 2012, of the previous PhD in Psychobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience with some professors from the former PhD in Neurophysiology. Thus a higher education course was born, characterized by a high level of interdisciplinarity and able to train young highly qualified scholars in all the various levels of interest in the neuroscience of normal and pathological behavior, starting from the cellular, molecular and of neurotransmitter systems up to the study and modeling of cognitive processes and the neurophysiological and neuropsychological basis of higher functions and the highest levels of integration of the cognitive functions of the brain of non-human primates and humans. The Doctorate acquired a clear international dimension thanks to the stipulation of a multilateral inter-university agreement for the establishment and activation of an International PhD program in Neuroscience with the Universities of Madrid (Spain), Crete (Greece) and Porto (Portugal), with the release of a double degree. Recently, some Professors with affiliation in European Universities have joined the Doctorate (including UCL, Un Copenhagen, Antwerpen Univ, Universidad de Almeria) in which laboratories the students of the Doctorate can spend periods of training and research.
Since the main objective is the training of scholars in the field of
neuroscience with specific methodological skills, but equipped with
an interdisciplinary theoretical perspective, the doctorate is divided into 4 curricula
that allow the acquisition of theoretical and methodological skills
specific, and a range of inter-curricular activities that foster
In particular, the curriculum of Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology aims to train experienced researchers in the various fields of basic and applied psychobiology, psychopharmacology and biology, who are able to operate independently at universities, public bodies and private entities. The curriculum training process is based on a theoretical and experimental program consisting of seminars and laboratory practice in the field of the biological basis of behavior, the relationships between nervous structures and mental functions and the use of drugs active on the nervous system to investigate function of particular structures or nerve nuclei. Particular attention is also paid to experimental investigation methodologies aimed at studying the cellular and system mechanisms of normal and pathological behavior, with particular attention to murine animal models.
The Neurophysiology of Behavior curriculum is aimed at training young scholars in the field of behavioral sciences, with particular attention to cognitive-motor functions and to those more directly related to the study of higher nervous functions. The courses and experimental activities are aimed at providing PhD students with: 1. applicative knowledge of investigation methods typical of behavioral neurophysiology, such as recordings of nervous activity from non-human primates during the performance of cognitive tasks; 2. multiscale analysis (LFP, SUA, MUA) of neuronal processes in decision-making tasks; 3. study of the space-time organization of efferent-cortical systems and of the significance of this organization on the dynamics of the cerebral cortex; 4. characterization of the dynamic properties of cortical efferent neurons of the parietal and frontal areas in non-human primates. Therefore, the PhD graduates trained in this curriculum will have a solid theoretical and methodological preparation useful for their subsequent placement not only in academia or in research institutes, but also in the field of neurorehabilitation, clinical psychology and neuropsychology and in those, emerging, neuroimaging diagnostics and neural control of artificial prostheses.
he curriculum of Cognitive Neuroscience, deriving from the PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience which later merged with the PhD in Neuropsychology in the PhD in Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, aims to train experienced researchers in the analysis of behavior and cognitive functions, of the relationships between cognitive processes and affective-emotional processes, of individual differences and of the development of cognitive functions and behavior over the life span.
The curriculum provides a solid theoretical-methodological training on the main cognitive and behavioral models and promotes the development of advanced skills in the development of experimental paradigms and interpretative models of higher functions in humans, through the use of experimental behavioral, psychophysical paradigms and psychophysiological also through the application of stimulation techniques (TMS; tDCS) and recording (NIRS).
The Neuropsychology curriculum aims to train experienced researchers in the study of the neural basis of cognitive functions in normal and pathological conditions. The curriculum has a long tradition, having been established by Professor Luigi (Gino) Pizzamiglio as a doctorate starting from the 1st cycle of research doctorates at the beginning of the 1980s. The curriculum offers the opportunity to acquire skills in both experimental and clinical approaches in all areas of research in neuropsychology. In articulate, the curriculum provides a solid methodological training on the planning and design of experimental research on control subjects and clinical populations for the understanding of the neural correlates of behavior and the elaboration of neurocognitive models. It also allows you to acquire the skills necessary for the use of behavioral, neuropsychological, psychophysiological and neuroimaging techniques necessary for the study of human cognitive activity and the underlying brain mechanisms.