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Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences (CCSN)

Director: Pietro Pietrini

Curriculum Overview

This research-based, multidisciplinary track focuses on cognitive, computational and social neurosciences, and integrates basic neuroscience methods, including molecular biology and genetics, with traditional experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Students will attend multiple courses, including fundamentals in cognitive psychology, behavioral and social neuroscience, neuropsychology, psychophysiology, neural basis of perception, neural basis of consciousness, philosophy of science, critical thinking, structural and functional neuroimaging, and basic/advanced methods for data analysis. In particular, the CCSN track is designed to train researchers who will contribute to knowledge in areas such as multisensory perception, supramodality and cross-modality; sleep and consciousness; action recognition and motor control; neuroplasticity and learning; organization of semantic concepts; neurolinguistics; social and antisocial behavior; decision-making processes in economics and financial environments.

Students will specifically receive intensive practical research training in methods, experimental design, and data analysis in the laboratories of the MoMiLab research unit. An overview of human brain anatomy and neuroimaging techniques (mainly structural and functional MRI), electrophysiology (EEG, MEG and brain stimulation) will address research and clinical applications and their use in human subjects.

Within the interdisciplinary orientation of the IMT School, students will be exposed to seminars and conjoint research projects on different topics, ranging from molecular neurobiology of human behavior to advanced computational methods for the analysis of complex systems, from social neuroscience to decision-making processes in economic systems, from neuro-engineering applications in bionics and robotics to complex networks, from the neural bases of perception and conceptual representation to the image analysis and management of cultural heritage.

Input and Output Profiles

Candidates with a solid background in psychology, neuroscience, medicine, bio-engineer, bionics, computer sciences, linguistics, philosophy and logics are strongly encouraged to apply. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of this doctorate track, applications are anyhow welcome from any area of knowledge, including both scientific and social fields and humanities.

Graduates from this doctorate track will be able to pursue a career in research and academic institutions as well as in the private sector.

Research Units Contributing to the Curriculum

All the Research Units contribute to the track.

The students will have access to the internal Multidisciplinary Lab (equipped for EEG, psychophysics and psychophysiology measures) and to external MRI facilities (from 1.5T to 7T).

Ph.D. students will have also the opportunity to be involved in collaborative research programs with national and international institutions, including the Piaggio Research Center and the Neurolinguistic Center at the University of Pisa, the Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Pavia, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Milan, the Department of Biological Psychology and Neuropsychology of the University of Hamburg, the Department of Psychology at the University of Padua, the CIMeC – Center for Mind/Brain Sciences in Rovereto, the Center for Consciousness and Sleep at the University of Wisconsin, the Mind Research Network of the University of New Mexico, and the Center for Investigation and Research on Sleep of Lausanne University Hospital.

Coursework

See full course list

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