Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences

Director: Pietro Pietrini

Curriculum Overview

This research-based, multidisciplinary doctorate program focuses on cognitive, computational and social neurosciences. 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 program 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. An overview of human brain anatomy and neuroimaging techniques (mainly structural and functional MRI), neurophysiology (EEG, TMS and tDCS) will address research and clinical applications and their use in human subjects.

This curriculum integrates basic neuroscience methods, including molecular biology and genetics, with traditional experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. 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, molecular biology, bio-engineer, computer sciences, philosophy and logics are strongly encouraged to apply. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of this doctorate curriculum, applications are welcome from any area of knowledge, including both scientific and social fields and humanities.

Graduates from this doctorate curriculum will be able to pursue a career in research and academic institutions, as well as in the professional world and companies.

Research Units Contributing to the Curriculum

All the Research Units contribute to the Curriculum.

Ph.D. students will have also the opportunity to be involved in collaborative research programs with national and international institutions, including the Molecular Biology Lab, the Piaggio 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, 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 Trento, the Center for Consciousness and Sleep at the University of Wisconsin, the Mind Research Network of the University of New Mexico, the Center for Investigation and Research on Sleep, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne.


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