Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences

Director: Pietro Pietrini

Track 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, forensic psychopathology, 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 sensation and perception; sleep and consciousness; motor system and action; neuroplasticity and learning; language and concept representation; emotion and motivation; social psychology; decision-making processes; neuroethics; philosophy and neuroscience in moral reasoning; forensic psychology and psychopathology.

Students will receive intensive practical research training in basic and advanced methods in experimental psychology and neuroimaging, experimental design and data analysis in the facilities of the Molecular Mind Laboratory (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 Track 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 Track, applications are 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 academics, as well as in the professional world, public and private institutions and companies.

Research Units Contributing to the Track

All the Research Units contribute to the Track.

Ph.D. students will have also the opportunity to be involved in collaborative research programs with national and international institutions and clinical centers, including the University of Pisa (Molecular Biology Lab, Research Center Piaggio Center and Linguistic Center), the Fondazione Toscana G. Monasterio, 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.

Coursework

See full course list