Topics in psychology, language and cognition



The course is intended to offer an overview of different topics around cognitive psychology from computational and neurocognitive perspectives, with a special focus on knowledge acquisition, representation and learning mechanisms in memory and language. Similarities and differences between language and memory systems and their relationship with other higher cognitive functions will also be analyzed.

Course plan

1. General introduction // Cognition and neuroscience

2. Neuroimaging methods (EEG and fMRI/DTI)

3. Memory systems and consolidation

4. Language and memory

5. Prediction and perception

6. Language and prediction

7. Temporal processing and memory

8. Temporal processing and language

9. Inferential learning

10. Language communication and memory


A 20% weightage will be given to consistent attendance in the sessions, while the remaining 80% will be determined by a final examination that covers the main topics of the program, to be administered at the conclusion of the course.

Examination-based assessment

Those who cannot attend regularly to the sessions will have the opportunity be evaluated through an exam at the end of the semester. This exam will cover the main topics of the program.


Re-evaluation will consist of an exam that covers the topics of the course. Only students having obtained a minimum of 5 (being 10 maximum) in the evaluation are eligible for re-evaluation; the final grade after reevaluation can only be 5.



Gazzaniga, M.S. Ivry, R, and Mangun, G.R.  Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of Mind. IV edition.  W.W. Norton.

D. Schacter. The Seven Sins of Memory, Houghton Mifflin, 2001. 

B Stemmer & HA Whitaker. Handbook of the Neuroscience of Language. Academic Press, 2008

Donna Rose Addis, Morgan Barense, Audrey Duarte. The Wiley Handbook on The Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory. 2015, Wiley-Blackwell Editions

Squire LR (2004). Memory systems of the brain: a brief history and current perspective.Neurobiol Learn Mem 82:171-7.


Besson, M., & Schön, D. (2001). Comparison between language and music. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences930(1), 232-258.

Squire, L. R. (2004). Memory systems of the brain: a brief history and current perspective. Neurobiology of learning and memory82(3), 171-177.

Ullman, M. T. (2001). A neurocognitive perspective on language: The declarative/procedural model. Nature reviews neuroscience2(10), 717-726.

de Lange, F. P., Heilbron, M., & Kok, P. (2018). How Do Expectations Shape Perception? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(9), 764–779.

Summerfield, C., & de Lange, F. P. (2014). Expectation in perceptual decision making: neural and computational mechanisms. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(11), 745–756.