Master Meetings

Have you decided on which Master programme to study? Would you like more information on the contents and teaching methods at USI? Register at our Master Meetings to attend courses.
The various Master Meetings offer you the opportunity to follow lectures together with the current master students. Guided by a USI student, you can visit the campus and make up your mind as to whether the contents correspond to your study ambitions.

Registration is compulsory. Please register online.


MSc in Cognitive Psychology in Health Communication

14:30 - 18:15
A22, Red Building


Learning and Memory
Prof. Antonio Malgaroli

Memory is a behavioural change induced by experience. In organisms endowed with a nervous system, this fundamental ability arises from the fact that some subtypes of synapses are associative machines. We learn every day, in multiple contexts and these brain synapses integrate and store all this information bound together. Words, ideas, images, music, old and more recent events, positive and negative experiences, our emotional responses etc. are associated and stored with one another. This is a complex associative process, it depends on those synapses which are associative, and strongly influences many different aspects of our life including our beliefs, our perceptions, our emotions, our decisions. Therefore, memory is much more pervasive than we might think. The purpose of this course is to give students a solid, comprehensive and thorough introduction to how information can be encoded, stored, and retrieved.
Since not all memories are the same, and since the different types function in different ways, this description must include the different types of learning processes, their characteristics, the location of brain centers involved in both short and long-term storage, the effect of modulatory phenomena such as emotion and aging, etc.. It will also be important to address why and how specific brain circuits can learn and remember, discussing in details what is known today about the cellular and molecular mechanisms of these processes. At this point we will be able to introduce the type of changes occurring in the brain when a synaptic memory is formed and stored, including the genetic and epigenetic determinants. Using a multi-level comparative approach, we will integrate insights from basic research with cognitive theory to understand the basic connections between the workings of synaptic circuits and human behaviour. Since there are too many different forms of memory, we will concentrate our analysis on just a few of them, those that involve brain areas such as the Hippocampus, the Amygdala, the Cerebellum, the Basal Ganglia, Prefrontal Cortex, etc. Furthermore, because many important questions in this field still remain to be answered, some time will be dedicated to discuss the most recent experimental techniques that are or could be used in the future to solve the many unsolved issues in this important field of psychology.