20710738 - STORIA DELLE SCIENZE DEL COMPORTAMENTO E DELLE NEUROSCIENZE -LM

This course aims will examine the historical development of the main themes, problems and theories of behavioural sciences and neuroscience. In particular, the course aims to foster a critical understanding of the historical development of the major themes, problems, and models of scientific explanation on behavior and psychological processes, from the earliest naturalized conceptualizations to experimental psychology and contemporary neuroscience. The evolution of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience will be discussed in its relationship with the history of philosophical ideas and other human sciences such as sociology and anthropology, in its close intertwining with the natural and biological sciences. At the same time the history of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience will be situated in the context of concrete history, such as the material, economic and techological transofrmations.
Particular attention will be given to the examination of the evolution of neuroscientific models of explanation of cognitive and communication processes.
The course will also examine the history of the cultural and moral impact of developments of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience with particular regard to the applications of cognitive science, neuropsychopharmacology and neurotechnologies in the 20th century.
The course aims to achieve these learning outcomes:
1) an organic knowledge of the major research programs, concepts, and problems of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience;
2) the ability to contextualize, analyze, and critically interpret the ideas and models of explanation of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience also in relation to other research disciplines, material history, culture, ethics, and technological evolution;
3) the historical and theoretical tools for understanding the transformations of psychological and neuroscientic models of cognitive and communication processes.
4) the lexical and conceptual tools necessary to the study of the history of the behavioural sciences, neuroscience, and for acquiring good analytical and argumentative skills in written and oral form.

The monographic part of the program this year aims to critically illustrate the history of the contribution of the behavioral sciences and neuroscience to the understanding of the nature of desire and the processes of construction of habits and their control/dyscontrol, with particular focus on the case of pathological addictions (behavioral/ substance/affective addictions).

CANALI STEFANO

teacher profile | teaching materials

Programme

Institutional part on the general history of the sciences of the mind:
I) History of science and history of psychology 1. Why study the history of the sciences of the mind 2. History of science: continuism and scientific revolutions 3. Normal science and paradigms 4. History of psychology and neuroscience
II) The long philosophical past 1. The first psychological problems 2. The psychology of classical thought 3. Psychology from classical thought to Christianity 4. From the Arabs to the Renaissance 5. The change in the conception of man with Humanism and the Renaissance 6. Descartes 7. Rationalism and empiricism 8. From Descartes to the "idéologues" 9. The Kantian interdiction
III) The birth of experimental psychology: from Helmholtz to Wundt 1. The birth of experimental psychology 2. Helmholtz: specific nervous energy and unconscious inference 3. Ewald Hering's phenomenological innatism 4. Wilhelm Wundt and physiological psychology 5. Titchener and North American structuralism
IV) The reaction to Wundt in Europe and America 1. Brentano and the Brentanians 5. American functionalism, between evolutionism and pragmatism
V) The psychology of Gestalt 1. The beginnings 2. The laws of Gestalt 3. Isomorphism 4. The field model 5. Ascension and diaspora
VI) The psychodynamic perspective and psychoanalysis 1. Introduction 2. From the organicistic conception to the psychodynamic conception of mental illness 3. Janet's theory 4. Psychoanalysis from Freud to the 1950s 5. Jung's theory 6. Adler's theory 7. Themes of psychoanalysis of the second half of the twentieth century and new themes 8. Phenomenological psychiatry 9. Theories of personality 10. Integrated models between health and pathology of the mind
VII) The behaviorist perspective I. Introduction 2. American psychology at the beginning of the century: structuralism and functionalism 3. Behaviorism from Watson to the 1950s 4. Skinner and the behaviorist utopia 5. Operationalism in psychology 6. Personality, psychopathology and social learning from a behavioral perspective
VIII) The cognitive perspective 1. Introduction 2. The study of cognitive processes: from the Würzburg school to Bartlett 3. The theories of intelligence 4. The theories of psychic development 5. Piaget's theory 6. The probabilistic and ecological theories of mental processes 7. Cognitivism 8. Cognitive science
IX) The historical-cultural perspective 1. Introduction 3. The historical-cultural theory of mind from Vygotsky to the 1960s 4. The theory of activity 5. Social constructionism. Cultural psychology
X) The biological and neuroscientific perspective 1. Introduction 2. Animal and comparative psychology. Ethology 3. Research on brain functions at the beginning of the twentieth century 4. Bechterev's reflexology 5. Pavlov's theory of higher nervous activity 6. Holistic theories of the functioning of the mind and brain in the early twentieth century 7. Neuroconnectionism of Hebb 8. Research on brain functions and behavior: 1950-70 9. Lurija's theory of functional brain systems 10. Cognitive, affective and social neuroscience.
XI) The contemporary debate 1. Crisis of theories or crisis of psychology 2. Empirical verification in psychology 3. Psychology of common sense and alternative psychologies 4. The primacy of neuroscience 5. The discomfort of psychotherapy 6. Psychology and contemporary society.

Monographic part
The monographic part of the program this year aims to critically illustrate the history of the contribution of behavioral sciences and neuroscience to the understanding of the nature of desire and of the processes of building habits and their control / discontrol, with particular attention to the case of pathological addictions (behavioral, substance, affective).


Core Documentation

per la parte istituzionale
Luccio R. (2013). Storia della psicologia: un’introduzione. Roma- Bari: Laterza (capitoli: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5 paragrafi 5.1 e 5.5; 6).
Mecacci L. (2011). Storia della psicologia del Novecento. Roma- Bari: Laterza (capitoli: 3; 4; 5; 6 paragrafi 1,3,4,5; 7; 8).

per la parte monografica:
dispense del docente

Type of delivery of the course

The course will alternate between lectures devoted to a discussion of the general history of the behavioural sciences and neuroscience, from natural philosophy to contemporary neuroscience (institutional part), and lectures devoted to the monographic part on the history of the contribution of the behavioral sciences and neuroscience to the understanding of the nature of desire and the processes of construction of habits and their control/dyscontrol, with particular focus on the case of pathological addictions (behavioral/ substance/affective addictions).

Attendance

Attendance at the lectures is strongly recommended. Attending class will contribute significantly to the learning experience, to learning to learn. Active participation requires attendance for the entire course, taking part in the discussions that will accompany each lecture, and working at some original materials. Participating in the lectures and discussions, preparing presentations, and written materials for discussion online at the course site solicits and encourages the assimilation of course contents. More generally, an active participation promotes the development of the skills of critical analysis, learning, and effective communication. Participation in the course and the production of written or multimedia materials will contribute to the exam grade.

Type of evaluation

Written exam with open-ended questions (short answers) and multiple choice questions. A paper or a project can be arranged with the professor and they may contribute to the final grade