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Il contributo della psicologia cognitiva
Da Gazzaniga Neuroscienze Cognitive 2° edizione
Un campo interdisciplinare
Metodi di

Neuroimmagini Metodi

Tecniche tecniche
perturbative osservazionali Ricerca in
Psicologia cognitiva e metodi
• Rapporto tra psicologia cognitiva e neuroscienze cognitive
• La psicologia cognitiva si interessa allo studio dell’attività mentale in
termini di elaborazione dell’informazione
• Descrivere il comportamento osservabile (performance)
• Identificare processi interni che sottendono determinate performance
Il modo di percepire e di agire nel mondo non è diretto ma percezioni,
pensieri, azioni, dipendono dalle trasformazioni e dalle elaborazioni
Non imorpta in che oridne apapaino le letetre in una paolra,
l’uinca csoa imnorptate è che la pimra e la ulimta letetra sinao nel
ptoso gituso. Il riustlato può serbmare mloto cnofuso e
noonstatne ttuto si può legerge sezna mloti prleobmi. Qesuto si
dvee al ftato che la mtene uanma non lgege ongi letetra una ad
una, ma la paolra nel suo isineme. cuorsio, no?
Le neuroscienze cognitive e la psicologia
Le neuroscienze cognitive combinano i paradigmi sperimentali sviluppati
dalla psicologia cognitiva per discernere i processi sottostanti
all’elaborazione dell’informazione, con i metodi volti a studiare le
strutture e le funzioni cerebrali

Paradigmi sperimentali EEG/MEG

Della psicologia cognitiva TMS
Lesion mapping
Rappresentazioni mentali e loro
Due concetti chiave
1. L’elaborazione dell’informazione dipende dalle rappresentazioni
2. Le rappresentazioni mentali sono soggette a trasformazioni
Rappresentazioni mentali (1/2)

A cosa vi fa pensare?
Rappresentazioni mentali (2/2)
Compito di associazione di lettere (Posner, 1986): stessa categoria (vocali o
consonanti) oppure no

Da Gazzaniga Neuroscienze Cognitive 2° edizione Variabile
Cosa ci dicono questi risultati
Costruiamo una molteplicità di rappresentazioni. Nel caso del compito di
associazione di lettere
1. Rappresentazione basata sulle caratteristiche fisiche stimolo
2. Rappresentazione basata sull’identità della lettera
3. Rappresentazione della categoria di appartenenza della lettera

Altri interrogativi nascono da questo esperimento (come sempre nella

ricerca nelle neuroscienze cognitive!). Ne derivano nuovi metodi ed
Author's personal copy
Atten Percept Psychophys

How much 800
Ambiguous Min Max
is it? 600
1 sec 1.5 sec 1.5 sec
B 200
Global Local
La timeline How much Min Max
Perceptual Style

di un filone do you like?

di ricerche: D
1 sec 1.5 sec 1.5 sec

step 1 600 Un40 600 Males

500 Ov40 500 Females

400 400

300 300

200 200

100 100

0 0
Global Local Global Local
Fig. 1 Method and results. aAmbiguity task, stimuli, and timeline. b Style × Group and Perceptual Style × Gender interactions for aesthetic
Pleasantness task, stimuli, and timeline. cEffect of perceptual style on the pleasure when looking at Arcimboldo’s portraits
ambiguity perceived when viewing Arcimboldo’s portraits. dPerceptual

Initially we ran a multivariate ANOVA with Group (Un40– Boccia et al. 2014
(Un40, Ov40), gender, and perceptual style (global, local) on
152 M. Boccia et al. / Behavioural Brain Research 278 (2015) 147–154

La timeline
di un filone
di ricerche:
step 2

Fig. 3. Effects of subjective judgment, artistic nature and ambiguity on brain activation. (A) Areas showing third-level interaction (Art by Ambiguity by Preferences) are displayed
in red-to-yellow patches. (B) Percent BOLD signal changes in the eight conditions within the regions showing third-level interaction (Art by Ambiguity by Preferences). The
fusiform gyri (FG), parahippocampal gyri (PHG), lingual gyrus (LG) and inferior temporal gyrus (ITG) were less activated when subjects liked (vs. disliked) Arcimboldo’s
artworks and were more activated when subjects liked (vs. disliked) non-ambiguous portraits, ambiguous and non-ambiguous non-artworks. Notes: LH = left hemisphere;
RH = right hemisphere. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, please see the web version of this article).

evaluating sensory information [37,38]. In particular, orbitofrontal tasks) and perceptual facilitation (i.e., ambiguous or non ambiguous
cortex directly receives input from late visual areas (such as that
along the inferior temporal cortex). Thus, orbitofrontal is extremely
Boccia et al. 2015
When we analyzed the main effect of the valence of esthetic
Atten Percept Psychophys

Fig. 2 Navon task: Timeline and examples of stimuli. Notes y = yes; n = no

factor. The same set of analyses was performed on response 0.374; Main Effect of Group: F(1,137) = 0.025; MS =
times of esthetic appreciation. 10,455.520; p = 0.875; ηp2 = 0.000; observed power =
0.053; Group by Prime interaction: F(1,137) = 0.283; MS =
19,958.116; p = 0.596; ηp2 = 0.002; observed power = 0.083).

Preliminary analyses on demographics suggested that there

was no clear indication of a difference between participants
with global and local PS for age (t(137) = 0.008; p = 0. 993),
Here we investigated whether local and global prime affected
gender (χ2 = 2.544; p = 0.111), and artistic interests (t(137) =
esthetic appreciation of ambiguous artworks showing whole-
0.243; p = 0. 809).
part ambiguity and whether this effect interacted with percep-
A paired t-test on esthetic appreciation of Arcimboldo’s
tual style. Our results pointed towards two key findings: first,
La timeline artworks preceded by local or global prime revealed a signif-
icant difference (t(138) = -2.477; p =0. 014; Cohen’s d =
local prime yielded to higher rate of esthetic appreciation of
Aricimboldo’s ambiguous portraits. Second, effect of prime

di un filone
0.210), with higher appreciation when the artworks were pre-
ceded by local (mean: 664.619; SD: 224.864) than global
(mean: 644.727; SD: 228.589) prime.
di ricerche: Mixed-factorial ANOVA (Levene’s test for homoscedas-
Fig. 1 Experimental task: Timeline and examples ofticity: p > g0.302;
stimuli. Notes = global; lSphericity: Mauchly’s W = 1.00) revealed a

step 3
= local
Group by Prime interaction on esthetic appreciation (F(1,137)
participants had a history of neurological or = 6.232;disor-
psychiatric MS = 26922.139;
Experimental task: p Local
= 0.014; ηp2 =prime
versus global 0.044; observed
on esthetic
ders. All of them signed a consent form before the study be- appreciation of ambiguous artworks
power = 0.698): post hoc pairwise comparisons showed that
gan. This study was approved by the local ethics committee.
only participantsTwelve with oflocal PS differed
Arcimboldo’s on(Table
artworks local1)versus global
were presented
prime (p = 0.001, twiceBonferroni’s
in a random order, correction for multiple
preceded by hierarchical
Procedure artworks measured 500 × 750 pixels (width × height) and
parisons was applied), with a lower rating for globally primed
were projected in the center of the screen. The hierarchical
Questionnaire on art interests artworks (Fig. 3). Main
letters effects
consisted of Group
of global (F(1,137)
Es (i.e., global prime) = 0.139;
MS = 13,750.093; p=Hs,
of local 0.710; Ts,2or=global
Fs, or η 0.001;Hs, observed
Fs, or Ts composed
power of=
At the beginning of each session, art interests were investigat- local Es (i.e., local prime); they measured 250 × 400 pixels
ed using a modified version of the Questionnaire 0.066) and
on art Prime
inter- (F(1,137)
(width = were
× height) and 2.493; MSin=the10,771.202;
projected p=
center of the screen.
ests (Furnham & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2004). 0.117; ηp2 = 0.018; observed
Each trial power
started with a green=fixation
0.348) pointwere
(500 ms)not
followed by a red fixation point (500 ms), which signaled
significant. the incoming of a hierarchical letter (Fig. 1). Participants were
Experimental task: Stimuli and procedure With regard to response
asked times,
to lay their a paired
index and middle t-test
fingers revealed
on the M and only
a trend towardskeys of the keyboard(t(138)
significance and instructed to press Mpif the
= -1.932; letter E
= 0.055;
Stimulus presentation and response collection were con- appeared at the local level and K if the letter E appeared at the
trolled by scripts (OpenSesame 3.2.7; Cohen’s Mathôt, Schreij, d = 0.125) withHierarchical
global level. responseletterstimes slightly
remained on theslower
screen untilfor
& Theeuwes, 2012) running on a PC desktop local primecomputer (M =participants
2,089.463; SD the
provided = 494.762)
answer or forthan globaltime
a maximum primeof
with a Windows 10 operating system. The stimuli were 2,500 ms. Immediately afterward an Arcimboldo’s artwork
presented on a 15.6-in. computer screen (1,366 × 768
= 2,028.059; SD = 490.700). Mixed factorial ANOVA
was presented along with a computerized VAS (line range =
pixel resolution). response times (Levene’s 0–1,024 pixels).testParticipants
for homoscedasticity:
were asked to pointp the
> 0.322;
Fig. 3 Bar graph depicts Group (local vs. global PS) by Prime (local vs.
Sphericity: Mauchly’s W = 1.00) failed to reveal any signifi-
cant effect (Main effect of Prime: F(1,137) = 2.726; MS =
Boccia et al. 2020
global) interaction on esthetic judgment assessed by means of VAS. Bars
depict mean and standard error. Notes PS = perceptual style; VAS =
Trasformazioni (1/2)
Trasformazioni (2/2)
Landmark ➤ Route ➤ Survey
Caratterizzazione delle operazioni mentali
Compito di confronto mnemonico

r ial
e se
iz on
o ra

Da Gazzaniga Neuroscienze Cognitive 2° edizione

Codifica ➤ Confronto ➤ Decisione ➤ Risposta

Parallelo o seriale?
Caratterizzazione delle operazioni mentali 2/2

Kosslyn, Bell & Reiser, 1978

I limiti dei processi di elaborazione mentale
Dì qual è il colore dell’inchiostro in cui è scritta
ogni parola stimolo


mances in different experimental conditions, since it is also The WalCT is an extended version of the CBT (3 × 2.5 m;
possible that using different strategies for memorizing can scale 1:10 of the CBT; see Fig. 1a) and consists of nine
produce a different sensitivity to different interferences. squares placed on a carpet in the same position as in the

I limiti dei processi di elaborazione mentale

standard CBT, in an otherwise empty room. During the test,
the subject is asked to walk and reach different locations.
Materials and methods

The CBT and WalCT were administered to assess the par-
Forty healthy right-handed young volunteers (22 women, ticipants’ VSTM and TSTM. In addition to the single-task
mean age 28.33 ± 4.31; women’s mean age 27.95 ± 4.95; condition, the WalCT was administered to all participants
men’s mean age 28.78 ± 3.46; T = 0.60; p = 0.55), with in four different dual-task conditions, with four different

Fig. 1 a Experimental setting

showing the WalCT (3 × 2.5 m)
consisting of nine squares
placed on a carpet on the floor.
b Average performance and
standard deviation in the differ-
ent experimental conditions. F
females, M males; single task:
TSTM topographical short-term
memory; dual task: TSTM + AS
topographical short-term
memory + articulatory suppres-
sion, TSTM + M topographical
short-term memory + motor,
TSTM + SM topographical
short-term memory + spatial
motor, TSTM + SE topographi-
cal short-term memory + spa-
tial environmental

Piccardi et al., 2015
Altri paradigmi sperimentali
Applicazioni dei paradigmi sperimentali della
psicologia cognitiva nell’ambito delle neuroscienze

• Studio delle associazioni e dissociazioni nei pazienti con cerebrolesione

• Correlazione sintomo-lesione
• Correlazione con indici di volumetria e/o trattografia
• Stimolazione negli studi di imaging funzionale
Facciamo il punto (in maniera anonima!)
Dove trovo le informazioni discusse in questa
• Capitolo 3 «I metodi delle neuroscienze cognitive» di Neuroscienze
cognitive, 2° edizione italiana (Gazzaniga)
• Piccardi, L., Nori, R., Boccia, M., Barbetti, S., Verde, P., Guariglia, C., &
Ferlazzo, F. (2015). A dedicated system for topographical working
memory: evidence from domain-specific interference tests.
Experimental Brain Research, 233(8), 2489–2495.