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PhD Program in Cognitive and Cultural Systems

PhD Coordinator: Pietro Pietrini

PhD Program Overview

The PhD Program in Cognitive and Cultural Systems unites disciplines that have been carefully selected for their ability to provide the necessary cultural, methodological and instrumental know-hows for the analysis of complex social, cognitive, psychological and cultural systems. It is truly a unique PhD Program thanks to the shared field of survey that consists in cognitive, cultural and social systems.

The Program proposes a distinction in two Tracks on the basis of the methodologies applicable to the study of the brain, the mind, behaviors, human activities and productions as well as their material and symbolic functions and representations. This shared field of survey, that the two Tracks look at through diverse but complementary methodological, analytical and technical lenses, includes: conceptual representation against neurobiological and cultural backdrops; the contextual and multidisciplinary study of objects, images and spaces within defined historical, political, social ideological, economic, legal and cultural contexts; the study of the perception of and the interaction with the external world; the study of the reception of images and forms from a historical-cultural and neuroscientific point of view; the contextual study of cultural heritage in its multiple dimensions; the study of institution building through cultural heritage and the role of cultural heritage as an instrument of cultural diplomacy. It deals with, hence, relevant themes in a long-term prospective.

The principal educational goal of the Program is that of providing students with a mastery of methodological tools and advanced techniques for neurosciences and for the analysis and the management of cultural heritage, of cultural phenomena and their multiple impacts. This Program is characterized by its interdisciplinary nature and by its innovative approach that, beyond training students in the specific areas of neuroscience and cultural heritage, deals with the study of the relation between historical-contextual analyses (including aesthetic and artistic analyses) and neuroscientific analyses and the study of the complex system made up by behaviors, activities and human productions from perspectives and with instruments that are both complementary and integrated.

The Program is made up of two Tracks and, in the spirit of the School, integrates academic excellence with an interdisciplinary vocation.

The  Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage (AMCH) Track proposes, on one hand, an expansion in the range of methodologies and tools for the analysis of cultural phenomena and, on the other hand, the embedding of managerial and organization skills therein.

The  Cognitive, Computational and Social Neurosciences (CCSN) Track integrates a basic neuroscience training with the study of mental activities and cognitive functions in neuropsychological, psycholinguistic, computational, social, philosophical, logical and educational domains.

Input and output profiles

Candidates with a solid background in psychology, neuroscience, medicine, molecular biology, bio-engineer, computer sciences, social sciences, the humanities, or ICT related to cultural heritage, philosophy and logics.

In line with the strong intersections and didactic and experimental integration of the School, the CCSN Track aims to offer a broad educational background to pursuing an academic career and experimental research, and to open up new labor markets that increasingly turn to transverse figures. Likewise, the AMCH Track aims to promote an expansion of the labor markets for students to access research, teaching, entrepreneurship, institutions, and the third sector. The aim of the Program is to offer students other careers than those in the university.

Research Units contributing to the PhD Program


AMCH full course list.

CCSN full course list.

PDF icon AMCH full course list232.33 KB
PDF icon CCSN full course list268.54 KB