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Second Semester 
Teaching style
Lingua Insegnamento

Informazioni aggiuntive

Course Curriculum CFU Length(h)
[50/23]  FOOD AND NUTRITION SCIENCES [23/20 - Ord. 2017]  NUTRIZIONE 4 32


KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: The course aims to provide a comprehensive knowledge on the biopsychology of feeding behaviour in normal and pathological conditions, from the hormonal, neurochemical, neurohormonal and genetical mechanisms activated at the level of the gastroenteric tract at those occurring in the central nervous system that determine the sensations of hunger, thirst and satiety to the more psychological mechanisms, which are based mainly of the incentive/motivational properties of food and that lead to the assumption of food and liquids also when satiety is present and which cause, together with the high availability of food in opulent societies, obesity not only in adults but also in children with associated illness.

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Students will achieve skills in methodological and instrumental applications for the evaluation of specific hormonal, neurochemical, neurohormonal and gentical mechanisms in the determination of the body weight at the scope of realizing strategies useful for the control of body weight and maintain a healthy life style.

MAKING JUDGEMENTS: Interpretation and comparison of scientific data.

COMMUNICATION: Ability to explain concepts and data drawn from scientific publications. Ability to relate to other nutrition professionals and users of the food industry.

LEARNING SKILLS: autonomous consultation of databases, publications and information sources accredited at national and international level.


Basic concepts of physiology, neurophysiology and neuroanatomy


A brief survey of the anatomy, physiology and endocrinology of the gastro-enteric tract: from the assumption of food and liquids to the interaction of the gastro-enteric system with the central nervous system
Peripheral and central mechanism of feeding behaviour.
The theory of the two centres and critical values of glucose and body lipids.
Going beyond the theory of the two centres
State of the art on the control of feeding behavior at central level on the basis of the most recent discoveries
Theories of feeding behaviour based on the incentive power of food and liquids.
Central reward systems and their role in food and liquid assumption.
Todays research on feeding behaviour: neurochimical and genetic studies
Disorders of feeding behaviour: anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorders
Stress influence on feeding
Publicity influence on feeding

Teaching Methods

The course consists in lectures involving the use of PowerPoint presentations

Verification of learning

The final exam of the course is based on the evaluation of an oral examination. The student will discuss orally a few different topics proposed by the teacher, using, where necessary, schemes / graphic representations. Knowledge of the topics of the course, the ability to link between different topics, the expressive capacity, the use of appropriate terminology, the ability to synthesize will be evaluated.
The final grade takes into account several factors:
Quality of the knowledge, skills and competences:
a) Appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of knowledge
b) Appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of skills
c) Appropriateness, accuracy and consistency of competences
Exposition mode:
a) Capacity of expression;
b) Proper use of the specific language of the discipline;
c) Logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the contents;
e) Ability to connect different arguments by finding the common points and establish a consistent overall design, i.e. taking care of structure, organization and logical connections of speech exposition;
f) Ability to summarize.
Relational qualities:
Capability to exchange and interact with the teacher during the interview.
Personal qualities:
a) Critical spirit;
b) Ability to self-evaluation.
Consequently, the judgment can be:
a) Fair (18 to 20/30)
The candidate demonstrates little knowledge acquired, superficial level, many gaps. Expressive abilities modest, but still sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the subjects at elementary level; poor capacity for synthesis, lack of interaction with the teacher durations interview.
b) Moderate (21 to 23)
The applicant demonstrates a discreet acquisition of knowledge but lack of depth, with a few gaps; expressive abilities more than sufficient to support a coherent dialogue; acceptable mastery of the language of science, logical capacity and consequentiality in the fitting of the arguments of moderate complexity, more than enough capacity for synthesis and the ability to graphic expression acceptable.
c) Good (24 to 26)
The candidate demonstrates a rather large knowledge, moderate depth, with small gaps; satisfactory mastery of the expressive capabilities and significant scientific language; dialogical ability and critical thinking well detectable, good capacity for synthesis and ability to graphic expression more than acceptable.
d) Outstanding (27 to 29)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive knowledge, well depth, with marginal gaps; remarkable powers of expression and high mastery of scientific language; remarkable capacity of dialogue, good competence and relevant aptitude for logic synthesis, high capacity for synthesis and graphic expression.
e) Excellent (30)
The candidate demonstrates a very extensive and in-depth knowledge, gaps irrelevant, high capacity and high mastery of the expressive language of science; excellent capacity of dialogue, aptitude to make connections between different subjects, excellent ability to synthesize and very familiar with the expression graphics.
The praise is attributed to the candidates clearly above average, and whose notional, expressive, conceptual, and logical limits, if any, as a whole are completely irrelevant.


Neil R. Carlson. Fisiologia del comportamento, Piccin Editore, 2007, 2014.

John P.J. Pinel. Psicobiologia.2007. Il Mulino.

Augusto Innocenti e Carlo Pruneti. Principi di psicolobiologia della nutrizione e dello stress. 2012. Società Editrice Esculapio.

M. Conner, J.P. Armitage, N. Cavazza. La Psicologia a tavola. Edizioni Il Mulino.

More Information

Other informations will be given by the professor.
How to sign: in order to take the oral exam the students have to sign on ESSE3 within the Friday prior to the date of the exam. For information (time, room, etc.) call the following numbers: 0706754317.

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