Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Neuroscience

This PhD program is based in the Department of Psychology ( and is aimed at training two types of professionals. The first category includes researchers studying the functional organization and cerebral bases of perception, attention, language, thinking and reasoning, motivation and emotions, personality and personality disorders, clinical and dynamic psychology, social psychology, the psychology of work and organizations, as well as psychological measurement in all stages of life. The other category is made up of highly qualified professionals who can work outside academia and transfer psychological/linguistic knowledge to the fields of education, health and personal care in a socio-economic and business setting, as well as in innovative high-tech fields where humans and the synergy of technology and human factors play a central role.
This program offers three curricula:
1. The Mind, Brain and Behavior
2. Social, Cognitive and Clinical Psychology
3. Experimental and Applied Psychology (International curriculum)


Director: Prof. Marco Perugini

Deputy Director: Prof. Marco Brambilla

Objectives and research areas

All three curricula are aimed at training people to be highly qualified in various subjects depending on the curriculum and equipping them to operate in both academia and business, in the public and private spheres. In line with the Department of Excellence Development Project, the PhDs will be able to conduct basic research that brings what is learned to the business sector where the role of human factors is relevant to the development of technology. Taking advantage of the facilities at the Departments of Excellence centers MiBTec and Bi.CApP (, PhDs will use virtual and augmented reality paradigms, and be trained in psychological and linguistic app development.

The Mind, Brain and Behavior track is meant to train qualified people in psychological measurement, cognitive neuroscience, perception, attention, cognitive processes and language in all stages of lifespan.

The Social, Cognitive and Clinical Psychology track is meant to train qualified people in the subjects of thinking and reasoning, motivation, clinical and dynamic psychology, social psychology and the psychology of organizations in all stages of life.

The International Experimental and Applied Psychology track is meant to train qualified people in environmental psychology, applied cognitive psychology, effective public communication, social perception and behavior perception.
The International track stems from collaboration with the University of Surrey ( It requires two years of coursework at the University of Milano-Bicocca and one year at the University of Surrey.  Graduates of this program will obtain a double degree.

Professional Opportunities
This PhD program is meant to train qualified people who are able to apply advanced knowledge and methods of Psychology and Linguistics in the academic, business, health, educational, public and private context with special emphasis on new technologies (virtual and augmented reality, apps and mobile devices) and their interaction with human factors. 
In the Mind, Brain and Behavior track, students will develop the following skills:
  • Methodological skills, specifically experimental methods, psychophysics and psychometrics that can be used in ergonomics, data analytics and in coordinating research in complex organizations
  • Skills related to Language Sciences and Developmental Psychology that can be used in professions dealing with written and oral communication, in pre-school, primary school and multicultural settings. 
  • Neuropsychological skills (neuroimaging and cognitive electrophysiology) related to behavior disorders caused by lesions or cerebral dysfunction in different stages of life. These competences can be used in diagnostic and rehabilitation processes.
In the Social, Cognitive and Clinical Psychology track, students will develop the following skills:
  • Social, cognitive and organizational skills that can be used in business and community settings to promote social well-being and manage communication, decision-making strategies and personnel training
  • When combined with clinical skills, the former can be used in health and business settings to deal with the issue of the well-being, health and safety of individuals and groups
  • Clinical skills that can be used in the fields of health and education to evaluate risk/protective factors at all stages of life, plan intervention strategies and build diagnostic models that are more appropriate for current needs
In the International Experimental and Applied Psychology track, students will develop skills related to:
  • psychological factors that can promote sustainability, including communication
  • the interaction between technology and psychological factors at the individual and group level
To help the development of the skills described above, the Department of Psychology hosts numerous laboratories: 
To promote PhDs’ working outside academia, the University PhD School (“Scuola Unica di dottorato”) organizes an annual Job Placement Day.
Multidisciplinary Skills
From beginning to end, this PhD program reinforces multidisciplinary skills to increase students’ career prospects. It offers courses, seminars and activities geared toward developing expertise for careers inside and outside academia. These activities include: learning advanced methodologies and programming languages, strengthening language skills and technical/scientific writing, writing and presenting research, courses on technological innovation and English language training. The doctoral school collaborates with Assolombarda (and other universities in Milan: the University of Milan, the Catholic University, the Polytechnic, Humanitas and the University of Pavia) to organize new PhD student welcome events and to provide cross-university courses on self-presentation and public communication. 
Teaching activities

The teaching programme comprises common and specific courses for the three different curricula. The courses equip PhD students with methodological and theoretical tools to analyse individual and social behavior and to investigate the neural basis of human behavior. 

Furthermore, studies provide knowledge and skills on how to write a scientific paper and to analyze the specialized literature.

News and events
by Scuola di dottorato, last updated on 14/05/2020