Research Laboratories

The Center for Mind and Brain (CMB) encompasses numerous laboratories that our core faculty member administer. Many of the laboratories in the CMB offer research internships through academic departments. Visit the web pages of each of our laboratories to learn how to apply, or email the faculty member who oversees each lab.

Learning and Decision Making (LDM) Lab (Boorman)

The Learning and Decision Making (LDM) Lab, directed by Erie Boorman, seeks to understand how we make decisions and how we learn from their outcomes, at the behavioral, computational, and neural systems levels. Our research is multi-disciplinary, lying at the intersection between Psychology, Neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence, and Behavioral Economics.

Brain and Social Cognition Lab (Bowman)

How does social cognition develop? And what are the characteristics of the developing ‘social brain’? Research in the Brain and Social Cognition (BASC) Lab represents pioneering forays into these intriguing but as yet unanswered questions. The BASC Lab investigates the factors that shape development of social cognitions, and examines how these social cognitions interact with and influence real-world social behavior.

Cognitive Neurolinguistic Lab (Corina)

Scientists in the COGNITIVE NEUROLINGUISTIC RESEARCH LAB, which Professor David Corina oversees, study the cognitive neuroscience of signed and spoken languages.

Integrated Attention Lab (Geng)

Research in the Integrated Attention Lab focuses on how goal-directed and sensory-driven information are integrated to determine what we perceive. The purpose of the work is to understand the mechanisms of attentional control that flexibly balance the ability to select task-relevant information and suppress irrelevant distractors. We are interested in both the neural and cognitive processes involved and use fMRI and eye-tracking combined with response time and accuracy measurements.

Memory and Development (MaD) Lab (Ghetti)

Our research focuses on the development of memory and metamemory in childhood. Using behavioral and neuroimaging methods, our studies examine both typical and atypical development of memory in children.

Language Learning Lab (Graf-Estes)

Infants are immersed in a world of immense complexity, yet they display knowledge of the people, objects, actions and sounds in their environments very early in life. Our research explores the mechanisms that support this early learning. In particular, the ability to detect statistical regularities may play a fundamental role in how infants learn about a highly complex, highly salient aspect of the auditory world: language.

TEEN Lab (Guyer)

The Teen Experiences, Emotions, and Neurodevelopment (TEEN) Laboratory, which Amanda Guyer oversees, uses cognitive neuroscience methods to examine development of social and affective brain systems in adolescents.

HERD Lab (Hastings)

The HERD Lab explores the factors contributing to children’s social and emotional development. We examine the contributions of “nurture” through children’s close relationships with family and friends, and “nature” through their autonomic and neuroendocrine regulatory systems. Our focus is on understanding how these factors shape developmental trajectories toward adaptive functioning, like compassion and social competence, and maladaptive functioning, like aggression and anxiety.

Visual Cognition Lab (Henderson)

The Visual Cognition Lab investigates how information about the visual world is acquired, identified, retained in memory and manipulated by the cognitive system to support thought and to guide behavior.

Janata Lab

The Janata lab investigates how human brains engage with music. Paradigms range from psychophysical studies of the acuity of mental images for pitch, to neuroimaging studies of music-evoked memories and emotions, and behavioral examinations of sensorimotor coupling, i.e how people move along with music.

Mind-Emotion Development Lab (Lagattuta)

Research in the Mind-Emotion Development Lab focuses on the development of young children's knowledge about people in terms of their inner, mental lives – what a person desires, intends, believes, thinks about and feels emotionally.

Basic & Translational Cognitive Neuroscience (Luck)

The Laboratory for Basic and Translational Cognitive Neuroscience, led by Steve Luck, is a part of the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain and the Visual Cognition Research Group.

Neural Mechanisms of Attention (Mangun)

Scientists and engineers in the LABORATORY FOR THE NEURAL MECHANISMS OF ATTENTION investigate the cognitive and neural underpinnings of attention using a cognitive neuroscience approach. The laboratory's principal investigator, Professor Ron Mangun, was the founding director of the Center for Mind and Brain, and is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Auditory Neuroscience & Speech (Miller)

The AUDITORY NEUROSCIENCE AND SPEECH RECOGNITION LAB, under the direction of Dr. Lee M. Miller) is dedicated to understanding the neural bases of auditory perception and speech recognition in human listeners. Our researchers use the most advanced non-invasive techniques to study attentive listening, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), high-density electroencephalography (EEG), and neural network analysis. We learn how different parts of the brain cooperate to achieve perception — especially in noisy environments or with hearing loss — and what happens when comprehension fails.

Cognition in Context Lab (Munakata)

How humans think varies dramatically across contexts. Thinking can change based on our goals, motivations, and propensities, as they develop across infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, in relation to our physical, social, and cultural environments. How can we understand these dramatic variations in thinking?

Infant Cognition Lab (Oakes)

The first years after birth are critically important for the development of the baby's brain and mind. We know that experience plays an important role in shaping this development. The Infant Cognition Lab studies the baby's developing mind; particularly investigating infants' memory, attention and categorization.

Cognitive Electrophysiology (Olichney)

Researchers in the COGNITIVE ELECTROPHYSIOLOGY AND NEUROIMAGING LAB, which neurologist John Olichney, M.D., oversees, develop electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques sensitive to memory, language and other cognitive impairments characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Neurocognitive Development Lab (Rivera)

The Neurocognitive Development Lab employs a variety of converging research techniques to elucidate the complex brain-behavior relationships that underlie cognitive development.

Saron Lab (Saron)

Researchers in the SARON LAB, under the direction of neuroscientist Clifford Saron, use electrophysiological and behavioral methods to study sensory and cognitive processes in humans.

Cognitive Neuroscience of Language (Swaab)

The Laboratory for the Cognitive Neuroscience of Language, which Dr. Tamara Swaab oversees, focuses on the psychological and neural mechanisms of language comprehension. Scientific investigators in the lab study when and how different kinds of contextual information, including syntactic, thematic, semantic and referential information, are integrated during reading and listening comprehension, and identifies the neural substrates of these integration processes.

Human Memory Lab (Yonelinas)

Dr. Andy Yonelinas. In the Human Memory Lab we aim to understand how memory works… and why it often fails. We examine factors that influence memory such as stress and aging. We also investigate the brain networks involved in memory using neuroimaging methods like fMRI, and by examining people with memory problems related to medical conditions such as stroke and cardiac arrest.