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.

Full Lab Website


Research Topics

Attention Research

The concept of attention has been used to describe many different cognitive processes and functions. Our research has shown that we do not have a single attentional mechanism, but rather several different mechanisms that operate in different ways within different cognitive systems. Our research seeks to define and understand the different mechanisms, both at the cognitive and neural levels.  This is important both for understanding the fundamental architecture of the human and for improving the ability of people to focus their attention.


Visual Working Memory Research

Visual Working Memory Research plays a pivotal role in our daily activities. It is used to store a few bits of information very rapidly so that we can quickly compare the objects in our visual environment. Our research focuses on the structure of visual working memory, the processes that create and maintain visual working memory representations, and the role of working memory as a general buffer for cognitive processing.


Schizophrenia Research

Psychiatric and neurological disorders have a tremendous economic and personal cost, touching almost everyone at some point in time. We take the concepts and methods from our basic science research healthy individuals and translate them into research on schizophrenia, ADHD, and other mental health disorders. The goal of this research is to understand the precise cognitive and neural functions that are impaired in these conditions so that we can contribute to the development and assessment of new treatments.


Event-Related Potential Methodology Research

Our lab is very well known for it use of event-related potentials (ERPs), small electrical signals that are extracted from EEG recordings. In addition to using ERPs in our research, we also spend substantial time and effort developing and promoting ERP methods. This includes running the ERP Boot Camp, a 10-day summer workshop on ERPs, and developing ERPLAB Toolbox, an open source Matlab toolbox that is used worldwide for the processing and analysis of ERP data.