George R. Mangun
Dean of Social Sciences, ProfessorUniversity of California, Davis
Office: College of Letters and Science *
Dr. Mangun is a Professor of Psychology and Neurology, and was the founding Director of the Center for Mind and Brain (http://mind.ucdavis.edu/)
Dr. Mangun's research investigates the cognitive neuroscience of attention. Evolution has crafted powerful brain mechanisms that aid in our survival in a complex and often dangerous world. Research in the Mangun Lab focuses on several of these key mechanisms, those that are involved in attention and awareness. This work takes a cognitive neuroscience approach to investigating how we perceive, attend, ignore and become aware of our environment. For example, recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from healthy persons and special patient groups are obtained while they perform various perceptual and attentional tasks. The ERPs provide high temporal resolution indices of specific stages of human information processing, and thus can be used to investigate the underlying mechanisms of mental function. To identify the brain systems and circuits involved in various attentional processes, tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are used in conjunction with the ERPs. fMRI is an exciting method that permits the living human brain to be revealed to us as it functions to enable our sensations, thoughts and actions. The information obtained from these combined behavioral, neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies is yielding new insights into the computational and functional neuroanatomical structure of human cognition, and is vital to addressing the deficits in attention and awareness that accompany neurological and psychiatric disease. Dr. Mangun consults on numerous university, US government, and international scientific panels and advisory boards, including for the National Institutes of Health, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Finland. He is also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, the Treasurer of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. He was the founding Director of the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, and is currently the Dean of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science. His celebrated coauthored textbook, Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind (W.W. Norton, 2009) is now in its fourth edition -- it has been translated into French, Italian,and Portuguese. Among other honors, in 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and in 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).