Brian Wiltgen

Brian Wiltgen Portrait

Position Title
Associate Professor

174B Young Hall


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003
  • M.A., Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1998
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Iowa, 1997


In addition to his academic appointment in Psychology, Brian Wiltgen is lab director of the Wiltgen Lab at UC Davis. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Psychological Association, the Society for Neuroscience, the Molecular & Cellular Cognition Society, and the Pavlovian Society.

Research Focus

Professor Wiltgen studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory formation in the hippocampus and neocortex. He is particularly interested in systems level consolidation and the process by which new memories are stabilized and maintained over time. To examine these issues, he combines behavioral analysis (spatial and contextual learning) with pharmacology, electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry and optogenetic techniques in transgenic mice.



  • Tanaka, K. Z., Pevzner, A., Hamidi, A., Nakazawa,Y., Graham, J., & Wiltgen, B. J. (2014). Cortical representations are reinstated by the hippocampus during memory retrieval. Neuron, 84(2): 347-54.
  • Taylor, K. K., & Wiltgen, B. J. (2013). New methods for understanding systems consolidation. Learning & Memory, 20(10):553-7.
  • Wiltgen, B. J., & Tanaka, K.Z. (2013). Systems consolidation and the content of memory. Neurobiology of Learning & Memory, 106:365-71.
  • Taylor, K. K., Tanaka, K. Z., Reijmers, L. G., & Wiltgen, B. J. (2013). Reactivation of neural ensembles during the retrieval of recent and remote memory. Current Biology, 23(2) 99-106.
  • Wiltgen, B. J., Zhou, M., Cai, Y., Balaji, J., Karlsson, M. G., Parivash, S. N., Li, W., & Silva, A. J. (2010). The hippocampus plays a selective role in the retrieval of detailed contextual memories. Current Biology, 20(15): 1336-44.


Professor Wiltgen teaches in the areas of biological psychology, perception, cognition, and cognitive neuroscience. He teaches an undergraduate course on the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and a graduate course on Current Research in Psychology.


Professor Wiltgen has won several academic fellowships and research awards, including a McKnight Memory & Cognitive Disorders Award, a Whitehall Foundation Research Grant and an Alzheimer’s Association Young Investigator Award.