Lindsay Bowman

Lindsay  Bowman Portrait

Position Title
Assistant Professor

202 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA, 95618


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Michigan, 2013
  • B.S., Psychology, Queens University, 2007


Lindsay C. Bowman is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in developmental psychology. With experience as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Maryland Child Development Lab and as a research fellow in the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, her work brings together unique perspectives on neuroscience, cognition, and social understanding in the developmental context. She uses a combination of neuroscientific and behavioral methods to illuminate developing cognition and pathways to adaptive and maladaptive social behavior across infancy and childhood.

Dr. Bowman is a member of professional organizations including the Society for Research in Child Development, the Cognitive Development Society, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the International Congress on Infant Studies. She has received awards from the Canadian Psychological Association, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the University of Michigan, and Queen’s University.

Dr. Bowman is also the Principle Investigator of the Brain and Social Cognition (BASC) Lab in the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis. She welcomes participation from undergraduate and graduate students who have interests that overlap with her research focus.

Research Focus

Humans navigate a complex social world. We communicate, cooperate, empathize; we process the changing expressions, actions, and interactions around us; we reason about the covert contents of the mind to predict and explain overt behavior. In short, we develop social cognition—a crucial understanding of the self and others that allows and constrains these fundamental skills.

How does social cognition develop? And what are the characteristics of the developing ‘social brain’? Research in the BASC Lab represents pioneering forays into these intriguing but as yet unanswered questions. We work with EEG, ERP, and occasionally fNIRS data to develop new measures examining neural correlates of social cognition over infancy and childhood. We use these neuroscientific methods in combination with behavioral assessments and observational data to uncover the developmental process and its neural basis over periods of biological, experiential, and conceptual change.


Brain and Social Cognition Lab (Bowman)


Bowman, L. C., Thorpe., S. G., Cannon, E. N., & Fox, N. A. (in press). Action mechanisms for social cognition: Behavioral and neural correlates of developing theory of mind. Developmental Science.

Bowman, L. C., & Fox, N. A. Distinctions between temperament and emotion: Exploring regulation, reactivity, and social understanding. (in press). In Fox, A. S., Lapate, R. C., Shackman, A. J. & Davidson, R. J. (Eds.), The nature of emotion. Fundamental questions (2nd edition). NY: Oxford University Press.

Bowman, L. C., Kovelman, I., Hu, X., & Wellman, H. M. (2015). Neural correlates of belief- and desire-reasoning in middle childhood: Evidence from functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9, 1-12.

Bowman, L. C., & Wellman, H. M. (2014). Neuroscience contributions to childhood theory-of-mind development. In O. N. Saracho (Ed.). Contemporary perspectives on research in theories of mind in early childhood education. (pp. 195-224). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Bowman, L. C., Liu, D., Meltzoff, A. N., & Wellman, H. M. (2012). Neural correlates of belief- and desire-reasoning in 7- and 8-year-old children: An event-related potential study. Developmental Science, 15, 618-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2012.01158.x.


Dr. Bowman teaches courses related to Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Development, and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.


Rackham Predoctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Michigan


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council—Doctoral Scholarship


Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, University of Michigan


Rackham International Student Fellowship, University of Michigan


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council—Masters Scholarship


Canadian Psychological Association Award for Academic Excellence


W.R. Thompson Prize in Psychology, Queen’s University


Top Thesis in Developmental Psychology, Queen’s University, Canada