Perception, Cognition & Cognitive Neuroscience

The UC Davis Department of Psychology contains five major "areas": Developmental, Perception-Cognition, Biological Psychology, Quantitative and Social-Personality. Perception, Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience investigates the processes and structures involved in high-level perception and human cognition, including the neural bases of these human attributes. Boundaries between the areas are fluid, and students are encouraged to take seminars in all five.

  • Research Orientation
  • Research in cognition and cognitive neuroscience includes studies of attention, awareness and consciousness, cognitive control and frontal cortex function, learning and memory, working memory, language comprehension and reading, problem solving, reasoning, and music cognition. Faculty members use diverse methods, including psychophysical, behavioral, electrophysiological (EEG/ERP), neuropsychological (patient studies), eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and neuroimaging (fMRI).
  • Research Topics
  • Research topics include memory and memory development, symbol processing and language development, mechanisms of attention, visual perception, visual cognition, psycholinguistics, psychology of law, and computational modeling. We participate in several interdisciplinary programs, including the newly established Center for Neuroscience, and the graduate programs in Human Development, Linguistics and Neuroscience.
  • Research/Training Opportunities
  • Current research projects in perception include studies of motion and spatial orientation, including how the movement of observers and objects influence motor control such as during reaching and grasping. In addition, a new interdisciplinary emphasis in social cognitive neuroscience is being developed. Studies involve work in healthy adult observers, neurological patients with focal brain damage including amnesia and aphasia, psychiatric patients include schizophrenic populations, and infants and children.
  • Why UC Davis?
  • The city of Davis and the surrounding areas offer rich intellectual, cultural, and recreational opportunities. UC Davis sponsors a number of cultural events, including world-class performances, distinguished speakers, free summer concerts, and innovative exhibits at galleries and museums. The campus is located about 15 miles from Sacramento (the state capital), roughly 50 miles from the beautiful Napa and Sonoma valleys (wine country), 72 miles from the cosmopolitan Bay Area (Berkeley and San Francisco), and about 150 miles from such spectacular resort and wilderness areas as Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Northern California, including Davis, is known for its outstanding quality of life.