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$900K NSF Grant to Help Researchers Probe the Cognitive Brain Mechanisms Behind Free Will

Funded by a three-year $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Distinguished Professor George R. Mangun, director of the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, is launching a project to better understand the cognitive mechanisms behind realistic voluntary attention, or attention directed by an individual’s free will. The project will be conducted in collaboration with engineering colleagues at the University of Florida.

Videos Available

On February 24, 2023, the Center of Mind and Brain, along with the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute hosted Out of the Lab and Into the World: The Next Chapter of Contemplative Science. Videos are now available



Sergey Stavisky wins 2022 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Sergey Stavisky, assistant professor in UC Davis Health's Department of Neurological Surgery and an affiliate faculty member at the Center for Mind and Brain, has been selected by the National Institutes of Health to receive a 2022 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award.The NIH awards this grant to exceptionally creative early career investigators who propose innovative, high-impact projects in the biomedical, behavioral or social sciences. Besides the recognition, the award provides $2.3 million over five years for selected early career researchers.

When it comes to faces, context matters

​How we perceive faces depends on the context, but why is that? Humans experience this phenomenon daily. We look at hundreds of faces and make a judgment. Until recently, we had little knowledge of how our brain computes signals to skew our interpretation of faces. However, a recent study involving UC Davis Health researchers has identified the brain mechanisms that play a role in how we connect outside contexts to facial recognition and perceptions.  ​

Clifford Saron Featured on the Backdrop

People have practiced various forms of meditation for thousands of years, usually in a religious context.  But only recently has meditation been the subject of scientific study.

McDonnell Foundation Awards Inaugural Grants for Research on Infant-to-Adult Learning

Much of what scientists know about human learning, visual attention and memory comes from laboratory studies involving artificial tasks, like watching and recalling words or colored shapes flashed on a computer monitor.

Two UC Davis research teams, with support from the James S. McDonnell Foundation, will study the development of learning in a wide range of ages — from infancy to young adulthood — in more naturalistic settings.