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CNS Affiliate Wilsaan Joiner: Exploring sensory inputs and motor actions

January 11, 2019

Wilsaan Joiner, PhD, recently joined the UC Davis neuroscience community as an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and School of Medicine’s Department of Neurology. Joiner is particularly interested in how sensory inputs guide our motor actions and vice versa; for example, how ballet dancers possess a precise sense of where their bodies are in space and how they make very fine body movements.

Cameron Carter: a UC Davis Most-Cited Researcher

December 11, 2018

Cameron Carter, MD, professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and former director of the Center for Neuroscience, is one of 19 researchers from the University of California, Davis, named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers 2018 list released by Clarivate Analytics. The list identifies exceptional scientists and social scientists who have demonstrated significant influence by publishing multiple papers that rank in the top 1 percent by citations in a particular field and year, over a 10-year period.

Young Alumnus Award Given to Richard Addante, PhD, '11

December 04, 2018

This year’s UC Davis Young Alumnus Award winner Richard Addante Ph.D. ’11 – only seven years out from graduating with a PhD in Neurosciecne – is already the only psychologist to participate in a NASA simulation mission to Mars. During the mission, his team helped develop NASA’s understanding of challenges that may arise for humans confined together in a long mission.  

Exploring Vision, Perception and Behavior: W. Martin Usrey Named Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Endowed Chair in Physiology

November 30, 2018

Recently, the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences named Professor W. Martin Usrey, a neurobiologist interested in the physiology of vision, to the Barbara A. Horwitz and John M. Horowitz Endowed Chair in Physiology. Usrey, who is the chair of the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and a faculty member of the Center for Neuroscience,  will hold the appointment for five years. The endowment will support his research, teaching and service activities.     

New brainwave device shown to boost memory performance

October 23, 2018

Researchers have revealed a new brainwave device that supposedly boosts our ability to remember significantly more information.

A device that gives us a significantly enhanced memory has long been a trope of science fiction, and perhaps the dreams of many a student. Now, researchers at University of California, Davis, have revealed a somewhat similar device that enhances brainwaves crucial to our ability to recall information.

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Discovering Curiosity: Making Music, Studying Memory with Charan Ranganath

October 03, 2018

An audio clip from the Apollo 11 launch plays amid static. “Ignition sequence start,” a voice says. “Six, five, four, three…” As the countdown continues, the feedback swells in the background, as if an amplifier’s volume knob is slowly being turned up. “All engines running,” the voice says. “Liftoff.”

UC Davis neuroscientists advance learning and memory research to decode how our brains work

August 02, 2018

For astrophysicists, the final frontier is outer space, but ask a neuroscientist, and the greatest quest for scientific exploration lies within your brain. 

Vastly more advanced than any supercomputer, the complexity and versatility of the human brain is awe-inspiring. Of all its abilities, learning from new experiences might be the most powerful and astounding feature. But how does learning occur? And how do we remember what we learn? 

Why You Forget Names Immediately—And How to Remember Them

July 26, 2018

Of all the social gaffes, none is perhaps more common than meeting a new person, exchanging names and promptly forgetting theirs — forcing you to either swallow your pride and ask again, or languish in uncertainty forever.

Why do we keep making this mistake? There are a few potential explanations, says Charan Ranganath, the director of the Memory and Plasticity Program at the University of California, Davis.

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How Experience Changes Basics of Memory Formation

July 23, 2018

We know instinctively that our experiences shape the way we learn. If we are highly familiar with a particular task, like cooking for example, learning a new recipe is much easier than it was when we were a novice. New research from the University of California, Davis, shows that experience also changes the way our neurons become plastic and form new memories.  

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David L. Weaver Award Creates Opportunities for Neuroscience Researchers

June 28, 2018

While studying linguistics at the University of Geneva, Elena (Lin) Weaver had a job working as a bubble chamber scanner at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, otherwise known as CERN. Each four-hour shift, Lin would glimpse pictures of high-energy particles smashing together and breaking apart, tracking the particles’ trajectories. It was a whole new world for the language lover.

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Discovering Curiosity: Age-Related Hearing Loss

June 06, 2018

As our bodies age, we all face some decline in our senses, and among the senses most susceptible to deterioration is hearing.

Hearing loss is a substantial problem for society. It’s the third most common physical condition after arthritis and heart disease and about 30 percent of adults between ages 65 and 74 and nearly half of people over 75 experience some difficulty hearing.  It’s a social problem, one that can lead to isolation and depression.

Learning Enhances Synapses Between “Memory Cells” in Mice

April 26, 2018

When making memories, certain neurons form larger, denser connections, according to a study published today (April 26) in Science.

Scientists have long attempted to understand where, and how, the brain stores memories. At the beginning of the 20th century, German scientist Richard Semon coined the term “engram” to describe the hypothetical physical representations of memories in the brain.

Jennifer Whistler: On the Search for Safer Opioids

March 08, 2018

The opioid epidemic has been called the “deadliest drug crisis in American history” by the New York Times. Overdoses claim the lives of more than 90 Americans each day, and about two million people battle substance abuse disorders stemming from prescription opioids, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.