Center for Neuroscience

Evolutionary Thinking: a New Perspective on How Our Brains Control Behavior Takes Evolution into Account

We watch a ball as it falls into our glove. We hear a strange sound in another part of the house and listen intently. In neuroscience, the act of narrowing our senses in response to an environmental event is called “attention,” and it is understood that when we attend to a stimulus, we lose the ability to focus on other surrounding inputs.

Brain Stimulators Could Treat Neurological Diseases

By Noah A Pflueger-Peters  

While drugs help patients mitigate the most extreme conditions of mental illnesses like schizophrenia or depression, they often don’t address the cognitive deficits many diseases cause, such as memory loss, low attention span and impaired decision-making.

Center for Neuroscience Faculty Discusses 'Did this Memory Really Happen?' on Every Little Thing Podcast

Charan Ranganath, Ph.D., UC Davis professor of psychology at the Center for Neuroscience, was a guest on the Every Little Thing podcast episode Memory Game: Did This Meal Really Happen? on May 10, 2021. Dr. Ranganath spoke with hosts Annette Heist and Jorge Just about how we form memories and the tricky nature of deciding about whether a memory is "true." Listen to the full episode here.

Professor Charan Ranganath Featured on NPR's Life Kit Episode: You're Probably Not As Open-Minded As You Think. Here's How To Practice

NPR's Life Kit host Rose Eveleth interviewed UC Davis neuroscientist Charan Ranganath, a psychology professor and Director of the Memory and Plasticity Program at the Center for Neuroscience for the podcast episode You're Probably Not As Open-Minded As You Think. Here's How to Practice on May 3, 2021.  Dr. Ranganath discussed why being calm and curious helps us be more open-minded. Read or listen to the full story here.

UC Davis Receives $15 Million Grant to Study the Effects of Maternal Infection on Risk for Psychiatric Illness in Offspring

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has awarded a $15.7 million grant to the UC Davis Silvio O. Conte Center, one of only 15 Conte Centers nationwide.

Psychiatric illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, affect 15-20 percent of the population worldwide, yet current treatments are at best only partially effective. The UC Davis Conte Center was first established in 2016 through the Center for Neuroscience to determine how maternal infection increases risk for these disorders and to identify new targets for novel treatments.

Perception Inception: Exploring How the Brain Makes Up the World with New Faculty Rishidev Chaudhuri

The world is made of matter, but between those particles are empty spaces, which paradoxically account for the majority of our perceived, concrete universe.

“This table feels hard,” said Assistant Professor Rishidev Chaudhuri, who sat in his office at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience. “That’s something that emerges at the collective population level.”

How individual particles come together to spontaneously create new structures is a question pondered by many physicists. The concept underlying that question—collective behavior—also intrigues neuroscientists.

Maternal infection may accelerate expression of autism genes

Maternal infection may accelerate expression of autism genes

This article originally appeared on the Spectrum site.

Exposure to infection in utero may speed up the expression of many genes linked to autism — and hasten changes in brain anatomy.

The results are in mice but hint at how infections during pregnancy may contribute to autism.