Neuroscience

UC Davis Establishes Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics

The University of California, Davis, has launched the Institute for Psychedelics and Neurotherapeutics to advance basic knowledge about the mechanisms of psychedelics and translate it into safe and effective treatments for diseases such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among others.

International Society Honors Memory Research Pioneer

Charan Ranganath, a professor of psychology and director of the UC Davis Memory and Plasticity Program, has been selected for a Psychonomic Society 2022 Mid-Career Award for his research on the science of human memory. Ranganath is one of three scholars worldwide chosen to receive the award from the international society.

Bat Brains Organized for Echolocation and Flight

A new study shows how the brains of Egyptian fruit bats are highly specialized for echolocation and flight, with motor areas of the cerebral cortex that are dedicated to sonar production and wing control. The work by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and UC Berkeley was published May 25 in Current Biology. Professor Leah Krubitzer’s lab at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience studies how evolution produces variation in brain organization across a wide variety of mammals, including opossums, tree shrews, rodents and primates. This comparative neurobiology approach shows how both evolution and development influence brain organization.

Brain May Not Need Body Movements to Learn Virtual Spaces

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly present in our everyday lives, from online tours of homes for sale to high-tech headsets that immerse gamers in hyper-realistic digital worlds. While its entertainment value is well-established, virtual reality also has vast potential for practical uses that are just beginning to be explored.

Psychology and Biology Double Major Receives Undergraduate Research Award

Psychology and biological sciences senior Wenzhe Li rotated through two labs at UC Davis before finding her research passion: cytoplasmic dynein, a motor protein used for intracellular transport. Li conducts research in the lab of Richard McKenney, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. She was awarded the Ronald and Lydia Baskin Research Award, given to a graduating senior for excellence in research in the biological sciences.

7-Year Follow-Up Shows Lasting Cognitive Gains From Meditation

Gains in the ability to sustain attention developed through intensive meditation training are maintained up to seven years later, according to a new study published in the Journal of Cognitive Enhancement. The study is based on the Shamatha Project, a major investigation of the cognitive, psychological and biological effects of meditation led by researchers at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain.