Faculty Mentors

These world-renowned UC Davis faculty serve as mentors to ASPIRE scholars. ASPIRE scholars conduct research under their direct supervision.
Karen Bales, California National Primate Research Center

Karen Bales, California National Primate Research Center

Karen Bales is a professor of psychology and studies the neurobiology of social behavior and how oxytocin may affect long-term social bonding, particularly in monogamous species.

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Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Psychology

Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Psychology

Eliza Bliss-Moreau is an assistant professor in psychology and a core scientist at the California National Primate Research Center.

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Shelley Blozis, Psychology

Shelley Blozis, Psychology

Shelley Blozis is an associate professor of psychology and studies the extension and application of a statistical framework based on mean and covariance structures to the study of longitudinal data.

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Arne Ekstrom, Center for Neuroscience

Arne Ekstrom, Center for Neuroscience

Arne Ekstrom is an associate professor of psychology and studies the neurophysiological basis of memory, particularly spatial memory.

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Fernanda Ferreira, Center for Mind and Brain

Fernanda Ferreira, Center for Mind and Brain

Fernanda Ferreira is a professor of psychology. Her research in psycholinguistics focuses on the interaction of language with other cognitive systems.

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Joy Geng, Center for Mind & Brain

Joy Geng, Center for Mind & Brain

Joy Geng is an associate professor of psychology. Her research focuses on how goal-directed and sensory-driven information are integrated to determine what we perceive.

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Simona Ghetti, Center for Mind & Brain

Simona Ghetti, Center for Mind & Brain

Simona Ghetti is a professor of psychology and investigates the development of memory and meta-memory in children and adolescents.

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Katherine Graf-Estes, Center for Mind & Brain

Katherine Graf-Estes, Center for Mind & Brain

Katherine Graf-Estes is an assistant professor of psychology and studies early learning in infancy with a focus on how the statistical regularities of speech may lead to language learning.

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Paul Hastings, Center for Mind & Brain

Paul Hastings, Center for Mind & Brain

Paul Hastings is a professor and chair of psychology. His research interests are centered on examinations of biological and environmental contributors to competent and maladaptive functioning and development. These contributors include predispositions, emotions, empathy and family.

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Jacob Hibel, Center for Poverty Research

Jacob Hibel, Center for Poverty Research

Jacob Hibel is an assistant professor of sociology and faculty member at the Center for Poverty Research. His research focuses on the causes and consequences of childhood educational inequalities, including those related to poverty, disability, race/ethnicity, immigrant generation status, and spatial segregation.

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Leah Hibel, Center for Poverty Research

Leah Hibel, Center for Poverty Research

Leah Hibel is an assistant professor in human ecology and faculty member at the Center for Poverty Research. Her research focuses on maternal and child health particularly in the context of family stress.

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Camelia Hostinar, Center for Mind and Brain

Camelia Hostinar, Center for Mind and Brain

Camelia is an assistant professor iof psychology and is also affiliated with the Center for Poverty Research.

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Ann Huff Stevens, Center for Poverty Research

Ann Huff Stevens, Center for Poverty Research

Ann Huff Stevens is Director of the Center for Poverty Research, Professor in the Department of Economics, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Management. She studies low income workers and labor markets, the incidence and effects of job loss, connections between economic shocks and health, and poverty and safety-net dynamics.

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Eve Isham, Center for Mind & Brain

Eve Isham, Center for Mind & Brain

Eve Isham is an assistant adjunct professor of psychology. She studies consciousness in spatial and temporal perception, as well as the cognitive factors influencing emotional response, and the comprehension and evaluation of artistic scenes.

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Kristin Lagattuta, Center for Mind & Brain

Kristin Lagattuta, Center for Mind & Brain

Kristin Lagattuta is a professor of psychology and studies age-related changes and individual differences in emotion understanding, theory of mind, moral cognition, and past-to-future reasoning.

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Alison Ledgerwood, Psychology

Alison Ledgerwood, Psychology

Alison Ledgerwood is an associate professor of psychology. Her research centers around the social psychological tools used by people to reach beyond their current experience to relate to others and plan for the future.

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Steve Luck, Center for Mind & Brain

Steve Luck, Center for Mind & Brain

Steve Luck is a professor of psychology. His research focuses on the neural and cognitive mechanisms of attention and working memory in healthy young adults and dysfunctions of attention and working memory in psychiatric and neurological disorders. He is the director of the Center for Mind and Brain and co-founder of the ASPIRE program.

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Ron Mangun, Center for Mind & Brain

Ron Mangun, Center for Mind & Brain

Ron Mangun is a distinguished professor of psychology and neurology and the founding director of the Center for Mind & Brain. His laboratory uses a cognitive neuroscience approach to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms of voluntary and reflexive attention in humans.

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Lee Miller, Center for Mind & Brain

Lee Miller, Center for Mind & Brain

Lee Miller is an associate professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior. His research investigates how different parts of the brain cooperate to achieve perception--especially in noisy environments--and what happens when comprehension fails.

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Lisa Oakes, Center for Mind & Brain

Lisa Oakes, Center for Mind & Brain

Lisa Oakes is a professor of psychology and studies the origin and development of mental abilities in infancy through studying multiple systems.

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Lisa Pruitt, Center for Poverty Research

Lisa Pruitt, Center for Poverty Research

Lisa Pruitt is a professor of law and faculty member at the Center for Poverty Research. Her areas of research include legal and policy implications of income inequality along the rural-urban continuum and legal aspects of declining mobility, with an emphasis on diminishing access to higher education.

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Charan Ranganath, Center for Neuroscience

Charan Ranganath, Center for Neuroscience

Charan Ranganath is a professor of psychology and studies the neurocognitive structure of memory and executive control, with specific focus on the relationship between working memory and long-term memory.

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Susan Rivera, Center for Mind & Brain

Susan Rivera, Center for Mind & Brain

Susan Rivera is a professor of psychology and uses behavioral, neuroimaging and structural techniques to study cognitive and affective processing.

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Richard Robins, Psychology

Richard Robins, Psychology

Richard Robins is a professor of psychology and studies social-personality and developmental psychology, focusing on social perception, self-evaluation, and social judgment.

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Clifford Saron, Center for Mind & Brain

Clifford Saron, Center for Mind & Brain

Clifford Saron is an associate research scientist and investigates the training of attention and emotion regulation through contemplative practice and sensory processing, multisensory integration, and interhemispheric communication in children with autism.

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Danielle Stolzenberg, Psychology

Danielle Stolzenberg, Psychology

Danielle Stolzenberg is an assistant professor of psychology and studies how experiences across the lifespan affect the brain and behavior, with a focus on maternal behavior.

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Tamara Swaab, Psychology

Tamara Swaab, Psychology

Tamara Swaab is a professor of psychology and faculty member at the Center for Mind & Brain. In her Cognitive Neuroscience of Language Lab, Swaab investigates the cognitive and neural architectures of normal language comprehension.

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Brian Trainor, Psychology

Brian Trainor, Psychology

Brian Trainor is an associate professor of psychology and studies gender differences in stress and brain and behavior responses to stress, as well as the effect of estrogen on aggression.

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Simine Vazire, Psychology

Simine Vazire, Psychology

Simine Vazire is an associate professor of psychology. Her research explores personality perception, self-knowledge, and the flexibility of personality.

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Brian Wiltgen, Center for Neuroscience

Brian Wiltgen, Center for Neuroscience

Brian Wiltgen is an associate professor of psychology and investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms of memory formation in the hippocampus, amygdala and cortex.

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