Charan Ranganath, PI
Our research focuses on characterizing the psychological processes that support human memory, and their neural underpinnings. In particular, we have investigated the functions of brain regions in the prefrontal cortex, and medial temporal lobes. Some of our research has addressed the following questions:
How do we keep information "in mind" at a given time?
How are these processes related to processes that support formation and retrieval of memories for past events?
How do we "bind" together all of the aspects of an event into a coherent memory representation?
How do we use our goals and knowledge to facilitate formation of new memories and retrieval of memories of past events?
Are there fundamental differences between the neural mechanisms that support feelings of familiarity and those that support recollection of details about past events?
What are the neural mechanisms that underlie memory disorders in patients with schizophrenia?
We use a number of research methods to address these questions, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), field potentials recorded directly from the human brain, scalp-recorded electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials, eye-tracking, and testing of patients with focal brain damage. We collaborate with a number of researchers, including Andy Yonelinas, Petr Janata, David Whitney, Dan Ragland, Mark D'Esposito, Bob Knight, Frank Roesler, Thomas Grunwald, Nikolai Axmacher, Edward Wilding, and Christian Elger
In addition to research, I teach classes in the UC Davis Psychology department and co-organize the annual Bay Area Memory Meeting (BAMM!). Outside of the lab, I enjoy chocolate with high cocoa content, espresso, beer, music (anything with a beat), spending time with my family, playing guitar, and snowboarding (currently a work in progress).