George R. Mangun, Ph.D. for UC Davis Health

George R. Mangun, Ph.D.

Director of Center for Mind and Brain

Professor, Department of Neurology and Psychology



Cognitive Neuroscience



Locations and Contact

Center for Mind and Brain

Center for Mind and Brain
267 Cousteau Place
Davis, CA 95618

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Additional Numbers

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Clinical Interests

Dr. Mangun's basic science work on the cognitive neuroscience of attention investigates how we perceive, attend, ignore and become aware of events in our environment. Recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERP) from healthy persons and special patient groups provide high temporal resolution measures of stimulus processing in the human brain. The goal of this research is to identify the mechanisms of attentional selection by permitting sensory analysis of attended and ignored stimuli to be studied under a wide variety of task circumstances. To identify the brain systems and circuits involved in various attentional processes (i.e., control and selection), tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are used in conjunction with ERP. fMRI permits the living human brain to be revealed to us as it functions to enable our sensations, thoughts and actions. The information obtained from these combined behavioral, neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies yields insight into the computational and functional neuroanatomical structure of human cognition, and is essential for addressing the deficits in attention and awareness that accompany neurological and psychiatric disease.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. Mangun's research is focused on the basic cognitive neuroscience of attention. He is a also a well-known educator who teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at UC Davis, has authored a leading textbook in cognitive neuroscience, and has organized major international training programs.



Undergraduate School

B.S., Chemistry, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ 1981

Other School

Ph.D., Neuroscience, UC San Diego, La Jolla CA 1987


Neuroscience, UC San Diego, San Diego CA 1987-1988

Radboud Excellence Professorship, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, The Netherlands, 2016

Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2011

Distinguished Scholar Award, ARCS Foundation, 2010

Elected Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (APS), 2007

James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellow, Association for Psychological Science, 2006

Noah S, Meyyappan S, Ding M, Mangun GR. Time courses of attended and ignored object representations. J Cognitive Neuroscience. 2023 Apr 1. doi:10.1162/jocn_a_01972.

Meyyappan S, Rajan A, Mangun GR, Ding M. Top-down control of the left visual field bias in cued visual spatial attention. Cereb Cortex. 2022 Oct 15:bhac402. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhac402. Epub ahead of print. PMID:36245213.

Meyyappan S, Rajan A, Mangun GR, Ding M. Role of Inferior Frontal Junction (IFJ) in the Control of Feature versus Spatial Attention. J Neurosci. 2021 Sep 22;41(38):8065-8074. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2883-20.2021. Epub 2021 Aug 11. PMID:34380762.

Noah S, Powell T, Khodayari N, Olivan D, Ding M, Mangun GR. Neural mechanisms of attentional control for objects: Decoding EEG alpha when anticipating faces, scenes, and tools. J Neurosci. 2020 Jun 17;40(25):4913-4924. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2685-19.2020. PMID:32404346

Rajan A, Siegal S, Liu Y, Bengson J, Mangun GR, Ding M. Theta oscillations index frontal decision-making and mediate reciprocal frontal-parietal interactions in willed attention. Cereb Cortex. 2019 Jul 5;29(7):2832-2843. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhy149. PMID:29931088.

Liu  Y, Hong X, Bengson JJ, Kelley TA, Ding M, Mangun GR. Deciding where to attend: Large-scale network mechanisms underlying attention and intention revealed by graph-theoretic analysis. Neuroimage. 2017 Aug 15;157:45-60. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.05.048. Epub 2017 May 26. PMID:28554849

Liu Y, Bengson J, Huang H, Mangun GR, Ding M. Top-down modulation of neural activity in anticipatory visual attention: Control mechanisms revealed by simultaneous EEG-fMRI. Cereb Cortex. 2016 Feb;26(2):517-29. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhu204. Epub 2014 Sep 9.

Bengson JJ, Kelley T, Mangun GR. The neural correlates of volitional attention: a combined fMRI and ERP study. Hum Brain Mapp. 2015 Jul;36(7):2443-54. doi:10.1002/hbm.22783. Epub 2015 Mar 2. PMID:25731128.

Mazaheri A, Fassbender C, Coffey-Corina S, Hartanto TA, Schweitzer JB, Mangun GR. Differential top-down oscillatory EEG between ADHD subtypes and typically developing adolescents. Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Sep 1;76(5):422-429. Published online 2013 Oct 8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.023. PMID:24120092.

Briggs F, Mangun GR, Usrey WM. Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and signal-to-noise in neural circuits. Nature. 2013 Jul 25;499(7459):476-480. Published online 2013 Jun 26. doi:10.1038/nature12276. PMID:23803766.