Barry Giesbrecht

Principal Investigator

Professor, Psychological & Brain Sciences

Co-Director, Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies

Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Dynamical Neuroscience

Co-Director, Kavli Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience

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Tom Bullock

Project Scientist

Tom studies the neural mechanisms of attentional control and how these are impacted by different global states, such as bouts of acute physical exercise and acute stress.  He combines behavioral, neuroimaging and physiological measures to better understand how the brain supports cognitive function in response to physical and cognitive challenges. 

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Jordan Garrett

Graduate Student

Jordan's primary research interests are on the interaction between attention and working memory, and how these cognitive processes are modulated by changes in global state (e.g., engaging in physical activity). He applies computational modeling and machine learning to neural activity, recorded with EEG, to monitor the fidelity of item representations within working memory.


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Carly Chak

Graduate Student

Carly’s research focuses on the influence of value-driven attentional capture on working memory. Her current research project examines how interrupting value-associated stimuli impact the contents of working memory. She is also interested in further understanding the competition between different types of attentional priority (i.e., cued vs. value-driven) and how this might modulate the contents within working memory over time.

Shivang Shelat

Graduate Student

Shivang's research centers on spontaneous cognition (i.e., mind-wandering) and how it affects memory, perception, and attention. He also applies principles in attention neuroscience to optimize human-computer interactions. Shivang is co-supervised by Barry and Jonathan Schooler.

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Henri Etel Skinner

Graduate Student

Henri's primary research interests are investigating the relative contributions of the different cognitive mechanisms involved in sustaining attention. She aims to use behavioral data and neural activity from EEG recordings to investigate the relationship between attention-related oscillatory activity to failures of sustained attention.


Emily Machniak

Junior Specialist

Emily’s research projects are focused on how physical states and virtual interfaces affect cognitive performance and attention. Her current research projects use EEG to investigate how physical exercise impacts sustained attention, and how dynamic locomotive behaviors impact information processing in augmented reality. Emily works both in the Attention Lab and Dr. Sprague's Lab

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Caitlin Gregory

Ex officio Junior Specialist

Caitlin's research projects are focused on how changes in physiological state affect information processing and attentional control. Her current project is using fMRI to investigate if physical fatigue modulates the persistent effects of reward learning on behavior. Caitlin currently is an EMT, but continues to advise the lab on projects and administration in her free time.



Dawa Dupont

Visiting Scholar - University of Copenhagen

Dawa’s research is mainly focused on experimental studies of visual cognition including attention, cognitive control and short-term memory as well as prospective memory. In his current project he aims to use behavioral data and neural activity from EEG recordings to investigate the relationship between arousal and mechanisms involved in cognitive control.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Anh-Thu Van, Brecken Marome, Catherine Wen, Elise Kormos, Georgia Valdez, Isa Ruacho, Julia Ram, Karina Mijangos Guzman, Lauren Lee, Madhav Viswesvaran, Melissa Hernandez, Paola Belmontes, Stina Johansson, Will Pritchard.

Lab Alumni



  • Mary MacLean, PhD (2020) - Defence Scientist, Defence Research and Development Canada
  • Matt Gobel, PhD (2018), Lecturer, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • Jelena Ristic, PhD (2009), Professor, Psychology, McGill University
  • Hubert Cecotti, PhD (2013), Associate Professor, Computer Science, Cal State Fresno

Graduate Students

  • Anne Milner, PhD (2023), Postdoctorate at UC Berkeley Sleep Team
  • Diya Das, PhD (2021), UX Researcher at
  • Cris Garduno, MA (2020), Product Researcher at Brooks Running
  • Lindsey Purpura, MA (2017), Project Manager at Amazon
  • James Elliott, PhD (2013), Adjunct Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo / Project Scientist, UCSB
  • Ryan Kasper, PhD (2013), UX Researcher, Meta Reality Labs, Palo Alto, CA
  • Jocelyn L. Sy, PhD (2011), Quantitative UX Researcher, Google
  • Krista DeLeeuw, PhD (2009, co-advised by Rich Mayer) University of Illinois, Gies College of Business, University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Honors Thesis Students

  • Riddhima Chandra (2023)
  • Anabel Salimian (2022)
  • Tommy Kan (2020)
  • Kamryn Pickett (2020)
  • Danny Toomey (2019)
  • Lena Nalbandian (2017)
  • Gisella Diaz (2016)


Lab Bears

Why bears? Why not!

Fat Bear Week