Public Release:  UC Davis memory researcher wins Pentagon grant

University of California - Davis

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IMAGE: Charan Ranganath, here seen setting up a subject for recording electrical impulses from the brain, is a pioneer in studying how areas of the brain work together to form memories.... view more

Credit: UC Davis photo

Professor Charan Ranganath of the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Psychology has received a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Defense. The five-year, $2.6 million fellowship will support new work on learning and memory in Ranganath's Dynamic Memory Laboratory at UC Davis.

The new project aims to connect neural oscillations, which are currently poorly understood, with activity in the cortex and hippocampus, brain regions that are known to be involved in forming and retrieving memories.

The studies could lead to better ways to assess memory function, methods to boost learning (for example in training situations), and to better rehabilitation of soldiers with brain injuries. The work could also contribute to development of brain-computer interfaces.

"NSSEFF grants are highly competitive, attracting the next generation of outstanding scientists and engineers to some of our most challenging scientific issues and opportunities," said Dr. Robin Staffin, Director for Basic Research for the Department of Defense, in a news release. "The program provides grants to top-tier researchers from U.S. universities to conduct long-term, unclassified, basic research of strategic importance to the Department of Defense."

Ranganath is one of just 10 Fellows selected for the program this year, and the only neuroscientist. He has previously received a UC Davis Chancellor's Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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