Steven J. Luck, Ph.D. - IDDRC Investigator

Steven J. Luck, Ph.D.

UC Davis Center for Mind & Brain, Professor, UC Davis Department of Psychology
UC Davis Center for Mind & Brain
267 Cousteau Place
Davis, California 95618

Phone: 530-752-3025 / Fax: 530-752-3329

Areas of Interest

Attention, Working Memory, Human Electrophysiology, Schizophrenia


Steve Luck is the Director of the UC-Davis Center for Mind & Brain, a MIND Institute faculty member, and a co-director of the IDDRC’s Neurobehavioral Analysis Core. Dr. Luck's research focuses on the neural and cognitive mechanisms of attention and working memory in healthy young adults, the development of these functions in typical infants, and dysfunctions these functions in psychiatric and neurological conditions such as schizophrenia.  He is also one of the world’s leading experts on event-related potentials (ERPs), which provide a safe and painless means of measuring the brain’s electrical activity from the scalp in humans.  In addition to using ERPs to study typical and atypical cognitive function, Dr. Luck leads a yearly 10-day NIH-funded summer workshop on ERPs (the ERP Boot Camp) and supervises the development of an open-source Matlab toolbox (ERPLAB Toolbox).

Current IDDRC Projects

  • Control of Attention by Working Memory, NIMH/NIH R01 MH076266
  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention and Working Memory in Schizophrenia, NIMH/NIH R01 MH65034

Recent Representative Publications

Luck, S. J. (2014). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique, Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Luck, S. J., & Vogel, E. K. (2013). Visual Working Memory Capacity: From Psychophysics and Neurobiology to Individual Differences. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 17, 391-400.

Oakes, L. M., Baumgartner, H. A., Barrett, F. S., Messenger, I. M., & Luck, S. J. (2013). Developmental changes in visual short-term memory in infancy: Evidence from eye-tracking. Frontiers in Developmental Psychology, 4-697, 1-13.

Leonard, C. J., Kaiser, S. T., Robinson, B. M., Kappenman, E. S., Hahn, B., Gold, J. M., & Luck, S. J. (2012). Toward the neural mechanisms of reduced working memory capacity in schizophrenia. Cerebral Cortex , 23, 1582-1592.

Sawaki, R., Geng, J. J., & Luck, S. J. (2012). A common neural mechanism for preventing and terminating attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 10725-10736.