Peter C. Mundy, Ph.D.
Director of Educational Research, UC Davis MIND Institute, Lisa Capp Endowed Chair in Neurodevelopment and Education, Professor, School of Education and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
UC Davis MIND Institute
2825 50th Street, Room 2259
Sacramento, CA 95817
Peter Mundy, Ph.D., is a developmental and clinical psychologist who has been working on defining the nature of autism and developmental disabilities for the past 30 years. His work began in 1981 at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. At that time little was known about the characteristics of the social deficits of autism. His studies with collaborators Marian Sigman and Connie Kasari contributed to the understanding that impairments in the early development of infants’ ability to coordinate their visual attention with other people (i.e. joint attention) is a fundamental feature of the early onset autism. This observation was first published in 1986 and it has contributed to significant improvements in the early identification, diagnosis and treatment of children with autism. In the years since he has studied the behavioral and neurocognitive processes involved in a model of joint attention, and their role in learning, social cognition and developmental disorders. Along with colleagues at the MIND Institute (Sullivan & Mastergeorge) he has been advancing a new neurodevelopmental model of joint attention, social cognition and autism in 2009 (see paper cited below). One new avenue of application of this model is to attempt to advance research on school readiness among preschool children. He has published over 100 journal articles and chapters on early social development, autism and social cognition. He has received federal funding for his research continuously since 1982 across 16 different projects.
Dr. Mundy is currently working with collaborators at the MIND Institute on a four volume series, to be entitled Autism for Educators, with Wiley/Jossey Bass Publications. The first volume of this series was published in 2011 (see citation below). In 2009 NIMH granted Dr. Mundy funding to develop a collaborative, multidisciplinary Social Attention Virtual Reality Laboratory (SAV-Lab, http://edscholars.ucdavis.edu/vrlab/home) for research on social attention, learning and academic development in school-age children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. This beginning of this laboratory was a joint venture of the faculties of the UC Davis MIND Institute and the Center for Mind and Brain, as well as researchers at Stanford University and the University of Southern California. In 2012 the Institute for Education Science provided four years of funding to allow the SAV-Lab research group the opportunity to conduct a longitudinal study of the factors that impair or facilitate school based learning in elementary and secondary students with ASD. Immediately prior to his arrival at UC Davis, Dr. Mundy was a professor of psychology at the University of Miami for 17 years. There he was the founding director of the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, which partners with public schools in South Florida to improve the education and outcomes for over 4000 children and families.
B.A., Psychology, Stockton State Collge, NJ, 1976
M.S., Developmental Psychology, University of Miami, 1979
Ph.D., Developmental Psychology, University of Miami, 1981
Dr. Mundy's publications and academic activities (PDF)