Principal Investigator

Barbara Knowlton, Ph.D.
Barbara received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University where she studied the neural circuit supporting eyeblink conditioning in Richard Thompson’s lab. She went on to do a post-doc at UC San Diego with Larry Squire, investigating memory systems involved in category learning. Since joining the UCLA faculty in 1995 she has studied the neural basis of habits, skills, and episodic memory.

Graduate Students

Henri De Guzman
Henri is a fourth-year student studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory using both human and non-human animal models of behavior combined with modern neuroscience techniques such as functional magnetic resonance imaging or optogenetics. His interests include habit formation, addiction, and psychiatric illness, with particular interest in the neural processes of the basal ganglia
Corinna Franco
Corinna is a fourth-year graduate student interested in understanding the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, focusing on habit learning, aging, stress, and diversity/representation, through various imaging methods (e.g. fMRI, diffusion). She is currently exploring the relationships between early life stress, acute stress, and habit learning among young adults, with future plans to examine these relations across the lifespan.
Stephanie Wert
Stephanie is a third-year cognitive neuroscience graduate student studying the neural mechanisms of learning, memory, and decision making. She is interested in using neuroimaging, brain stimulation, and eye-tracking techniques to elucidate causal mechanisms behind these functions in humans.
 Sonya Ashikyan       
Sonya is a second-year cognitive neuroscience graduate student investigating the neural correlates of consciousness, reasoning, memory, and language. She utilizes human neuroimaging, neuromodulation, and animal models for both basic and clinical topics.
Donni Staley                
Donni is a second-year cognitive neuroscience graduate student interested in the cognitive and neural mechanisms behind learning and memory. Her current research focuses on prospective memory in both healthy and clinical populations. Her clinical work involves collaborating with UCLA Health’s Operation Mend to elucidate the factors contributing to prospective memory deficits in treatment-seeking veterans. In healthy populations, she is investigating more basic research questions like the effects of value in both event and time based prospective memory.
Alumni (2012 – 2020)


Current Position

Current Institution

Natasha Fourquet

Assistant Professor

Northern Virginia Community College

Tara Patterson

Post-doc fellow, Dept. of Psychiatry

UCLA Medical Center

Renee Shimizu

Post-doc fellow

Teledyne Scientific and Imaging

Michael Cohen

Post-doc fellow, Dept. of Psychology

University of Pennsylvania

Michael Vendetti

Usability Researcher

Oracle Corporation

Dana Wagshal Waltzman

Behavioral Scientist

Centers for Disease Control

Chien-Ho Lin

Adjunct Assistant Professor

National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan

Joseph Hennessee

Post-doctoral Fellow

University of Texas at Dallas

Alex Siegel

Post-doctoral Fellow

University of Southern California

Vaibhav Thakur