George (Ron) R. Mangun

George (Ron) Mangun

Position Title
Distinguished Professor
Director, Center for Mind and Brain

  • Department of Neurology, School of Medicine
  • Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science
Center for Mind and Brain, 267 Cousteau Place, Davis, CA 95618

Profile Introduction

Cognitive neuroscience of attention and visual cognition.

Research Interests

Dr. Mangun's work on the cognitive neuroscience of attention investigates how we perceive, attend, ignore and become aware of events in our environment. Recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) from healthy persons and special patient groups provide high temporal resolution measures of stimulus processing in the human brain. The goal of this research is to identify the mechanisms of attentional selection by permitting sensory analysis of attended and ignored stimuli to be studied under a wide variety of task circumstances. To identify the brain systems and circuits involved in various attentional processes (i.e., control and selection), tools such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are used in conjunction with ERPs. fMRI permits the living human brain to be revealed to us as it functions to enable our sensations, thoughts and actions. The information obtained from these combined behavioral, neuropsychological and neurophysiological studies yields insight into the computational and functional neuroanatomical structure of human cognition, and is essential for addressing the deficits in attention and awareness that accompany neurological and psychiatric disease.

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology


  • Psc 290 Topics in Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, Fall,Winter,Spring
  • Psc 135 Cognitive Neuroscience, Winter, Spring


  • Laboratory for the Neuroscience of Attention, Center for Mind and Brain

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award, Society for Psychophysiological Research, 1993
  • Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Award, American Psychological Association, 1999
  • NIMH Senior Scientist Award, 2001
  • James McKeen-Cattell Fellowship - Association for Psychological Science, 2006
  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science (APS) 2007
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2011
  • Radboud Excellence Professorship, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2016

Professional Societies

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society
  • American Psychological Association
  • American Psychological Society
  • Vision Science Society
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research


  • 1987 PhD Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego


Noah S, Powell T, Khodayari N, Olivan D, Ding M, Mangun GR. (2020). Neural mechanisms of attentional control for objects: Decoding EEG alpha when anticipating faces, scenes, and tools. Journal of Neuroscience. 40(25):4913-4924. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2685-19.2020. Epub 2020 May 13. PMID: 32404346

Rajan, A., Siegal, S., Liu, Y., Bengson, J., Mangun, G.R., & Ding, (2019). Theta oscillations index frontal decision-making and mediate reciprocal frontal-parietal interactions in willed attention. Cerebral Cortex, 29(7):2832-2843. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhy149. PMID:29931088

Liu, Y., Hong, X., Bengson, J.J., Kelley, T.A., Ding, M., & Mangun, G.R. (2017). Deciding where to attend: Large-scale network mechanisms underlying attention and intention revealed by graph-theoretic analysis. Neuroimage, May 26. pii: S1053-8119(17)30447-0. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.05.048. [Epub ahead of print]

Liu, Y., Bengson, J., Huang, H., Mangun, G.R., and Ding, M. (2016). Top-down modulation of neural activity in anticipatory visual attention: Control mechanisms revealed by simultaneous EEG-fMRI. Cerebral Cortex,26(2):517-29. PMID:25205663

Bengson, J.J., Kelley, T. & Mangun, G.R. (2015). The neural correlates of volitional attention: a combined fMRI and ERP study. Human Brain Mapping, 36(7):2443-54. PMID:25731128

Mazaheri, A., Fassbender, C., Coffey-Corina, S., Hartanto, T.A., Schweitzer, J.B. and Mangun, G.R.  (2013). Differential Top-Down Oscillatory EEG between ADHD Subtypes and Typically Developing Adolescents. Biological Psychiatry, Oct 1. pii: S0006-3223(13)00776-2. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.08.023. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:24120092

Briggs, F., Mangun, G.R., and Usrey, W.M. (2013). Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and signal-to-noise in neural circuits. Nature, 499:476-480.