Steven J. Luck

Steven J. Luck

Position Title
Distinguished Professor

  • Department of Psychology, College of Letters and Science

Research Interests

Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, Working Memory, & Schizophrenia

Professor Luck’s lab studies basic mechanisms of attention and working memory in healthy individuals. He also examines dysfunction of cognition in people with psychiatric and neurological disorders (including schizophrenia and ADHD). This research uses a combination of behavioral/psychophysical methods, eye tracking, and event-related potential (ERP) recordings. Professor Luck also spends considerable time promoting the use of rigorous ERP methods. Toward that end, he has published multiple books (An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique, The Oxford Handbook of ERP Components). He has provided training to more than 1,500 researchers in workshops around the world (ERP Boot Camps), and has developed of an open source software package for ERP data analysis (ERPLAB Toolbox).

Grad Group Affiliations

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology

Specialties / Focus

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


  • PSC1Y General Psychology
  • PSC100Y Introduction to Cognitive Psychology

Honors and Awards

  • Troland Award in Experimental Psychology from the National Academy of Sciences
  •  APA Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
  • American Psychological Foundation F. J. McGuigan Young Investigator Prize
  • American Psychological Foundation F. J. McGuigan Young Investigator Prize
  • Elected Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Elected Fellow, Society of Experimental Psychologists

    Professional Societies

    • Society for Neuroscience
    • Association for Psychological Science
    • Society for Psychophysiological Research


    • B.A., Psychology, Reed College (1986)
    • Ph.D., Neuroscience, UCSD (1993)


    • Zhang, W., & Luck, S. J. (2008). Discrete fixed-resolution representations in visual working memory. Nature, 453, 233-235. 
    • Sawaki, R.,  Geng, J. J., &  Luck, S. J. (2012). A common neural mechanism for preventing and terminating attention. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 10725-10736. 
    • Beck, V. M., Hollingworth, A., & Luck, S. J. (2012). Simultaneous Control of Attention by Multiple Working Memory Representations. Psychological Science, 23, 887-898. 
    • Luck, S. J. (2014). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique, Second Edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 
    • Luck, S. J.,  McClenon, C.,  Beck, V. M.,  Hollingworth, A., Leonard, C. J.,  Hahn, B., Robinson, B. M., & Gold, J. M. (2014). Hyperfocusing in schizophrenia: Evidence from interactions between working memory and eye movements. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 123, 783-795.
    • Kreither, J., Lopez-Calderon, J., Leonard, C. J., Robinson, B. M., Ruffle, A., Hahn, B., Gold, J. M., & Luck, S. J. (2017). Electrophysiological Evidence for Spatial Hyperfocusing in Schizophrenia. The Journal of Neuroscience, 37, 3813-3823.

    • Bae, G. Y., & Luck, S. J. (2018). Dissociable Decoding of Working Memory and Spatial Attention from EEG Oscillations and Sustained Potentials. Journal of Neuroscience, 38, 409-422.