I am a Professor at UC Davis in the Psychology Department and Center for Mind and Brain.
You can also visit my Center for Mind and Brain page here or my lab homepage.
In the fall of 1996 I taught an animal behavior class at my alma mater, Reed College, after which I did a post-doc in Dan Margoliash's lab at the University of Chicago studying how birds learn to sing.
From 2000 until 2004 I was in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College as research faculty. During my time at Dartmouth my main collaborators were Barbara Tillmann and Jamshed Bharucha.
My research interests are primarily in the fields of cognitive neuroscience and
I use music as a model system for studying the neural basis of auditory attention, imagery, and memory; in particular the ways in which these general functions support the formation and evaluation of expectancies. Since arriving at UC Davis, I have also worked on the relationship between music, emotion, and memory by studying music-evoked autobiographical memories, and the psychological phenomenon of "being in the groove." In a related project I am investigating the relationship of music to spiritual experiences.
I use a variety of tools in my work including electrophysiological recordings (single-unit, EEG, ERP), functional brain imaging (fMRI), behavioral measures, and computational modeling.
When I'm not working, chances are that I am off skiing or playing music. Check out Hardwater, the Davis band I played in!
In October 2003, I had the amazing experience of skiing on sand dunes in Qatar and 4 days later skiing knee-deep powder in Austria.
For an engaging perspective on me and my work, check out the cover story that ran in May, 2009 in the Sacramento News and Review.
In 2010-11 I spent a year in Prague as a Fulbright Scholar working with Milan Palus at the Institute of Computer Science at the Czech Academy of Sciences. I also received a Guggenheim Fellowship to continue my work on music-evoked autobiographical memories.
Center for Mind and Brain
267 Cousteau Pl.
Davis, CA 95618
e-mail: pjanata at ucdavis dot edu
phone: 530 297 4471
FAX: 530 297 4400
Page first created: August, 1994
Last modified: September 5, 2013