René is Professor in the Department of Communication and lead researcher at UCSB’s Media Neuroscience Lab. His recent research focuses on cognitive responses to mass communication and new technology media messages, including video games. He develops and applies both traditional social scientific and neuroscientific methodology (fMRI) to test media related theories. His research has been published in major communication and neuroscience journals and in three authored books. He is an Executive Council member of UCSB’s SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, project leader at UCSB’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnology (News Narrative Analyzer Project), one of five neuromarketing experts accredited by the Advertising Research Foundation, and past Chair of the International Communication Association’s Mass Communication Division.
Emily is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication. Prof. Falk employs a variety of methods drawn from communication science, neuroscience and psychology. Her work traverses levels of analysis from individual behavior, to diffusion in group and population level media effects. In particular, Prof. Falk is interested in predicting behavior change following exposure to persuasive messages and in understanding what makes successful ideas spread (e.g. through social networks, through cultures). Prof. Falk is also interested in developing methods to predict the efficacy of persuasive communication at the population level. At present, much of her research focuses on health communication, including recent work exploring neural predictors of increased sunscreen use, neural predictors of smoking reduction, and linking neural responses to health messages to population level behavioral outcomes; other areas of interest include political communication, cross-cultural communication, and the spread of culture, social norms and sticky ideas. Prof. Falk’s work has been funded by NCI, NICHD, NIDA/the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, ARL, DARPA and ONR. Prior to her doctoral work, Prof. Falk was a Fulbright Fellow in health policy, studying health communication in Canada. She received her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Brown University, and her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Allison’s work is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from communication and media psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience. Her research and teaching are in the areas of media psychology, media entertainment, and individual processing of media. In addition to these topics, she also supervise thesis work in persuasion and marketing.
Jason is broadly interested in understanding how and why people make political decisions in the manner that they do. His research examines how the media environment, in combination with psychological processes, influences political decision making. His approach is interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together concepts and data from behavioral, psychological, and neurobiological levels of analysis. He uses a combination of techniques including event-related potentials, eye movement monitoring, and tDCS to examine the psychological processes that underlie political decision making. The overall goal of this research program is to understand the informational environments and psychological mechanisms that foster or inhibit people’s capacities to make sound decisions in a democracy.
Richard is an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University School of Communication and the Cognitive Communication Science Lab PI. His research lies at the intersection of media psychology and cognitive neuroscience with a particular focus on how media content influence human cognition and behavior. Richard’s research investigates motivation and cognitive control, attitude and behavior change, and the influence of moral narratives.
Student and Early Career Representative
Clare is a PhD Student in Communication at Michigan State University. Her research interests lie at the intersection of media psychology and neuroscience with a general focus on how the brain processes media as rich, complex stimuli. Specifically, she is interested in integrating methods to investigate how media bring about positive affect and how we can use fMRI data to create entertaining media narratives.