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Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Sensorimotor Neuroscience
Human-Robot Interaction
Professor Carolyn Dicey Jennings
Critical Thinking and Data Analysis Skills
Professor Lace Padilla
Visual Decision-Making
Dan Hicks image
Science in a Democratic Society
Professor Michael Spivey
Extended and Embodied Cognition


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Mission Statement

Our interdisciplinary program integrates methods and approaches from linguistics, psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, and computer science, to study thought and behavior. Our faculty have highly diverse research interests, and serve as graduate advisors, committee members, and collaborators.

Undergraduate Majors

The CIS department administers undergraduate majors in both Cognitive Science and Philosophy. Prospective or current students with questions about our undergraduate programs are invited to contact us for more information. Cognitive Science program information: Philosophy program information:

Ph.D. Funding

The CIS program has multiple means of supporting graduate students. During each academic year, Ph.D. students are funded as either teaching assistants, research assistants, or through internal or external fellowships. All of these positions provide a full stipend and complete tuition waiver. Students almost always receive some form of summer stipendĀ in order to support their research activities when classes are not in session.

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Featured News

February 3, 2023

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science Carolyn Jennings has recently published her latest book, "Attention and Mental Control", as part of the Cambridge Elements series on...

February 2, 2023

For years, Prof. Smaldino has been teaching UC Merced students how to understand human behavior and society by building mathematical models and computer simulations. Now he's sharing that...

January 22, 2023

In addition to her ongoing role at UC Merced, Professor of Cognitive Science and McClatchy Chair in Communications Teenie Matlock has officially accepted an appointment at UC Santa Cruz as special...