Department of Cognitive Science

Voytek is an HDSI Fellow who works with students in Cognitive Science, Neuroscience and Data Science. He is a leader of both the neuroscience graduate program and the HDSI Undergraduate Scholarship program.

  • His research focuses on what he calls "the human side of data science." His lab team works on automated science, aging, attention, working memory, and brain/cognition/society interactions His goal is to construct an understanding of cognition built on the first principles of neurophysiology: How can neural systems interact to give rise to cognitive phenomena normally equated with "attention" and "working memory"What are the behavioral and cognitive limitations and consequences of these biological constraints?He is a longtime advocate for promoting stronger communications in science, and volunteers extensively to talk to students at all grade levels about science.He is active in popular media with his science-related writing and blogging. In addition to his academic publications, his work has been published and quoted in such well-known forums as Wired, Scientific American, San Diego Comic-Con and the New York Times. He's been invited to give multiple TED-style talks on his scientific achievements, featured on YouTube. His work has attracted some 12,000 Twitter followers (@BradleyVoytek). As a neuroscientist as well as a fan of pop culture, he has a fascination with zombies, the centuries-old myths of the undead re-animating among the living. He is co-author of a nonfiction title in that arena: "Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?: A Neuroscientific View of the Zombie Brain."  (Their expert escape advice in case of attack: Stay mindful that the undead are easily confused, have poor memories and can't run fast.) Voytek earned his bachelor's in psychology from University of Southern California and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from UC Berkeley, where he served as the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in neuroscience.