distinguished chair in behavioral and brain sciences
“Our memories let us use the past to guide our future behavior, and are also central to our sense of selfhood. My research aims to understand how the brain learns and remembers, how and why these processes are affected by age and disease, and what can be done to reduce or reverse these effects.”
Dr. Rugg is a leading researcher in cognitive neuroscience and human memory. His research has helped improve understanding of the basic mechanisms of memory formation and retrieval, as well as how aging and injury impact memory. His current work is aimed at understanding how age-related changes in the brain's structure and function affect cognitive abilities, both in healthy people and those with age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's. A major focus of his research is on episodic memory—the type of memory that allows us to remember events that are tied to a particular place and time. His work employs the behavioral methods of experimental psychology, neuroimaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging, and electrophysiological recordings of human brain activity.
Dr. Rugg is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Association for Psychological Science. He was awarded the Henri Hecaen Award for contributions to neuropsychology in 1989 and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh—one of the world's oldest scientific societies—in 1996. He is currently editor-in-chief of the international journal Neuropsychologia.
He received his bachelor's and doctoral degrees in psychology from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and went on to professorships at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and University College London. He joined the University of California, Irvine in 2003, where he served as the director of the Center for Neurobiology and Learning and Memory. In 2011, he joined UT Dallas as the Distinguished Chair in Behavioral and Brain Sciences and director of the Center for Vital Longevity.
de Chastelaine, M., Wang, T.H., Minton, B., Muftuler, L., Rugg, M.D. (2011). The effects of memory performance and callosal integrity on the neural correlates of successful associative encoding. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 2166-2176
Gottlieb, L. and Rugg, M.D. (2011). Effects of modality on the neural correlates of encoding processes supporting recollection and familiarity. Learning & Memory, 18, 565-573.
Kroes, M.C.W., Rugg, M.D., Whalley, M.G., Brewin, C.R. (2011). Structural brain abnormalities common to posttraumatic stress disorder and depression. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 36, 256-265.
Park, H. and Rugg, M.D. (2011). Neural correlates of encoding within- and across-domain inter-item associations. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 2533-2543.
Suzuki, M., Johnson, J.D., Rugg, M.D. (2011). Decrements in hippocampal activity with item repetition during continuous recognition: an fMRI study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 1522-1532.