Silvia Bunge
Professor
Office: 
2121 Berkeley Way, Room 3109
Office Hours: 
By Appointment Only
Education: 
Ph.D., Stanford University
Research Area: 
Secondary Research Area: 
Accepting Students: 
Yes
Research Interests: 
Brain mechanisms, development, and plasticity of higher cognitive functions in humans; basic cognitive/neural processes that underpin reasoning, learning and memory, and goal-directed behavior; effects of education and home environment on cognitive development. 
  • whatshotResearch Description

    The Building Blocks of Cognition Laboratory is so named because...

    1. The impressive array of human cognitive abilities arises from interactions among a set of core mental processes, just as a complex structure can be built from simple pieces. We design experiments to isolate some of these core processes. 

    2. Cognition is ‘built’ as the brain matures. We are engaged in a large study tracking the neural changes that underlie the emergence of high-level cognition across ages 6-19. In addition to studying typically development, we conduct research involving several pediatric patient populations.

    3. Experience influences how the brain is ‘built’, and how it functions throughout life. We are currently studying experience-dependent brain plasticity in young adults, examining whether and how changes in mental habits can alter brain function.We seek to extend this research to the study of brain plasticity in children.

  • placeSelected Publications

    Guerra-Carrillo, B. & Bunge, S.A. (2018) Eye gaze patterns reveal how reasoning skills improve with experience. NPJ Science of Learning. Press coverage: https://npjscilearncommunity.nature.com/posts/39983-your-eyes-reveal-more-than-you-know

    Wendelken, C., Ferrer, E., Ghetti, S., Bailey, S., Cutting, L., & Bunge, S.A. (2017). Fronto-parietal structural connectivity in childhood predicts development of functional connectivity and reasoning ability: a large-scale longitudinal investigation. Journal of Neuroscience. Aug 30;37(35):8549-8558. Press coverage: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/brain-waves/201708/how-children-s-brains-learn-reason

    Brod, G., Bunge, S.A., & Shing, Y. (2017) Does one year of schooling improve children’s cognitive control and alter associated brain activation? Psychological Science. Press coverage: https://news.berkeley.edu/2017/05/10/first-year-of-school/ Blog post: https://bold.expert/how-does-going-to-school-change-your-brain/

  • filter_dramaTeaching

    Psych 125: The Developing Brain (undergraduate course)

    Psych 240B: Developmental proseminar: Cognition, Language, and Brain Development (graduate course)

    Psych 290: Topical seminars; topic varies by semester. (graduate course)

    Psych 293 (Spring 2013): Professional Development

    I am on sabbatical for Fall 2019. I will teach Psych 240B in Spring 2020 and Psych 125 in Fall 2020.