We promote research
and teaching at the intersection of communication,
technology, and neuroscience

Recent Projects

The Moral Narrative Analyzer (MoNA)

& the Interface for Communication Research (iCORE)

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eMFD joins spaCy

spaCy is a library for advanced Natural Language Processing in Python and Cython

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Check out the Handbook of
Communication Science and Biology

Consulting, archival data,
and experimental tools.

Services We Offer

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Assistant in the Lab?

RA Information

Media Neuroscience Lab

The Media Neuroscience Lab is housed by the Department of Communication at the University of California in Santa Barbara and are a part of UCSB’s Neuroscience Research Institute. The lab promotes research and teaching at the intersection of communication, technology, and neuroscience in a diverse and inclusive environment. The lab adopts a method-theory synergistic approach with a focus on computational methods and theory development. We also advocate for analytical replication and open science practices.
The lab encourages collaboration among communication scholars, media professionals, and neuroscientists to build a richer understanding of shared research questions and methods.
The lab promotes and actively participates in research and discussion regarding diversity, inclusion, and representation. We foster unconventional ideas and critical thinking within a collegial environment.
As a service to scholarly and public communities, the lab provides consulting, produces research tools and best practices, and organizes events.

Our Research

Persuasion Neuroscience

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Recent work in the lab has worked to characterize the dynamics of persuasion, build multilevel dynamic models of message effectiveness, and illuminate the neural substrates of counter-arguing.

Narratives & Morality

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Recent research in the lab has focused on the role of moral narratives in synchronized cooperation, neural responses to social norm violations in TV dramas, and salience of moral intuitions.

Narratives & Violence

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The lab conducts research elucidating neural correlates of video game violence, character attachment in interactive environments, the role of the internet in facilitating and exacerbating aggressive behavior, and interactive video games.

Flow & Cognitive Control

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A primary area of interest for the lab is in flow, cognitive control, and the neural dynamics of attention and motivation in immersive media environments. We developed the Sync Theory of Flow, and study flow and media processing in ADHD and autistic populations.

Sex, Race, & Inclusion

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Another current area of research in the lab is how aspect of sex and race are involved in media use and representation. We examine representations of Muslims in the film and news, as well as the role of sex differences in video game preference.

Theory Development

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Several avenues of theoretical development are currently being pursued in the lab. Most notably the Sync Theory of Flow, Moral Foundations Theory, the LC4MP, and the Neurophysiological Perspective in Mass Communication Research.

Methods Development

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Methodological development is a top priority in the lab. We have developed tools for stimulus presentation, null hypothesis significance testing, effect and equivalence testing, and nonlinear SEM.

Computational Methods

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The lab has developed computational tools for content analyzing online news and social media content which relies on natural language processing, machine learning, network analysis, and other techniques.

For more detailed information regarding our research projects, please see the Projects tab.