Marvin Chun appointed the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology

Marvin Chun, newly named as the Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology, is a cognitive neuroscientist with research interests in visual attention, memory, and perception.

Marvin Chun

The professorship is given to a faculty member whose undergraduate teaching includes the instruction of freshmen.

Chun directs the Yale Visual Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, which employs neuroimaging (fMRI) and behavioral techniques to study how people perceive and remember visual information. His work in visual attention strives to answer the questions: Why do people consciously perceive only a small portion of all of the sensory information coming through the eyes? What are the brain mechanisms that constrain conscious vision? And: Can we use fMRI to decode and better understand perceptual representation and memory traces in the brain?

After receiving his B.A. and M.A. in psychology from Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea), Chun attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in cognitive science. He then held an appointment as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

Chun first came to Yale in 1996, spending three years as assistant professor of psychology. He then served as associate professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University for four years. In 2003, Chun returned to Yale as professor of psychology. Currently, he holds joint faculty appointments in the Department of Neurobiology at the Yale School of Medicine and in the Yale College Cognitive Science Program. He has served as the John B. Madden Master of Berkeley College since 2007.

Chun is the author or co-author of more than 100 peer-reviewed articles in psychology and neuroscience journals. In Yale College, he teaches Introduction to Psychology, one of the largest courses on campus, and Mind, Brain, and Society, an upper-level seminar.

Chun’s research has been honored with a Troland Research Award from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, an American Psychological Association (APA) Early Career Award, the Chase Memorial Award from Carnegie Mellon University, and an APA Division 3 New Investigator Award. In 2010, he won Yale’s Lex Hixon Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences. The Yale Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa has recognized him in 2006 with a DeVane Award for distinguished teaching and scholarship, and with honorary membership in the society in 2014.

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