Interdisciplinary Readings in Biology and Communication Science

Hosted by Associate Professor of Communication Narine Yegiyan.

The goal of the group is to facilitate and improve understanding of biological factors contributing to human interaction and message processing. While the biological perspective on communication is a rapidly growing field of study, our programs do not provide the interdisciplinary training that required to make a meaningful contribution.

The group will read research that employs various psychophysiological methods such as EEG, eye-tracking, fMRI, skin conductance, heart rate, and EMG to address the role of biological factors in how people process information. We will pull studies from various disciplines such as psychology, communication, health communication, human development, game studies and others to gain a better understanding of how these methodologies can be used and interpreted. Time and funding permitting, we will make an effort to invite other UC Davis professors with expertise in specific methodologies to advise the group and guide our understanding.

Open to all. For more information, contact .

All meetings take place at 2:10 p.m. in Kerr Hall 386.


Spring 2018

On hiatus. Meetings to resume in Fall 2018. 


Winter 2018

Jan 31 — Lab in focus:  Joy Geng. Paper: Stankevich, B. A., & Geng, J. J. (2014). Reward associations and spatial probabilities produce additive effects on attentional selection. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 76(8), 2315-2325. 

Feb 7 — Lab in focus: Narine Yegiyan. Paper: Maxwell, J. S., & Davidson, R. J. (2007). Emotion as motion: Asymmetries in approach and avoidant actions. Psychological Science, 18(12), 1113-1119. 

Feb 21 — Paper: Weber, R., Huskey, R., Mangus, J. M., Westcott-Baker, A., & Turner, B. O. (2015). Neural predictors of message effectiveness during counterarguing in antidrug campaigns. Communication Monographs82(1), 4-30. 

Mar 7 — Invited Speaker: TBD. Paper: Henderson, J. M. (2017). Gaze control as prediction. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(1), 15-23.


Fall 2017

Oct 18 — Introduction to Gesture dyadic interactions (Michael Neff)

Nov 1  — Brain connectivity and social networks (Jingwen Zhang)

Nov 15 — Introduction to eye movement research and its applications (Joy Geng )

Nov 29 — Introduction to neural foundations of memory (Andrew Yonelinas )

In the Fall our group enjoyed learning about various faculty member laboratories which focus on understanding how human body, cognition, and external world interact. We have learned about the findings of their research and tools they use to conduct their investigations. A lot of ideas for future research have aroused from these discussions. 

We also discussed papers by a University of Pennsylvania Neuroscience Team:

Schmälzle, R., O’Donnell, M. B., Garcia, J. O., Cascio, C. N., Bayer, J., Bassett, D. S., ... & Falk, E. B. (2017). Brain connectivity dynamics during social interaction reflect social network structure. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(20), 5153-5158.

Scholz, C., Baek, E. C., O’Donnell, M. B., Kim, H. S., Cappella, J. N., & Falk, E. B. (2017). A neural model of valuation and information virality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201615259.

 The papers encouraged members to discuss brain regions and overlap in their functionality.