The Cognitive Communication Science Lab was founded in August 2016 and is situated in the Department of Communication at the University of California, Davis. We are currently recruiting new Graduate Students and Undergraduate Research Assistants. Members are ordered according to length of lab tenure.

Richard Huskey

Principal Investigator



Richard (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at UC Davis, principle investigator in the Cognitive Communication Science Lab, researcher in the Computational Communication Research Lab, affiliated faculty member at the Center for Mind and Brain, affiliated faculty member in the Designated Emphasis in Computational Social Science, and an officer of the International Communication Association’s Communication Science and Biology interest group. He studies how motivation influences the attitudes people hold, and the behaviors they adopt. He researches these questions using a variety of methodological techniques including: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), computational methods, and lab-based experiments.

Xuanjun (Jason) Gong



Jason is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at UC Davis. He is a curious person and he is especially interested in understanding what makes people curious and how to make people avoid feeling bored. Exploring the cognitive algorithms and neuro-mechanisms of curiosity and boredom, then applying that knowledge to the media industry to address questions about media multitasking behavior and media enjoyment is one of his goals while at UC Davis. Another goal is to adopt a cute cat before graduation. 

Lab Alumni

  • Shelby Wilcox: Shelby is pursuing her PhD in Communication at Michigan State University.
  • Leandro Calcagnotto: Leandro is pursuing his MA in Communication at The Ohio State University.
  • Yue Li: Yue is pursuing her PhD in Communication at The Ohio State University.

Past Research Assistants

  • Natalie Petit
  • Zoltan Roemer
  • Jacob Spaulding-Schecter