Charles R. Gallistel

Title: Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Area: Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience / Cognitive Psychology

Phone: 848-445-2973 / 8086

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Campus: Busch

Building: Psychology Bldg. Annex: RuCCS A135 / Nelson Labs B409



My research pursues a psychophysical approach to screening for memory malfunction in genetically manipulated mice. The purpose is to make possible a genetic attack on the problem of the physical (cellular and molecular) basis of memory by developing behavioral screening methods that distinguish between genetic defects in memory per se and genetic defects in the many processes that affect the extent and manner in which memory is manifest in behavior. Memory is the mechanism or mechanisms that carry information forward in time within nervous systems. My behavioral screens look for distortions and increased noise in simple quantitative memories like interval duration, distance and number. It is psychophysical in character in that it tests memory for the same simple quantity repeatedly (hundreds of times) and processes the results with the kind of elaborate statistical analysis employed in psychophysical work on sensory systems. As in sensory psychophysics, the goal is to extract from behavioral data quantitative properties of the underlying mechanisms. The experimental research grows out of my theoretical research on problem-specific (modular) information processing approaches to learning and memory.


Recent Publications

Baker, S. T., Leslie, A. M., Gallistel, C. R., & Hood, B. M. (2016). Bayesian change-point analysis reveals developmental change in a classic theory of mind task. Cognitive Psychology. doi:10.1016/j.cogpsych.2016.08.001

Gallistel, R. (2016) Learning and Representation. In R. Menzel (Ed.), Learning Theory and Behavior. Vol. [1] of Learning and Memory: A Comprehensive Reference, 4 vols. (J.Byrne Editor), pp. [227-242] Oxford: Elsevier.

Gallistel, C. R., Balci, F., Freestone, D., Kheifets, A. & King, A. (2017) Cognitive neurogenetics screening system with a data-analysis toolbox. In V. Tucci (Ed) Handbook of neurobehavioral genetics and phenotyping. Wiley. Chap 20

Queenan, B. N., Ryan, T. J., Gazzaniga, M. S., & Gallistel, C. R. (2017). On the research of time past: The hunt for the substrate of memory. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences(The Year in Cognitive Neuroscience). doi:10.1111/nyas.13348

Wilkes, J. T., & Gallistel, C. R. (2017, in press). Information Theory, Memory, Prediction, and Timing in Associative Learning. In A. Moustafa (Ed.), Computational Models of Brain and and Behavior. New York: Wiley/Blackwell.

Gallistel, C.R. (2017, in press) The neurobiological basis for the computational theory of mind. In R.G. de Almeida and L. Gleitman Minds on language and thought: The status of cognitive science and its prospects. Oxford University Press

Kheifets, A., Freestone, D. & Gallistel, C.R. (2017, in press) Theoretical implications of quantitative properties of interval timing and probability estimation in mouse and rat. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Gallistel, C.R. (2017). Navigation: Whence our sense of direction? Current Biology (a Dispatch), 27(3), R108-R110

Ricci, M. & Gallistel, C.R. (2017, on line April) Accurate step-hold tracking of smoothly varying periodic and aperiodic probability. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Gallistel, C.R. (2017, on line May) The coding question. Trends in Cognitive Sciences

Gallistel, C. R. (2017, on line May 2017). Numbers and the Brain. Learning & Behavior. doi:10.3758/s13420-017-0272-3

Gallistel, C. R. (2017 in press). Finding numbers in the brain. Proceedings of the Royal Society (London). Series B, xxx, xxx-xxx.



1966 Ph.D. Yale University

Professional Experience

 2000-    Professor of Psychology, Rutgers University

 2000-    Professor Emeritus, UCLA

 1989-    Member of the Interdisciplinary Degree Program in Neuroscience, UCLA

 1989-2000:  Professor of Psychology, UCLA

 1988-1989:  Bernard L. & Ida E. Grossman Term Professor, University of Pennsylvania

 1983-1989:  Member of the Graduate Group in Neuroscience, Univ. of Penn.

 1981-1984:  Chair, Department of Psychology, Univ. of Penn

 1979-1983:  Member of the Graduate Group in Biology, Univ. of Penn.

 1976-1989:  Professor, Department of Psychology, Univ. of Penn.

 1966-1976:  Assistant Professor - Associate Professor, University of Pennsylvania


 President, Association for Psychological Science, 2015-2016

 Fellow, Sage Mind Institute, UC, Santa Barbara, Mid May-June, 2008

 Warren Medal of the Society of Experimental Psychologists 2006

 William James Fellow of the American Psychological Society2006

 Member National Academy of Sciences (USA) 2002

 Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2001

 Fellow, Society of Experimental Psychologists

 Teuber Lecturer MIT 2006

 Blackwell Lectureship, University of Maryland, Nov 2003

 APA Distinguished Scientist Lecturer (MPA, May 2004)

 MacEachern Lectureship, University of Alberta, Oct. 1997

 James McKeen Cattell Fund Sabbatical Award '95-'96

 Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, 1984-1985

 Chair Section J (Psychology) AAAS (1995)

 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science