Sage Junior Research Fellowships

The SAGE Junior Fellows Program supports the intellectual development of early-career UCSB postdoctoral scholars across the University. Fellows form a group bound by a common pursuit: to understand the mind and brain through a variety of complementary disciplines. Fellows form a close community through luncheons, meetings with SAGE visiting scholars and speakers, and quarterly presentations of their scholarship. Fellows each receive a credit that can be used to: support novel or high-risk scholarly pursuits or collaborations; organize an interdisciplinary symposium/workshop on a topic of the mind/brain; develop a series of public events; or enable an undertaking of the Fellow’s choice. Fellowships are awarded on a 1-year basis, with the possibility to extend to 2 years based on achievement demonstrated in Year 1.

With generous support from Hearst Foundations

Matt Gobel

Matt Gobel is interested in social hierarchies and how they shape thought and behavior. His research integrates evolutionary theory with social psychological methodology and state-of-the-art cognitive and neuroscientific measures. In collaboration with Professor Heejung Kim, Matt is examining how cultural values influence who rises to the top, and how culture-specific hierarchies affect interactions between leaders and followers. Together with Professor Barry Giesbrecht, he is also advancing the understanding of social hierarchy as a smart tool that coordinates the allocation of attention, showing where people look when interacting with higher or lower ranked others. Before coming to the SAGE Center, Matt pursued his doctoral studies in Experimental Psychology at the University College London. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and M.Sc. in Social Psychology from the University of Paris. Matt recently received the International Cultural Neuroscience Consortium Student Travel Award and a Research Fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Lukas Volz

Lukas J. Volz is primarily interested in investigating how the brain acquires and controls movements, and how these crucial skills are affected by disease of the central nervous system. He attended medical school at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, where he studied the effects of neural plasticity inducing repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on rodent cortical protein expression. Thereafter, he became a postdoctoral fellow at the Max-Planck Institute for Neurological Research and the Department of Neurology at the University of Cologne where he focused on system-level mechanisms underlying the induction of neural plasticity in both the healthy as well as the diseased brain by combining TMS and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


Locke Welborn

Locke Welborn received his PhD in social psychology from UCLA, where he worked under the guidance of Professor Matthew D. Lieberman on neural mechanisms underlying the human capacity to reason about the minds of well-known individuals. Further work has explored the ways in which activity in motivational and regulatory brain centers can influence our responses to the social attitudes of our peers. As a SAGE Junior Fellow, in collaboration with Professor Kyle Ratner, he is investigating the possibility that mental models of specific, well-known individuals may help us understand new acquaintances by exploiting the information available within pre-existing neural representations. With Professor Michael Miller, he is assessing whether brain regions associated with self-regulation modulate the impact of stereotypes on judgments and memories about others. In particular, he is interested in learning whether a more conservative or deliberative 'decision criteria' for endorsing statements about others can inhibit retrieval of inaccurate but stereotype-consistent information.

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