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Douglas Nitz, PhD

Chair, Scientific Review Board

Douglas Nitz, PhD

Douglas Nitz is professor and chair in the Department of Cognitive Science. His current research concerns how neural signals in cortex, subiculum, and hippocampus together form a distributed ‘cognitive map’ of location in the environment and the structure of available pathways within it. His background is in systems neuroscience as also applied to the problem of the control of rapid eye movement sleep, episodic memory, and motor control. Nitz teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in systems neuroscience, the neurophysiology of attention, and the neurophysiology of space and time perception. He has enjoyed working with 100’s of undergraduate research interns, four postdoctoral researchers, and has been mentor to 5 PhD students. 

Prior to joining UCSD, Nitz was a senior fellow of the Neurosciences Institute where he advanced new ways to study the function of the posterior parietal cortex in understanding route spaces and discovered gamma-frequency clock-like pacing of neural activity in the cerebellum of behaving animals. Nitz finished his PhD at UCLA in 1995 studying brainstem mechanisms for sleep. He then spent 3 years at the University of Arizona as a post-doctoral researcher, changing directions from the study of sleep to that of spatial cognition.

Curriculum Vitae