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Kia Nobre, Wu Tsai Institute, Photo by Ian Christmann

Kia Nobre, PhD

Faculty Member Associate Director and Center Director

Center for Neurocognition and Behavior

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Premembering experience

Nobre is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in the organizing principles of the brain systems that support adaptive human cognition and behavior. Her research group is notably well known for their innovative and multi-methodological studies of “attention” – on how the brain proactively and dynamically focuses on relevant information in memory and in the external environment to optimize perception, choice, action, and learning. Nobre’s research is recognized by many prestigious awards. She is a member of the British Academy, Academia Europaea, and the National Academy of Sciences in the U.S. She received the MRC Suffrage Science Award (2018), Broadbent Prize from the European Society for Cognitive Psychology (2019), Mentor Award from the Association for Psychological Sciences (2022), and de Carvalho Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science (2022). She serves the scientific community generously, acting on numerous advisory, editorial, funding, and jury boards. At the Wu Tsai Institute, Nobre is establishing a core facility for researchers to investigate the building blocks of human cognition with the most advanced methods to measure the human brain and behavior informed by cutting-edge analysis and computational techniques. In tandem, she is creating a new program to foster knowledge-sharing between scientists, experts in other sectors, and the public to connect scientific discoveries with pressing societal issues in a meaningful and multilateral way.




Kia Nobre grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Williams College (1985), her PhD at Yale University (1993), and completed postdoctoral training at Yale and Harvard. She then spent many years at the University of Oxford (1994-2023). At Oxford, she held the first Junior Research Fellowship in Experimental Psychology (1994), was the first female science fellow at New College (1996), and became the inaugural Chair in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience (2014). In 2023, she joined the Wu Tsai Institute at Yale as its Associate Director and as Director of the Center for Neurocognition and Behavior.

Research Contributions

Attention in flux

Neuron (2023)