Charan Ranganath

Charan Ranganath

Charan Ranganath is a prominent neuroscientist and psychologist. He is the author of "Why We Remember" a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller where he elucidates the science of memories.

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Charan Ranganath's Biography

“A lot of people feel burdened by their memories of the past. But they can actually open doors to the future”

Charan Ranganath is a pioneering neuroscientist and an internationally-renowned memory researcher.

He is best known for his illuminating book "Why We Remember", a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Ranganath believes humans aren't supposed to remember everything. In fact, the flawed nature of our memory is completely natural as its purpose is to extract information needed to guide our futures and not keep a comprehensive record of events. By understanding what and why we forget, humans are able to learn, heal and make future focused decisions.

Charan Ranganath is presently the Director of the Memory and Plasticity Programme and a Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of California, Davis. He is also a director of the Davis' Memory Lab, a world-leading research laboratory.

For over 25 years, Ranganath has studied the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events, using brain imaging techniques, computational modeling and studies of patients with memory disorders. A pioneer in the use of brain imaging techniques like functional magnetic resonance, Charan Ranganath has been honoured with numerous accolades. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Vannevar Bush Faculty Fellowship and the Leverhulme Professorship at the University of Cambridge.

Outside of neuroscience, Ranganath is also a songwriter and guitarist with a number of recording credits, including a song on a feature film soundtrack. While his journeys in science and music unfolded on different parallels, he says both are expressions of curiosity. In his lab work, Ranganath focuses part of his research on the idea of curiosity and how it affects memory.

Born in India, Charan Ranganath moved to Northern California when he was less than one year old. He completed his MS and PhD in Clinical Psychology at Northwestern University and went on to pursue postdoctoral training in brain imaging and neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and UC Berkeley.


Why We Remember

Unlocking Memory's Power to Hold on to What Matters

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