James F. Cavanagh

Associate Professor

Photo: James Cavanagh
138 Logan
PhD University of Arizona, 2010
Lab Website
Curriculum vitae

Research Area/s:

Cognition, Brain and Behavior,  Quantitative Psychology

Research Interests:

  • EEG Signatures of Frontal Cortical Function
  • Reward and Decision Making
  • Computational Psychiatry


Accepting students?  Dr. Cavanagh is accepting students for Fall 2023.  Please email Dr. Cavanagh if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies.

Selected Publications

  • Cavanagh, J.F. (in press) Electrophysiology as a theoretical and methodological hub in the neural sciences. Psychophysiology
  • Cavanagh, J.F., Kumar, P., Mueller, A.A., Pirio Richardson, S. & Mueen, A. (2018). Diminished EEG habituation to novel events effectively classifies Parkinson's patients. Clinical Neurophysiology, 129, 409-418.
  • Cavanagh, J.F. & Frank, M.J. (2014) Frontal theta as a mechanism of cognitive control. Trends in Cognitive Science,18(8), 414-421.
  • Cavanagh, J.F., Wiecki, T.V., Cohen, M.X, Figueroa, C.M., Samanta, J., Sherman S.J., Frank, M.J. (2011) Subthalamic nucleus stimulation reverses mediofrontal influence over decision threshold. Nature Neuroscience, 14(11), 1462-1467

Courses Taught

  • Psy 443/463: Psychobiology of Emotion
  • Psy 240: Brain and Behavior
  • Psy 444/644: Advanced EEG Analysis in Matlab
  • Psy 450/650: Principles of Psychphysiology
  • Psy 450/650: Seminar: Functions of the Prefrontal Cortex
  • Psy 650: Predictable Irrationality in Decision Making


Graduate Students:

  • Trevor Jackson--costs & benefits of cognitive control
  • Christopher Pirrung
  • Garima Singh

Note:  If you are interested in pursuing graduate studies in my laboratory, please contact me (jcavanagh@unm.edu).  Good GRE scores and academic performance are expected.  Emphasis will be placed on research experience, publications/presentations, and letters of reference.