Richard S. Lewis

Professor of Neuroscience and Psychological Science; On leave Fall 2024
  • Expertise


    Richard Lewis’ research examines social and cultural influences on human brain activity. Currently, he and his undergraduate researchers are using electrophysiology and functional near infrared spectroscopy to investigate how culture influences neural processing of the physical and social environment.  More specifically, they are exploring how cultures that differ in how they see themselves with respect to others neurally process situations differently. Future studies will explore how virtual reality can be used to provide more realistic social situations but with sufficient laboratory control to reveal greater insights into sociocultural neural mechanisms.

    Research Interests

    In addition to Lewis’s long-standing interest in mild head injury and cerebral lateralization, his lab is also working on a pair of projects, one focusing on exploring the neurocognitive mechanisms associated with cultural differences in the self and the other studying the effects of acute and chronic stress on frontal EEG asymmetry and mood.

    Areas of Expertise


    • Social Neuroscience
    • Cultural Neuroscience
  • Work


    Park, G., Lewis, R.S., Wang, Y.C., Cho, H.J. & Goto, S.G. (2018).  “Are you mad at me? Early visual processing of anger and gaze among Asian American biculturals.” Culture and Brain.

    Fong, M. , Moore, C., Zhao, T., Schudson, Z., Goto, S.G., & Lewis, R.S. (2014) Switching Between Mii and Wii: Cultural Priming Effects on the N400. Culture and Brain, 2, 52-71.

    Goto, S.G., Yee, A., Lowenberg, K. & Lewis, R.S. (2013).  Cultural differences in sensitivity to context: Detecting affective incongruity using the N400. Social Neuroscience. 8, 63-74.

    Lewis, R.S., Weekes, N.Y. & Guerrero, N. Examination Stress and Working Memory (2012).   In N.M. Seel (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1195-1197).  New York: Springer Publishing.

    Babikian, T., Satz, P., Zaucha, Light, R., Lewis, R.S., McCleary, C., & Asarnow, R.F. (2011).  The UCLA study of neurocognitive outcomes following mild pediatric traumatic brain injury.  Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 17, 886-895.

    Goto, S.G., Ando, Y., Huang, C., Yee, A. & Lewis, R.S.  (2010).  Cultural differences in the visual processing of meaning: Detecting incongruities between background and foreground objects using the N400. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 5, 242-253.

    Weekes, N.Y., Lewis, R.S. Goto, S.G., Garrison-Jakel, J., Patel, F. & Lupien, S.J.  (2008).  The effect of an environmental stressor on gender differences on the awakening cortisol response. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 33, 776-772.

    Lewis, R.S., Goto, S.G., & Kong, L. (2008).  Culture and Context: East Asian American and European American Differences in P3 Event-Related Potentials. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 623-634.

    Lewis, R.S. , Nikolova, A., Chang, D. L. & Weekes, N.Y.  (2008).  Examination stress and components of working memory. Stress, 11, 108-114.

    Lewis, R.S., Weekes, N.Y. & Wang, T. (2007).   The effect of a naturalistic stressor on frontal EEG asymmetry, stress, and health.  Biological Psychology, 75, 239-247.

    Weekes, N.Y., Lewis, R.S., Patel, F, Garrison-Jakel, J., Berger, D. & Lupien, S.  (2006).  Examination stress as an ecological inducer of cortisol and psychological responses to stress in undergraduate students, Stress, 9, 199-206.

  • Education


    Michigan State University

    Master of Arts
    California State University, Los Angeles

    Bachelor of Science
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Cultural Neuroscience
    • Neuropsychology
    • Psych Approaches Study of People
    • The Social Brain
    • Human Brain: Neurons to Behavior
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    National Science Foundation, Grant, "Stress, Stages of Memory, and Event-Related Potentials," 2002-2006.

    National Science Foundation; Major Research Instrumentation Program, "Establishment of a High-Density Event-Related Potential Laboratory at an Undergraduate College for the Study of Cognitive Neuroscience," 2001-2004

    Pomona College, Wig Distinguished Professorship Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1988, 2011

    National Institutes of Health, Grant, "Neurobehavioral Sequelae of Mild Brain injury in Children," 1989-1991

    National Institute of Mental Health, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Individual Research Service Award, 1984-1986