Bruce McCandliss received his PhD in cognitive psychology with certification in cognitive neuroscience from the University of Oregon in 1979, under the mentorship of Michael Posner, one of the pioneers of using neuroimaging to investigate the brain basis of human thought, attention, and language. He has been at Stanford since 2014, as a professor in both the Graduate School of Education, and by courtesy, the Department of Psychology.
Before this he was the Hart endowed chair in educational neuroscience at Vanderbilt University and an associate professor of psychology in psychiatry at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he was honoured with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a citation for his work exploring the connection between innovations in reading interventions, neuroimaging, and computational modelling. His postdoctoral training in early literacy interventions and neuroimaging was supported by a McDonnell Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.
McCandliss currently directs the Educational Neuroscience Initiative at Stanford University, which seeks to forge deeper connections between advances in neuroscience, insights into learner differences, and innovations in educational interventions. This work plays out locally through immersive school partnerships that bring neuroscience labs into schools to collaborate with teachers and learners, as well as within broader collaborative longitudinal brain–imaging studies of thousands of school children. One goal of this work is to bring neuroscience and educational research together to find better ways of understanding variation and innovative support of reading development, mathematics development, the central role of attentional mechanisms in learning, and the critical role education may play in experience dependent brain plasticity.