Bruce Bridgeman


A tribute to Bruce and his work is scheduled for
Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 2:00-4:00 pm. 

The event will be hosted at UC Santa Cruz, in the College Nine/Ten Multipurpose Room.

To RSVP please click HERE.

Bruce Bridgeman was tragically killed in an accident on July 10, 2016 while in Taipei.

Bruce was a UC Santa Cruz professor of psychology and psychobiology and an internationally renowned researcher on spatial orientation and neuroscience.

Bridgeman joined UC Santa Cruz in 1973 and remained with UCSC throughout his career. Though an emeriti professor, Bridgeman was reappointed to teach courses in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology, the subject of one of his textbooks, and had several active experiments running in his lab at the time of his death.  “Bruce remained a vital member of the psychology department,” said professor and department chair Campbell Leaper.  “He maintained a very productive research program that included several UCSC students as research assistants.” Read full article...


Presentation on Bruce’s Career
as delivered at the 2016 APA conference


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Colleen and Ken Rand

My image of Bruce is of a wonderful tutor who helped me get through perception in graduate school. My undergraduate major was in anthropology and I had zero preparation for a graduate class. There is no question that without Bruce’s patience I would have had to take and retake that course.
Stanford also provided us with the chance to have “free” evenings with Bruce and Diane. The excitement and intensities of studies were enhanced by a lasting friendship..
Although distances have prevented visits (CA vs FL), we’ve kept in touch through holiday greetings (often delightful notes written by Natalie).
We truly regret the untimely death of a marvelous scientist and human being.
Colleen and Ken Rand

Flora Lu

Before even arriving to UCSC in 2008, I knew Bruce as the father of one of my very best and favorite undergraduates I taught while as a postdoc at Stanford, his daughter Tess. Bruce will remain in our minds and hearts as brilliant and full of energy. What an amazing life he led–what he contributed, how he positively shaped those around him, and the intellectual, professional, and personal legacy he leaves. Some years ago, I asked Bruce to guest lecture for me to talk about the brain, neural processing, and critical thinking. As a master teacher, he engaged the classroom and delivered a lecture that was thought-provoking and stimulating.  He will be deeply missed, and my sincere condolences and love go out to his family.

Simone Benedetto

People who have changed your life don’t die.
I’ll always remember Bruce as one of the brightest and kindest people I’ve met in my life.
I spent one year in his lab in 2010 and learned so many things from him, I don’t even know where to start from.
The last time I saw him we were in Paris, the time before in Italy along with his wonderful wife Diane.
All these beautiful moments will never leave my mind. I’ll keep talking about Bruce for the rest of my life.
Simone Benedetto, PhD

Campbell Leaper

I joined the faculty at UCSC in 1988. Bruce was one of the first faculty to invite me out to lunch during my first weeks. The Psychology Department was located in Kerr Hall at the time, and we went to Kresge College. I recall us discussing politics. A few years later, I started to volunteer as a judge for the Santa Cruz County Science Fair. Over the years, Bruce and I were regular judges covering the Behavioral Sciences Division at the Fair. During one of my earliest years at the Science Fair, I found myself judging Bruce’s and Diane’s daughter, Tess. The other judges and I agreed that her project was outstanding, and I recall Tess was awarded the first-place ribbon! Just as Bruce was committed to promoting science among students at the science fair, he was also a strong supporter of the scientific training of UCSC psychology students. At faculty meetings, Bruce would tirelessly advocate for adding more biology and math course requirements for our majors.

Bruce was one of the most prolific researchers in our department. In recognition of his scientific achievements, Bruce was the first faculty to receive the Martin M. Chemers Award for Outstanding Research in 2007. After he retired 6 years ago, Bruce remained active in his research and teaching. He also continued to bicycle to campus! Over the years, I would be driving up to campus for a morning faculty meeting, and I would see Bruce peddling up Coolidge Drive on his bicycle. My last memory of seeing Bruce is a happy one. This past May, the Psychology Department held a dinner to celebrate emeriti faculty who had retired within the last 15 years. This included Bruce–and I am grateful that we had the opportunity to recognize him then. Two pictures with Bruce from this event appear below.