Jonathan earned his BA at Hamilton College in 1981 and his Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 1987. He joined the psychology faculty of the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor that same year and became a research scientist at Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center. Named a full professor in 2001, he moved on to the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 2004 as professor of psychology, Canada Research Chair in Social Cognitive Science, and senior investigator at UBC's Brain Research Centre. In 2007, he joined the faculty at UCSB. Jonathan pursues research on consciousness, memory, the relationship between language and thought, creativity, problem-solving, and decision-making. He is particularly interested in exploring phenomena that intersect between the empirical and the philosophical such as how fluctuations in people’s awareness of their experience mediate mind-wandering and how exposing individuals to philosophical positions alters their behavior.