Distinguished Scientific Contribution Awards
Alan D. Baddeley, PhD
Baddeley, professor of psychology, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, is being honored for his theoretical and experimental contributions in the field of human memory.
His early work explored differences in the representational codes utilized in short-term and long-term memory, thereby providing one major empirical justification for the distinction between these two types of memory. Later, Baddeley made contributions to the literature on the neuropsychology of memory, first in the field of amnesia and subsequently with respect to patients with impairments in phonological or articulatory functioning.
In recent years, Baddeley's work has been connected with the concept of working memory. He has refined and analyzed the concept into its various components (articulatory loop, phonological store and central executive) and also applied the model in various practical contexts; e.g., reading, language learning, memory impairments. He summarized this work in his book, "Working Memory."
He has also stressed the interplay between laboratory work and its practical implications. From 1974-95, he was director of the MRC Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge and he was influential in shaping experimental psychology in Britain and internationally.
The framework of Baddeley's research has played a central role in the development of theories in cognitive psychology, psycholinguistics, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive aging.
Irving I. Gottesman, PhD
Gottesman, the Sherrell J. Aston Professor of Psychology and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics (Medical Genetics) at the University of Virginia, is being honored for his contributions to research in genetics and psychopathology.
His research clarifies the role of genetic factors and the interaction of these factors with environmental influences in the development of behavioral traits and psychiatric disorders.
His research over the past 40 years has demonstrated that genes play important roles in the development of personality and psychopathology, especially schizophrenia. Gottesman is best known for his work examining rates of concordance for schizophrenia in the "Maudsley" sample of MZ and DZ twins. This research set the standard for how twin research should be conducted, and led to the blossoming of the field of human behavior genetics. Some publications detailing his schizophrenia work include his 1972 book, co-authored with James Shields, PhD, "Schizophrenia and Genetics: A Twin Study Vantage Point" and his 1989 paper, co-authored with Axel Bertelson, PhD, which examined rates of schizophrenia in the offspring of twins discordant for schizophrenia. This 1989 paper provided evidence that genetic risk for schizophrenia is not always expressed at the level of the phenotype. This study provided evidence that individuals can possess genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia without manifesting the disturbance.
Gottesman collaborated with Shields under the sponsorship of Elio Slater, PhD, to begin his London-based twin study of schizophrenia. This classic study demonstrated a genetic contribution to schizophrenia.
He is an acknowledged leader in the fields of behavioral genetics, psychiatric epidemiology and clinical psychology, having served as president of the Behavior Genetics Association and president of the Society for Research in Psychopathology.
He has made important contributions to the understanding of the genetics of other abnormal behaviors including childhood psychiatric disorders, affective disorders and mental retardation. He has had a profound influence on deflecting thinking away from genetic determination and toward giving due consideration to the complex interplay between genes and environment.
Michael M. Merzenich, PhD
Merzenich, the Francis A. Sooy Professor of Otolaryngology, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, is being honored for his contributions in the fields of neuroscience, behavioral neurophysiology and applied psychology.
His work spans the fields of auditory perception, cortical plasticity and disorders such as dyslexia and focal dystonia. Merzenich has made contributions that have changed our way of thinking about cortical plasticity at the local circuit level. He has been a leader in cortical mapping, cortical reorganization following peripheral damage, cortical plasticity following practice, behavioral and neural mechanisms leading to the development of dystonia, therapeutic intervention in dyslexia, and the development of a cochlear implant.
Merzenich is known for leading the change in thinking about the relative stability of mature brains. Largely due to Merzenich's research with adult monkeys, the current thinking is that the sensory and motor cortex remains capable of extensive reorganization throughout life, that reorganization can be mediated by changes in brain activity patterns based on experience and training, and that reorganizations alter brain function. One outcome of this change in thinking is that language and other learning disorders in children are often environmentally induced and they can be corrected by training programs that rewire the brain. Another outcome of this change in thinking is the likely recovery of function following focal brain damage.
In addition to the important discovery of cortical plasticity in the adult monkey brain, Merzenich's work demonstrating that such plasticity is experience-dependent has led to two significant clinical applications in humans. The first application has been the development of a cochlear implant for deaf individuals. The second application has been the use of training exercises in language-learning impaired children to improve their temporal processing thresholds as well as their speech discrimination abilities.
His research has made important contributions to our understanding of cortical network physiology and has provided new insights into the neurophysiological basis of learning and skill acquisition. Merzenich's ability to integrate research across the domains of neuroscience, physiology and psychology is unprecedented.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Applications of Psychology
David T. Lykken, PhD
Lykken, professor of psychology, University of Minnesota, is being honored for his research in psychopathology, assessment and personality, statistical methodology and psychophysiology.
His early research demonstrated that individuals diagnosed with psychopathy showed diminished electrodermal responding to a conditioned stimulus in anticipation of shock. On this basis, Lykken proposed the low-fear hypothesis of psychopathy, reasoning that some people fail to develop anxiety in anticipation of punishment and that this deficit contributes to the development of antisocial behavior.
Lykken also showed that psychopathic individuals are more impulsive with respect to showing passive avoidance deficits. In an approach-avoidance conflict paradigm, a passive avoidance deficit can be attributed to failure to develop fear in anticipation of punishment, thereby releasing the reward-based approach response. This reward-dominant behavior with insufficient control by potential punishments is a form of impulsivity.
In 1995, Lykken published "The Antisocial Personalities," a book that reviews and critiques the literature on psychopathy and the etiology of crime and violence. In the book, he distinguishes between people with psychopathy, for whom a low-fear temperament contributes strongly to the development of antisocial behavior, and those with sociopathy, whose criminality is attributable to environmental influences--especially to poor parenting.
He has been a major figure in the study of polygraph testing, both as a critic of its traditional theoretic and research foundation and as contributor of new science-based procedures. He developed the Guilty Knowledge Test, which has been found to be highly effective and superior to the traditional polygraph examination. He has also been active in arguing against the abusive use of polygraph testing, as its arbitrary application infringes on human rights. His 1980 book, "A Tremor in the Blood: Uses and Abuses of the Lie Detector," stands as the only scientific monograph on this topic.
Lykken has led a research team at the University of Minnesota in the study of genetic factors in personality and temperament, as elucidated by the longitudinal assessment of identical twins--reared together and apart. These studies are a major source of information on the hertitability of intellectual and emotional characteristics in human beings.
His research has had a profound influence on many important areas of study in psychology.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution to Psychology (Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience)
Marlene Behrmann, PhD
Stephen A. Maren, PhD
Behrmann, of the department of psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, is recognized for her research in the field of cognitive neuroscience. She skillfully uses patients suffering from neglect due to parietal lesions to explore a number of central questions in the study of spatial representations. Her work has implications for how the visual system processes words, how integration between visual and tactile sensory modalities occurs, and how various coordinate systems are represented in the brain. Her work is currently serving to direct neurophysiological, cognitive and computational studies toward the issue of how the brain represents external space and the human body. Behrmann earned her PhD at the University of Toronto in 1991.
Maren, of the department of psychology, University of Michigan, is recognized for his work in the field of behavioral neuroscience of learning and memory. His work is notable for his ability to link behavioral neurosystems, cellular and genetic analyses. For example, he has argued that the amygdala stores emotional memories by showing how long-term potentiation (LTP) works as a synaptic mechanism within the amygdala during Pavlovian fear conditioning. Further, he has shown that LTP can be mediated by an increase in the number of postsynaptic glutamate receptors. His studies of LTP have helped to shift the focus of LTP research to postsynaptic mechanisms and his proposals have helped in making the amygdala a central structure for linking genetic and cellular analysis with emotional memory. Maren earned his PhD at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 1993.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution to Psychology (Individual Differences)
Andrew J. Elliot, PhD
James J. Gross, PhD
Elliot, of the department of psychology, University of Rochester, is recognized for his contributions to our understanding of motivation and self-regulation, particularly in achievement settings. He has demonstrated the importance of mastery goals, performance-approach goals and performance-avoidance goals in achievement settings. Elliot's hierarchical model of achievement motivation incorporates the four traditional approaches (i.e., needs, goals, attributions and test anxiety) that have emerged in the achievement motivation literature. Elliot earned his PhD at the University of Wisconsin in 1994.
Gross, of the department of psychology at Stanford University, is recognized for his contributions to our understanding of the psychology of emotion regulation. He demonstrated that voluntary suppression of emotional behavior in an emotionally aroused individual produces increases in sympathetically mediated cardiovascular activity beyond that produced by the same stimulus when emotional expression is unconstrained. Gross has systematically compared the effects of two kinds of emotion regulation (reappraisal of emotional situations versus suppression of emotional expression). His work has made an impact on how we think about these processes and has helped develop a renewed interest in this classic problem. Gross earned his PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution to Psychology (Perception/Motor Performance)
Paul A.S. Breslin, PhD
Breslin, of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, is recognized for his outstanding contributions to our understanding of the chemical senses, particularly in the area of taste sensation and perception. He has contributed basic scientific results to the field on the topics of univariance in taste perception (monogeusia), the spatial lateralization of taste, taste facilitation and inhibition, interactions between taste and smell, and most recently, on the molecular genetics of taste. Breslin earned his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania in 1991.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution to Psychology (Applied Research)
Norman Bradley Schmidt, PhD
Schmidt, of the department of psychology, Ohio State University, is recognized for his contributions to the understanding and treatment of anxiety and panic. His research program comprises three domains--the investigation of biobehavioral parameters that affect the generation and maintenance of fear in the pathogenesis of panic; the examination of specific genetic and psychological risk factors and their interaction in exploring psychopathology; and the development of psychological treatments for anxiety disorders. Schmidt earned his PhD at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991.
Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contribution to Psychology (Social Psychology)
Duane T. Wegener, PhD
Wegener, of the department of psychological sciences, Purdue University, is recognized for his contributions in and his work on biases and corrections for bias in information processing and social judgment; and effects of mood on information processing and judgment.
His "Flexible Correction Model" provides an integrative theoretical framework for considering the judgmental adjustments that people attempt to make after recognizing that their judgments may have been biased by contextual factors. People's naive theories regarding the potential influence of the biasing factor are postulated to determine both the direction (assimilation or contrast) and extent of their correction processes. Wegener's other focus is on the effects of mood on information processing, including effects on judgments and on the amount of cognitive effort people give to processing information. Wegener earned his PhD at the Ohio State University in 1994.
Letters to the Editor
- Send us a letter