In Brief

A video on cognitive neuroscience from the 26-part series "Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition" was the 25th annual recipient of the New England Emmy for Best Educational/Instructional Video.

The series, which has been aired nationally on public broadcasting stations and used in college classes and telecourses, was shown locally by the WGBH-Boston network. WGBH produced the series, along with APA, for The Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

APA President Philip G. Zimbardo, PhD, who narrated and researched extensively for the series, couldn't be happier at the attention the award brings to the field. "This is really nice recognition for psychology since we were competing with many videos and films in education," he says. "One of my main concerns has always been how to put more and better psychology out to the public, and this is one of the main ways that I do it."

The award is "an endorsement of the content integrity of this program," says Michele Korf, WGBH executive producer and director of educational programming outreach. "This is a serious video that has value and appeal. Phil is really able to convey this content and be a trusted guide for it."

The New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences yearly recognizes television programs that advance education, art or culture.

"Discovering Psychology" originally debuted in 1990 but was updated in 2001 to reflect changes in the field. The video provides an overview of current and classic theories in psychology, featuring demonstrations, simulations, current research and documentary footage of past well-known psychologists, such as Sigmund Freud and B.F. Skinner. The updated version contains new interviews in 17 of the programs and three new episodes: "Applying Psychology in Life"; "Cultural Psychology"; and the Emmy winner, "Cognitive Neuroscience," which presents new ideas in brain research and MRI technology.

"Ten years ago, cognitive neuroscience and cultural psychology didn't even really exist in psychology," Zimbardo says. "Cognitive neuroscience is really the cutting edge of one new domain of psychology."

Zimbardo is now working with NBC on an hour-long documentary on his classic Stanford Prison Experiment and with NBC and the Discovery Network on a television pilot called "Only Human," which features humorous and provocative skits that illustrate psychological scenes, such as conformity, first impressions or lying.

--M. DITTMANN