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APA Fellow Brenda Milner Receives NAS Award

Betty Milner received the NAS Award "for her pioneering and seminal investigations of the functioning of the temporal lobes and other brain regions in learning, memory, and speech."

By Jonathan Tin

The National Academy of Sciences Award in the Neurosciences, a prize of $25,000 awarded every three years for extraordinary contributions to progress in the fields of neuroscience, was awarded to Brenda Milner, Dorothy J. Killam Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute, and professor, department of neurology and neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal. Milner is a fellow of APA and a past recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award.

Milner was chosen "for her pioneering and seminal investigations of the functioning of the temporal lobes and other brain regions in learning, memory, and speech."

"Brenda Milner is one of the giants of our time. Her delineation of memory dysfunction after lesions of the hippocampus has provided the basis for modern understanding of memory and for the divisions of memory storage mechanisms into explicit and implicit forms", said Eric Kandel, University Professor in the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University (New York), Senior Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Nobel laureate (Physiology or Medicine, 2000) and MNI Advisory Board Member. "The origins of modern cognitive neuroscience of memory can be traced directly to her rigorous and imaginative studies."

Milner's current research focuses on the specialization of the brain hemispheres. She and her colleagues are using sophisticated brain imaging technologies to examine differences between the right and left hemispheres. Milner is particularly interested in the role of the right hemisphere in remembering the location of objects.

The award was established by a gift from the Fidia Research Foundation in 1988. Past recipients include Nobel laureate Paul Greengard and Lasker Awardees Drs. Vernon Mountcastle, Seymour Kety, Seymour Benzer and Louis Sokoloff. This marks the first time the award will be presented to a scientist working outside the United States.