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APS Members Lord and Shadlen Elected to Institute of Medicine

Catherine Lord, the DeWitt Senior Scholar and a professor of psychology in psychiatry and of psychology in pediatrics at Weill Cornell, and Michael N. Shadlen a professor of Neuroscience at Columbia University, were elected as new members to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) on Oct. 20 during the IOM’s 44th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current active members through a selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care, and public health.


Catherine Lord

Catherine Lord

Lord, an APS Fellow, is an internationally renowned expert on autism who…


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Comorbidity Among Mental Disorders: A New Approach

ECMental disorders have traditionally been viewed as distinct categorical entities, but about 50% of people who meet the criteria for one disorder also meet the criteria for a second disorder. The large number of people with comorbid disorders suggests there may be a simpler underlying structure to psychopathology than the one implied by the current classification system.

APS Fellow Avshalom Caspi (Duke University, Kings College London) and colleagues examined the structure of psychopathology using data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study — a prospective longitudinal study of health and behavior. Participants in the study were repeatedly assessed for mental health disorders between ages 18 and 38.

The authors tested several models using confirmatory factor…


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McClelland Receives Heineken Prize


James L. “Jay” McClelland Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) presented the $200,000 C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Sciences to James L. (“Jay”) McClelland on October 2, 2014, in Amsterdam. McClelland is Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at Stanford University. He is a past recipient of the APS William James Fellow Award.

McClelland received the Heineken Prize in recognition of his work modeling cognitive processes with neural networks, a departure from earlier models that described the brain in terms of a computer processor that stores and retrieves information. In 1986, McClelland and his colleagues published a now seminal…


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Psychological Scientists Awarded Nobel for Discovering Brain’s “GPS”

PAFF_101014_NobelEdvardMoser_NewsfeatureThree European psychological scientists will share the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work discovering the brain’s “GPS system.”

John O’Keefe (University College London) and husband-and-wife team May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) are being awarded the prize in recognition of their basic research on memory and cognition that has contributed to our understanding of how the brain situates us in our physical environment and guides us from one place to another.

The Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the Nobel Prize, said the three scientists have “solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries — how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?”

In 1971, O’Keefe identified nerve…


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Park Speaks on Cultural Neuroscience at NIH Seminar Series

Denise C. Park

Denise C. Park

Research in the emerging field of cultural neuroscience aims to illuminate how cultural values shape the neurobiology of behavior and neurological processes. APS Fellow Denise C. Park spoke about her research in this arena at a recent seminar series hosted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in Washington, D.C. The seminar series, “Addressing Health Disparities through Neuroscience,” aims to increase awareness of the impact of neuroscience research in addressing health disparities.

It’s well understood that environmental factors can tap into the neuroplasticity of the human brain and lead to subtle shaping of neural structure and function. What we might not realize, says Park, is the fact that these environmental factors include cultural values and practices.

“There is sometimes a tendency to resist the idea that culture can affect some aspects of…


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