Gardner and Rizzolatti Honored with Prince of Asturias Awards

This is a photo of an illustration of the human brain.APS Fellow Howard Gardner and 2011 APS Convention Keynote Speaker Giacomo Rizzolatti have been honored with 2011 Prince of Asturias Awards.

Gardner of Harvard University is the 2011 recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences for his innovative work on multiple intelligences. This award is one of eight that the Prince of Asturias Foundation presents each year to honor individuals and/or institutions for their outstanding scientific, technical, cultural, social, or humanistic work. Gardner’s research on the diverse manifestations of the human intellect, and his work for the educational projects Project Zero and GoodWork have had a profound influence on the American education system. “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this prestigious award…I am pleased that this award can recognize the strand of social science which involves qualitative analyses and broad syntheses of knowledge,” Gardner says.

Rizzolatti, along with colleagues Arturo Álvarez-Buylla and Joseph Altman, were named the 2011 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research. Rizzolatti and his colleagues discovered mirror neurons, a type of neuron that is activated when an individual performs a particular action as well as when that individual observes a peer performing the same action. This groundbreaking research has made significant contributions to neuroscience and has led to a new understanding of mechanisms underlying emotional empathy, imitation, communication and social behavior. Over time, Rizzolatti’s work on mirror neurons may lead to a new generation of treatments for various neurodegenerative and brain-related disorders. “It is a great honor to have received the Prince of Asturias Award,” Rizzolatti says. “I am particularly grateful because I consider it a great recognition not only to my person, but to the whole Italian Neuroscience.”

Both will receive their awards this fall at a ceremony in Oviedo, Spain.

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