Robert W. Levenson of the University of California, Berkeley, has assumed the post of APS President, and new board members Michael S. Gazzaniga (President-Elect), Richard R. Bootzin, and Elizabeth Phelps, have started their three-year terms.
Levenson succeeds Henry L. Roediger III, Washington University in St. Louis, who now serves as Immediate Past President. Susan T. Fiske, Princeton University, concluded her term as Past President.
Levenson is a widely known and highly respected researcher in the field of psychophysiology, focusing particularly on the relationship between emotion and bodily processes. He is a professor of psychology at Berkeley and director of the Institute for Personality and Social Research. His research has explored emotion and physiology in a wide range of contexts, varying from long-term marriage, gender, and culture and ethnicity. Levenson’s most recent projects involve emotion and its association with aging and neurodegenerative disease.
“These are exciting times for psychological scientists as we apply new tools and new theoretical insights to deepen our understanding of the mysteries of human behavior,” he said. “I am really looking forward to the opportunity to work with the APS officers, staff, and members as we continue to pursue these goals and work to advance our science.”
Levenson previously served on the APS Board from 1998-2001, and has served on the Society’s Program and Publications committees.
Gazzaniga Is President-Elect
Michael S. Gazzaniga is a leader in the area of cognitive neuroscience. His pioneering work in mind-brain relationships has shaped fundamental understanding of human intellectual ability in a biological context. He is a world-renowned author, lecturer, researcher, and scientist, having discovered the human “split-brain” phenomenon, which revealed that the human brain is divided into two hemispheres, each with its own specialization and area of control over the body.
“Scientific psychology has always been a vibrant field,” Gazzaniga commented. “The challenge now is to bring the basic biology of the mind into consonant relationship with the mental properties of humans, something scientific psychology knows the most about.”
Currently the director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Dartmouth College, he was elected president of the Cognitive Neuroscience Institute in 1982 and founded the Cognitive Neuroscience Society in 1993. Gazzaniga has published many books, including Mind Matters and Nature’s Mind and continues to conduct research on how the brain enables the mind.
“Nothing is more important in the 21st century than to expand the scientific foundations of studying the mind and society. APS has this as its core mission and every effort should be made to build upon this great tradition,” Gazzaniga said. “I hope to bring a sense of urgency to our mission. I am not a ‘business as usual’ person.”
His three-year term on the Board includes a year each as President-Elect, President, and Immediate Past President.
Bootzin, Phelps Are Members-At-Large
Bootzin and Phelps each will serve three-year terms, succeeding outgoing Board Members Charles Gallistel, Rutgers University, and Susan Mineka, Northwestern University.
Richard Bootzin is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on understanding and treating sleep disorders, cognitive processing during sleep, the role of expectancy and placebos in behavior change, and methodology in evaluating intervention outcomes.
“I am honored to have been elected to the Board because APS represents quality, creativity, innovation, and commitment in advancing psychological science,” Bootzin said. “We all benefit from the remarkable efforts of APS in support of the generation and application of psychological science.”
In 1972 Bootzin developed his internationally renowned Stimulus Control treatment for insomnia, a behavioral therapy that has helped thousands of disordered sleepers without pharmacology. He currently heads a sleep research lab, where he and his students are engaged in a variety of projects including two that are federally funded. Bootzin also directs the Insomnia Program at the University of Arizona Sleep Disorder Center where he provides training for clinical psychology interns and graduate students.
“This is a time of challenge but also of opportunity for psychological science,” he said, citing a decrease in research funding. “It is critically important to have APS as an organizer and catalyst to advocate for and disseminate psychological science to inform the community of psychologists as well as policy makers and the public.”
Elizabeth Phelps is a professor of psychology and neural science. She and colleagues investigate the brain activity underlying memory and emotion. Much of Phelps’ research has focused on the phenomenon of “learned fear,” a tendency of animals to fear situations associated with frightening events, and she is credited with ground-breaking discoveries about the functioning of the human amygdala, considered a seat of emotion and learning.
“APS is one of the few organizations that brings together a wide range of researchers in psychology,” Phelps said. “As a cognitive neuroscientist with interests in emotion and social behavior, APS represents all of my interests. It is a great forum for interdisciplinary approaches to the scientific investigation of behavior.”
A recognized leader in cognitive neuroscience research, Phelps investigates human behavior with an interdisciplinary approach that is both biological and behavioral. Her most recent projects investigate the interaction of emotion and decision-making and the role of the amygdala in social learning and judgments, with a special interest in racial biases.
New members of the APS Board of Directors are elected annually by APS Members. More information on the Board is available online at www.psychologicalscience.org/about/.
APS Board of Directors
Robert W. Levenson
University of California, Berkeley
Michael S. Gazzaniga
Barbara A. Spellman
University of Virginia
Carnegie Mellon University
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Henry L. Roediger, III
Washington University in St. Louis
Alan G. Kraut
American Psychological Society
Richard R. Bootzin
University of Arizona
John T. Cacioppo
The University of Chicago
University of Minnesota
Arizona State University
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
New York University