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Distinguished awards for two veteran psychology professors

By Public Affairs


Robert Knight is winner of the Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award

Two UC Berkeley psychology faculty members have won distinguished awards.

Robert Knight, M.D., a professor of psychology and neuroscience, has won the Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The research award, totaling about $3.5 million over seven years, will allow Knight to focus on the role of the brain’s frontal cortex in organized behavior.

Knight, former director of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, studies brain function in healthy humans and in people with neurological diseases. For his research, he uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) as well as electrophysiological recording from electrodes on the scalp or on the surface of the brain in patients undergoing surgery for epilepsy.

Robert Levenson, a psychology professor who studies psycho-physiology and is an expert on the psychology of relationships and of aging,  is among four recipients of the Association for Psychological Science’s William James Fellow Awards for 2014. The award recognizes  APS members for their lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.

Robert Levenson

Robert Levenson is winner of the Association for Psychological Science’s 2014 William James Fellow Award

Levenson’s contributions to psychology in the field of emotion have exemplified two fundamental aspects of science: innovative, bold insights and paradigm shifts, as well as the incremental, data-fueled progression from which theories are constructed,” according to an  APS announcement about the award.

“His pioneering research on emotion regulation is at once academically interesting and a critical foundation for therapists treating disorders of emotion. In addition to his outstanding scholarly work, Levenson has demonstrated unparalleled professional service. The epitome of the scholar/teacher ideal, Levenson channels the spirit of William James by effectively communicating fundamental concepts and encouraging scientific exploration and curiosity,” the announcement said.

Other researchers selected to receive the 2014 William James Fellow Award are Nora S. Newcombe, a psychology professor at  Temple University in Pennsylvania; Keith Rayner, a psychology professor at UC San Diego; and Terry Robinson, a professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Michigan. The recipients will be recognized at the APS annual convention  in San Francisco, May 22-25, 2014.