New York University Professor Joseph LeDoux has been named a recipient of the William James Fellow Award, an honor bestowed by the Association for Psychological Science (APS), in recognition of his lifetime achievements in research focused on the brain mechanisms of memory and emotion.
The William James Fellow Award, given annually since 1989, honors individuals for their lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.
LeDoux, a professor in NYU’s Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, has worked on emotion and memory in the brain for more than 20 years. His research, mostly on fear, shows how we can respond to danger before we know what we are responding to. It has also shed light on how memories about threat are formed and stored in the brain. Through this research, LeDoux has mapped the underlying neural circuits through the brain, and has identified cells, synapses, and molecules that make this form of learning and memory possible.
In addition to numerous publications in scholarly journals, LeDoux, who is also director of the Emotional Brain Institute, a collaborative venture between NYU and the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research, has published books that present his work to a wider audience. These include The Emotional Brain (Simon and Schuster, 1998), which focuses mainly on emotion, and Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are (Viking, 2002), which casts a broader net into the areas of personality and selfhood. He is a professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Other psychological scientists receiving the James Award for 2015 include Susan Goldin-Meadow, University of Chicago; Michael Gazzinaga, the University of California, Santa Barbara and doctoral mentor of LeDoux’s; and Timothy Wilson, University of Virginia.
They will all be honored at the 2015 APS Annual Convention, to be held in May 2015 in New York City.
The Association for Psychological Science is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of scientific psychology and its representation at the national and international level. The Association’s mission is to promote, protect, and advance the interests of scientifically oriented psychology in research, application, teaching, and the improvement of human welfare.