UC Merced said cognitive science Professor Michael Spivey was awarded the 2010 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement.
Spivey joins the ranks of many other researchers who have received the national award, including such scholars as Stephen Jay Gould, Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead and Vannevar Bush, the university said in a news release.
The award is given by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to scientific research and has successfully communicated its value and significance to scholars in various disciplines, the release said.
“I am simultaneously humbled and honored to be on the same list as these luminaries,” Spivey said. “These are people who have made really awe-inspiring contributions to their sciences.”
Spivey will accept the award at Sigma Xi’s annual meeting in November and deliver a lecture to an audience of distinguished scientists and engineers. The presentation will focus on his research and how it has contributed to cognitive science.
Using eye-tracking and reach-tracking equipment, Spivey studies how humans perceive and respond to what they hear and see. The equipment records people’s actual responses, but also reveals what options they considered in making their decision. Spivey’s research shows that different brain regions simultaneously communicate with each other in what’s called a continuous loop, the release said.
Spivey received his Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences from the University of Rochester in 1996, and was faculty at Cornell University’s Psychology Department for 12 years.
In 2008 he became a faculty member at UC Merced. He has published more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers on research topics including sentence processing, word recognition and visual memory.
Spivey will receive a Steuben glass sculpture, a certificate of recognition, a $5,000 honorarium and a $5,000 research grant to be awarded to a young scholar in his field.
His book, “The Continuity of Mind,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.