George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience

Congratulations to Earl K. Miller, our 2019 George A. Miller Awardee. Earl K. Miller will receive his award and give his lecture at the CNS 2019 Annual Meeting.

Spelke

"Working Memory 2.0"

Speaker: Earl K. Miller, Picower Professor of Neuroscience, The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Abstract
Working memory is the fundamental function by which we break free from reflexive input-output reactions to gain control over our own thoughts. It has two types of mechanisms: online maintenance of information and its volitional or executive control. Classic models proposed persistent spiking for maintenance but have not explicitly addressed executive control. I will review recent theoretical and empirical studies that suggest updates/additions to the classic model. Synaptic weight changes between sparse bursts of spiking strengthen working memory maintenance. Executive control acts via interplay between network oscillations in gamma (30-100 Hz) in superficial cortical layers (layers 2 & 3) and alpha/beta (10-30 Hz) in deep cortical layers (layers 5 & 6). Deep-layer alpha/beta is associated with top-down information and inhibition. It regulates the flow of bottom-up sensory information associated with superficial layer gamma. We propose that interactions between different rhythms in distinct cortical layers underlie working memory maintenance and its volitional control.

 

The George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience was established in 1995 by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society to honor the innovative scholarship of George A. Miller, whose many theoretical advances have greatly influenced the discipline of cognitive neuroscience. The first ten years of the prize were funded by generous support from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.

Each year the Prize shall recognize an individual whose distinguished research is at the cutting-edge of their discipline with realized or future potential, to revolutionize cognitive neuroscience. Extraordinary innovation and high impact on international scientific thinking should be a hallmark of the recipient’s work.

An annual call for nominations for the George A. Miller Prize will be made to the membership of the society. The recipient of the prize will attend the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and deliver the George A. Miller lecture.

 


 

Previous Winners of the George A. Miller Lectureship

2018 Elizabeth Spelke, Harvard University
2017 Dr. David Van Essen, Alumni Endowed Processor, Washington University in St Louis
2016 Brian Wandell, Isaac and Madeline Stein Family Professor
2015 Patricia Kuhl, Ph.D., University of Washington
2014 Jon Kaas, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
2013 Fred Gage, Ph.D., The Salk Institute
2012 Eve Marder, Ph.D., Brandeis University
2011 Mortimer Mishkin, Ph.D., NIMH
2010 Steven Pinker, Ph.D., Harvard University
2009 Marcus Raichle, Ph.D., Washington University School of Medicine
2008 Anne Treisman, Ph.D., Princeton University
2007 Joaquin M. Fuster, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
2006 Steven A. Hillyard, Ph.D., University of California San Diego
2005 Leslie Ungerleider, Ph.D., National Institute of Mental Health
2004 Michael Posner, Ph.D., University of Oregon
2003 Michael Gazzaniga, Ph.D., Dartmouth College
2002 Daniel Kahneman, Ph.D., Princeton University
2001 William Newsome, Ph.D., Stanford University
2000 Patricia Churchland, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
1999 Giacommo Rizzolatti, Ph.D., University of Parma, Italy
1998 Susan Carey, Ph.D., New York University
1997 Roger Shepard, Ph.D., Stanford University
1996 David Premack, Ph.D., CNRS, France
1995 David H. Hubel, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

 

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