CNS 2022 | The 11th Annual Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Award (DCC)

Congratulations John Jonides, our 2022 Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Awardee. Dr. Jonides will accept this prestigious award and deliver his lecture in San Francisco, CA April of 2022.

Resolving Distraction

John Jonides

Department of Psychology and Michigan Neuroscience Institute, University of Michigan

Monday, April 25, 2022, 4:30PM - 5:30PM (PT), Grand Ballroom

Cognitive control is the exercise of processes that avoid habitual, reflexive, automatic behaviors in the service of reaching goals.  A critical implementation of cognitive control is the performance of goal-directed activities in the face of distraction, and considerable distraction comes from salient-but-irrelevant external stimulation.  There are many examples of such distraction in daily life, and there are many laboratory tasks that have been used as models of distraction and its resolution.  Examples are the Stroop, Simon, Flanker, Anti-Saccade, and the Additional-Singleton tasks in all of which the instructed goal of the tasks is opposed by a tendency to respond to some other feature of the presented stimuli.  For example, in the Stroop task, there is a conflict between responding to the hue of a stimulus from the prepotent tendency to respond to the identity of the word itself.  Cognitive studies have a very long and rich history of investigating such cases of failures of cognitive control.  The vast majority of these studies have relied on measuring response time and accuracy, comparing a condition in which there is conflict between a prepotent response and a goal-directed response versus a condition in which there is not (e.g., RED versus BLUE in the Stroop task).  However, there are problems in using these two dependent measures that are well-established (e.g., speed-accuracy trade-offs and reliability of difference scores).  We present here a novel technique that treats response time not as a dependent variable, but as an independent variable.  Applying this technique to various tasks that have shown effects of distraction has led us to a model of the underlying psychological processes that seem to be involved in many such tasks, thus providing a fruitful framework with which to investigate cognitive control in many situations.

Get a preview of Jonides' award lecture in this CNS Q&A.


John Jonides is an American cognitive neuroscientist and psychologist. He is the Edward E. Smith Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. He has been a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science since 1995 and of the Society of Experimental Psychologists since 1996.[2] He is known for his research on the malleability of human intelligence,[3] and on the effects of Facebook use on happiness and life satisfaction.[4][5] In 2011, he received the Association for Psychological Science's William James Fellow Award.[6]



About the Distinguished Career Contributions Award

The Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Award (DCC) was established in 2012 and it is sponsored by the Fred Kavli Foundation from 2019-2023. This award honors senior cognitive neuroscientists for their sustained and distinguished career, including outstanding scientific contributions, leadership and mentoring in the field of cognitive neuroscience.

An annual call for nominations for the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions Award is made to the membership of the society. The recipient of the prize attends the annual meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society and delivers the Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions lecture.

The Fred Kavli Distinguished Career Contributions (DCC) award honors senior cognitive neuroscientists for their distinguished career, leadership and mentoring in the field of cognitive neuroscience. This award has been generously sponsored by the Kavli Foundation.

Previous Winner of the Distinguished Career Contributions Award:

2021 Robert Desimone, Ph.D., McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT
2020 Marlene Behrmann, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University
2019 Daniel L. Schacter, Ph.D., Harvard University
2018 Alfonso Caramazza, Harvard University
2017 Marcia K. Johnson, Yale University
2016 James Haxby, University of Trento, Dartmouth College
2015 Marta Kutas, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
2014 Marsel Mesulam, M.D., Northwestern University
2013 Robert T. Knight, M.D., University of California, Berkeley
2012 Morris Moscovitch, Ph.D., University of Toronto




APRIL 23–26 • 2022

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