CNS 2023 | The 29th Annual George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience (GAM)

Congratulations to Sabine Kastner our 2023 Annual George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience Awardee. Sabine will accept this prestigious award and deliver her lecture in San Francisco, CA March of 2023 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Hotel in the Grand Ballroom.


“Everyone knows what attention is …” – On its neural basis in the primate brain

Sabine Kastner, Ph.D.

Princeton University

Sunday, March 26, 2023, 4:00PM - 5:00PM (PT), Grand Ballroom

The selection of information from our cluttered sensory environments, often referred to as ‘attention’, is one of the most fundamental cognitive operations performed by the primate brain. In the visual domain, the selection process is thought to be mediated by a spatial mechanism – a ‘spotlight’ that can be flexibly shifted around the visual scene. In my lecture, I will provide an overview on its neural basis by discussing neuroimaging and intracranial electrophysiology studies in the human and monkey brain. Neuroimaging studies have shown that the spatial selection mechanism engages a large-scale network that consists of multiple nodes distributed across all major cortical lobes and includes also subcortical regions in the midbrain and thalamus.  Electrophysiology studies have provided a rich understanding of the specific functions of each network node and their functional interactions. Key findings reveal that (i) the cortical network is coordinated by a thalamic timekeeper in the pulvinar and (ii) processing in sensory cortex is modulated by feedback signals from a fronto-parietal control network. The fronto-parieto-pulvinar network is characterized by complex temporal dynamics that set up alternating attentional states, which emphasize either environmental sampling of information or shifting of spatial selection to a new location and can be measured as behavioral rhythms. Collectively, these studies in the adult brain set the stage for translational applications such as exploring the typical and atypical development of attention function and its deficits in neurological and psychiatric diseases.


Sabine Kastner is a German-born American cognitive neuroscientist. She is professor of psychology at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University.[1][2] She also serves as the scientific director of the Regina and John Scully ‘66 Center for the Neuroscience of Mind and Behavior,[3] a facility for imaging the human brain, and holds a visiting scientist appointment at the University of California at Berkeley.

She is an elected member of the Society for Experimental Psychology (2020)[4] and the International Neuropsychology Symposium (2016), and a Fellow of the American Psychological Society (2010). She received the Young Investigator Award of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (2005)[5] and the Society for Neuroscience Award for Education in Neuroscience (2019).[6]



About George A. Miller Prize in Cognitive Neuroscience

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 has so 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.

The Prize shall be awarded to the nominee whose career is characterized by distinguished and sustained scholarship and research at the cutting-edge of their discipline and that has in the past, or has the potential in the future, to revolutionize cognitive neuroscience. Extraordinary innovation and high impact on international scientific thinking should be a hallmark of the recipient's work.

Each year a 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.

To submit your nomination, send an email to
with the following information by September 29, 2022.
  • The Nominee's name, affiliation and contact information.
  • A brief statement as to why you believe this person is deserving of this award.


Previous Winners of the George A. Miller Lectureship

2022 BJ Casey, Ph.D., Yale University
2021 Elizabeth Phelps, Ph.D., Harvard University
2020 Nancy Kanwisher, Ph.D, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2019 Earl K. Miller, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2018 Elizabeth Spelke, Ph.D., Harvard University
2017 Dr. David Van Essen, Ph.D., Alumni Endowed Processor, Washington University in St Louis
2016 Brian Wandell, Ph.D., 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, M.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, M.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, M.D., Harvard Medical School



MARCH 25–28

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