UO Brain Researcher Honored
Byline: The Register-Guard
University of Oregon psychologist Michael Posner was among nine researchers named Thursday as winners of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists, engineers and inventors.
Posner, who joined the UO faculty in 1965, is considered a leading pioneer who helped build the field of cognitive neuroscience, said his longtime colleague Mary Rothbart, who in May received the 2009 Gold Medal for Life Achievement in the Science of Psychology by the American Psychological Foundation.
Posner was in Europe and unavailable for comment when the award was announced.
"Mike has been a pioneer in developing measures for illuminating how the mind works and how the operations of the mind can be mapped onto activation patterns in the brain. His research effectively has linked the psychology of the mind to the biology of brain function," Rothbart said.
The award is an honor for both Posner and the UO as a whole, said Louis Moses, head of the UO's psychology department.
Posner's current research deals with genetic and experience-related factors in the development of brain networks underlying attention and self-regulation. His research draws on functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography and molecular genetic methods.
Posner's most enduring focus has involved the nature of mental attention, Moses said.
Posner currently is collaborating with Rothbart on research involving attention in children and with Yiyuan Tang, a visiting UO professor of psychology whose home institution is the Dalian University of Technology in China, on exploring the mental and physical benefits of integrative body-mind training, a meditation practice popular in China. …