Research News

Psychologist wins Vision Sciences Society award

Geoffrey Woodman
Geoffrey Woodman (Steve Green / Vanderbilt)

Assistant Professor of Psychology Geoffrey Woodman has received the 2012 Young Investigator Award from the Vision Sciences Society.

The award is given each year to an outstanding visual scientist who received an advanced degree within the past 10 years.

Woodman was cited for his “important contributions to vision science.” These include key breakthroughs in the understanding of visual working memory that have placed it at the center of the interaction between high-level cognition and perception. He also developed novel methods for measuring the electrical currents and voltages in the brain that made it possible to compare the neural bases for early visual processes in man and monkey and has identified a number of ways that the two operate in an identical fashion.

According to VSS, “In the 10 years since gaining his Ph.D., Geoff has been exceptionally productive, moving forward the core disciplines of visual perception, attention and memory, through his many insightful and high-impact papers. His breadth, technical versatility and innovation, particularly in linking human and non-human-primate studies, represent true excellence in vision sciences research.”

As the awardee Woodman gave a presentation titled, “Attention, memory, and visual cognition viewed through the lens of electrophysiology,” at the society’s meeting in Naples, Italy, in May. In the talk he discussed how measurements of electrical potentials from the brain offer a lens through which to observe the processing of complex scenes such as finding your children in a crowded playground or finding your keys in a cluttered kitchen.

Professor of Psychology Frank Tong received the award in 2009.