William James Prize

William James Prize

The William James Prize for Contributions to the Study of Consciousness is an award given by the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness.

Each year one prize is awarded for an outstanding published contribution to the empirical or philosophical study of consciousness by a graduate student or postdoctoral scholar within five years of receiving a PhD or other advanced degree.

The prize consists of:
#An award of $1000(USD);
#Invitation to present a plenary address at the next meeting of the ASSC;
#Lifetime membership in the ASSC.

The 2006 prize committee consists of:
* Dan Dennett, Tufts (chair)
* Ned Block, New York University
* Chris Frith, University College London

Past Recipients

2007 - The fourth William James Prize for Contributions to the Study of Consciousness was awarded to Sid Kouider in Las Vegas Nevada at the 11th Annual Meeting of ASSC. Sid’s publication, "Cerebral bases of subliminal and supraliminal priming during reading" (Cerebral Cortex, 2007, 17, 2019-2029) was selected as the winning nomination from the 18 nominations received for consideration. The research described in the publication examined brain activity evoked by visible and invisible stimuli, both of which were irrelevant to the task so as to minimize the involvement of attentional or strategic processes. Under these conditions, prime visibility was associated with greater activity in the bilateral posterior occipito-temporal cortices, without extension into frontal and parietal cortices. These findings suggest that there is an intermediate level of conscious processing between subliminal perception and conscious access. Sid Kouider completed his studies for a Ph.D in Cognitive Sciences in 2002 at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique (ENS/CNRS/EHESS), Paris. He is currently a CNRS Associate Researcher at the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris.

2006 - The third William James Prize for Contributions to the Study of Consciousness was awarded in Oxford England at the 10th Annual Meeting of ASSC. Publications by 16 researchers were nominated for consideration by the Prize Committee. From these nominations, the committee selected "Traveling waves of activity in early visual cortex during binocular rivalry" by Sang-Hun Lee as the winning nomination. This research combined psychophysics and fMRI to show that there is a tight linkage in humans between the dynamics of perceptual traveling waves experienced during binocular rivalry and the neural events in primary visual cortex (i.e., V1). Sang-Hun Lee received his Ph.D in Visual Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University in 2001. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Program in Brain Science at the Seoul National University.

2005 - The second William James Prize was awarded at the 9th Annual Meeting of ASSC in Pasadena, California. Seventeen articles were nominated for consideration by the Prize Committee. From these nominations, the Committee selected "Attention to Intention" by Hakwan Lau and colleagues as the winning nomination. The article describes research showing that attending to the intention to initiate a movement (as contrasted with attending to the movement itself) leads to an enhancement of activity in the pre-supplementary motor area. This finding suggests that activity in the pre-SMA reflects the representation of intention and that attention to intention may be one way in which effective conscious control of action is possible. Hakwan Lau received his D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Oxford in 2004, and he is currently an assistant professor at Columbia University. 2004 - The William James Prize for Contributions to the Study of Consciousness was awarded for the first time at the 8th Annual Meeting of ASSC in Antwerp, Belgium. Twenty-six articles by young investigators were nominated for consideration. From these nominations, the Prize Committee selected "Brain Function in the Vegetative State" by Steven Laureys and colleagues as the winning nomination. This article deals with the alteration or loss of consciousness caused by metabolic, toxic, traumatic, or anoxic pathology. Although the resultant state is often referred to as 'coma', a variety of different states can be distinguished when behavioural assessment is combined with measures of brain activity. Steven Laureys is a research associate at the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FNRS). He is currently working at the University of Liege where he uses neuroimaging methods to study the activation patterns that can be elicited in patients despite massive overall reductions in cerebral metabolism.

External links

Papers awarded

* Award for 2006: " [http://scholar.google.de/url?sa=U&q=http://www.indiana.edu/~iung/fmriPapers/lee_blake_heeger_twave.pdf Traveling waves of activity in early visual cortex during binocular rivalry] " by Sang-Hun Lee and colleagues (Nature Neuroscience, 2005, 8, 22-23)
* Award for 2005: " [http://www.assc.caltech.edu/lau.science.pdf Attention to Intention] " by Hakwan Lau and colleagues (Science, 2004, 303, 1208-1210).
* Award for 2004: " [http://www.assc.caltech.edu/VS_ANB2002.pdf Brain Function in the Vegetative State] " by Steven Laureys and colleagues (Acta Neurologica Belgica, 2002, 102, 177-185).

Useful links

* [http://www.assc.caltech.edu/prize.htm William James Prize homepage]
* [http://www.ulg.ac.be/crc/fr/slaureys.html Homepage of Steven Laureys]
* [http://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/~hclau/ Homepage of Hakwan Lau]

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