Wixted Receives AAAS John P. McGovern Award Lecture in Behavioral Sciences

The Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded the 2022 John P. McGovern Award Lecture in the Behavioral Sciences to APS Fellow John T. Wixted for his contributions to the overall understanding of human memory

In December, the APS journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest featured Wixted’s research (with APS Fellows Gary L. Wells and Elizabeth F. Loftus) on flaws inherent on relying on eyewitness memory in courtroom proceedings. “Test a witness’s memory of a suspect only once,” the researchers urged. Wixted discussed this research further in an interview on the APS podcast Under the Cortex. 

According to the official AAAS award announcement, “[Wixted] is being recognized for his work on understanding the mechanisms of human memory, focusing on the neuroscience of memory and amnesia, signal-detection and analyses of recognition memory, and eyewitness memory.” 

Wixted is a distinguished professor of psychology at University of California San Diego (UCSD), where he researches episodic memory and cognitive mechanisms regarding recognition memory through signal detection theory. His UCSD profile mentions his related work, which “investigates how episodic memory is represented in the human hippocampus,” and “is based mainly on single-unit recording studies performed with epilepsy patients.” 

First delivered in 1990, the John P. McGovern Award Lecture was created to help further scholars’ research and exploration of the behavioral sciences and includes a $5,000 cash prize. Wixted will deliver the lecture at the 2022 AAAS Annual Meeting in February. 

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