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Joseph LeDoux Wins American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award

The longtime Academy member is recognized for "reinvigorating the field of emotion."

Published October 20, 2010

Joseph LeDoux, university professor in the New York University Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, has been awarded the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for “his success in reinvigorating the field of emotion by uncovering the neural mechanisms of emotional learning.”

LeDoux has been an Academy member for a decade and is on the organizing committee for the March 2011 Academy conference “Music, Science & Medicine: Frontiers in Biomedical Research & Clinical Applications.” LeDoux has mapped the neural circuits underlying fear and fear memory through the brain, and has identified cells, synapses, and molecules that make emotional learning and memory possible.

The American Psychological Association noted that in “applying the tools of modern neuroscience”—including human brain imaging—“LeDoux revolutionized the way psychologists view emotional learning and the importance of unconscious versus conscious processes.” The association added that his “neuroscientific findings have led to novel ways to treat anxiety disorders.”

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