SANS is pleased to recognize our members with three key awards each year.

2023 Distinguished Scholar Award

The Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes the broad scope and potentially integrative nature of scholarship in social and affective neuroscience. It honors a scholar who has made distinctively valuable research contributions across his or her career in areas by significantly advancing our understanding of the biological basis of social and affective processes or expanding the core of social and affective neuroscience discipline. The winner of this award will receive travel compensation (up to $599 USD) and complimentary registration to the annual meeting.

2023 Nomination Process

Eveline Crone

Eveline Crone

2022 Distinguished Scholar Award Winner

Prof. Eveline Crone is full professor in Developmental Neuroscience in Society at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her Society, Youth and Neuroscience Connected (SYNC) lab examines the psychological and neural processes involved in self-regulation and social development from birth to adulthood, with a special focus on adolescence. Her research relies strongly on translational approaches, involving societal partners and youth in the full research cycle. Prof. Eveline Crone is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and is vice-president of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC), the European Commission’s excellence program for Frontier Research. Prof. Crone has been awarded several prestigious research grants including the Spinoza award for her research on the adolescent brain. The Spinoza award is the highest recognition in Dutch Science.

In addition to her scientific work, Eveline has been successfully communicating her findings to the general public. In 2018 she published the revision of the Dutch book “Het puberende brein” for a wide audience, of which over 100,000 copies have been sold. The book has been translated into six languages. In this book, Eveline Crone explains the influence of brain development on learning, risk-taking and the social relations and friendships of adolescents.

Past Winners

2021 – Uta & Chris Frith

2019 – Nancy Kanwisher

– Betsy Murray

2017 – B.J. Casey

2016 – John Cacioppo

2015 – James J. Gross

2014 – Elizabeth Phelps

2013 – Ralph Adolphs

2023 Early Career Award

The Early Career Award recognizes an early-stage investigator who has made significant contributions to Social and Affective Neuroscience terms of outstanding scholarship and service to the field.  The winner of the award will receive a $500 prize, complimentary registration, and be invited to give a short talk at the annual meeting.

2023 Nomination Process

  • Candidates will be evaluated by a committee comprised of the past, current and future Presidents of the society. To be eligible for the award, candidates must be an active member of the society and within 10 years of completing their Ph.D. at the time of the nomination.
  • The deadline for the Early Career Award is January 27, 2023. The following materials should be submitted for consideration to
    • a one-page cover letter that highlights the candidate’s research program, service and other accomplishments,
    • the candidate’s CV,
    • three representative publications and
    • two letters of recommendation.
  • The first three items should be combined into a single PDF and emailed to the email address above.
  • The letters of recommendation should be sent to the same address, with the name of the candidate in the subject line.
  • The successful candidate must attend the 2023 conference and be prepared to give a 30 minute presentation
Jon Freeman

Jon Freeman

Columbia University

2022 Early Career Award Winner

Jon Freeman is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Columbia University. His research focuses on how we perceive other people, such as how we categorize others into social groups, infer their emotion or personality via facial cues, and more generally how we understand and react to our social world. His work examines the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying person perception, stereotyping and less conscious forms of bias, and decision-making in social contexts, including the interplay of social, emotional, and visual processes in perceptual and interpersonal judgments. He takes an integrative and multi-level approach that makes use of several techniques, including functional neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral paradigms. His research has been recognized with awards including the NSF CAREER Award, the APS Janet Taylor Spence Award, the Society for Personality & Social Psychology’s SAGE Young Scholars Award, the Society for Social Neuroscience’s Early Career Award, and the International Social Cognition Network’s Early Career Award. His advocacy work on the disparities and educational and career barriers LGBTQ people face in STEM, and the central role that demographic data have in understanding and addressing them, recently led the US government’s national STEM workforce surveys to pilot sexual orientation and gender identity questions. For this work he was recognized with the LGBTQ Scientist of the Year Award from NOGLSTP.

Past Winners

2021 – Catherine Hartley

2020 – Emily Falk

2019 – Jamil Zaki

2018 – Leah Somerville

2023 Innovation Award

The SANS Innovation Award recognizes a particular article authored by a SANS member and published in a scholarly outlet that makes a contribution likely to generate the discovery of new hypotheses, new phenomena, or new ways of thinking about the discipline of social and affective neuroscience. Any kind of innovative contribution (including developments of new theory or methods, including analytic methods; innovative applications of existing methods; and creative application of methods from other fields) is eligible. Contributions may be judged innovative and generative even before they have generated substantial empirical findings. The award selection will focus on a contribution’s conceptual innovation and potential to motivate new research and further conceptual investigation.

2023 Nomination Process

  • Nominations for the Innovation Award are due to the award committee (comprised of the past President of the society and a member at large) by January 27, 2023.
  • Finalists will be announced to the society at the annual meeting, where electronic voting will determine the winner.
  • The recipient of the award is the first author
  • Current members of the executive committee are ineligible to receive the award. If a member of the award committee is an author on any nominated paper, they will recuse themselves and be replaced with another executive committee member.
  • Nominations include the article and a 200 word statement specifying the nature and impact (or likely impact) of the article’s contribution sent to .
  • Individuals may self-nominate or be nominated by others.
  • The Award Nomination Panel also reserves the right to nominate potential recipients for this award.
  • Articles must have been published in 2021 or 2022.
  • At least one of the authors must currently be a SANS member in good standing (at the time the selection occurs).
  • Award is given with no requirement to attend the annual conference. However, nominees are encouraged to attend as the winner will be selected by vote and announced during the conference.
Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood

University of Birmingham

2022 Innovation Award Winner

Dr. Patricia Lockwood is a Sir Henry Dale Fellow and Jacobs Foundation Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham, UK. Her lab investigates social learning and decision-making across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders using a mixture of computational modelling, behavioural measures, self report, patient studies and neuroimaging.

Patricia L. Lockwood ,1,2,3,* Matthew A.J. Apps,1,2,3,7 and Steve W.C. Chang4,5,6,7
1Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford
2Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging, University of Oxford
3Centre for Human Brain Health, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham
4Department of Psychology, Yale University
5Department of Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine
6Kavli Institute for Neuroscience, Yale University School of Medicine
7Equal contributions
You can read more about the work in the lab here:
Past Winners

2021 – Dal Monte, O., Chu, C., Fagan, N.,and Chang, S (2020).  Specialized medial prefrontal–amygdala coordination in other-regarding decision preference.  Nature Neuroscience, 2020 April 23(4): 565-574.

2019 – FeldmanHall, O., Dunsmoor, J. E., Tompary, A., Hunter, L. E., Todorov, A., & Phelps, E. A. (2018). Stimulus generalization as a mechanism for learning to trust. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(7), E1690-E1697.

2018 – Parkinson, C., Kleinbaum, A.M. & Wheatley, T. (2017).  Spontaneous neural encoding of social network position. Nature Human Behavior, 1(5), 0072.

2017 – Lockwood, Patricia L., Apps, M.A.J., Valton, V., Viding, E., Rosier, J.P. (2016). Neurocomputational mechanisms of prosocial learning and links to empathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 9763-9768.
2017 – Stolier, Ryan M. & Freeman, J.B. Neural pattern similarity reveals the inherent intersection of social categories. Nature Neuroscience, 19, 795-797.

2016 – Jack, Rachael. E., , Garrod, O.G.B., Schyns, P.G. (2014) Dynamic facial expressions of emotion transmit an evolving hierarchy of signals over time. Current Biology, 24, 187-192. 

2015 – Preston, Stephanie D. (2013). The origins of altruism in offspring care. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 1305-1341.

2014 – McKell Carter, R., Bowling, D. L., Reeck, C., & Huettel, S. A. (2012). A distinct role of the temporal-parietal junction in predicting socially guided decisions. Science, 337, 109-111.

2013 – Yarkoni, T., Poldrack, R. A., Nichols, T. E., Van Essen, D. C., & Wager, T. D. (2011). Large-scale automated synthesis of human functional neuroimaging data. Nature Methods, 8, 665-670.