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.
Matthew Lieberman (he/him)
2023 Distinguished Scholar Award Winner
Matthew Lieberman is a professor at University of California, Los Angeles but still considers himself a philosopher who just wanted some data. Matt was dubbed one of the so-called “young turks” back in 2001, when social neuroscience was still social cognitive neuroscience and he hosted the first-ever social neuroscience conference in West Hollywood. He had the good fortune to be the first person hired in the U.S. to use fMRI to examine social psychological questions which gave him a massive first mover advantage in recruiting many trainees who went on to be central to our field. His research interests have been extremely varied, usually involving a new research program with each new trainee or collaborator. These areas include: social pain, self-knowledge, affect labeling, persuasion, mentalizing, positive empathy, social working memory, and what the default mode network actually does for us at rest. Now as an “old turk”, his interests have turned to making social neuroscience more ‘social’ by using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to examine people while they interact and have conversations, sometimes far from the university lab. This approach uses neural synchrony to identify when people are seeing things in (in)compatible ways, the consequences this has for friendship, teams, and ideological conflict, and how different interventions can alter these dynamics.
In 2013, Matt published his bestselling book “Social: Why our brains are wired to connect” but if you are going to read one thing of his, he recommends his 2022 Psych Review paper “Seeing minds, matter, and meaning: The CEEing model of pre-reflective subjective construal”. Matt was also the founding Editor-in-Chief of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, a position he has held for nearly twenty years. Finally, outside of academia, Matt is the co-founder of Resonance, a company that uses artificial intelligence to help members of large communities make new meaningful connections in order to fight the growing loneliness crises in our schools, workplaces, and communities.
2022 – Eveline Crone
2021 – Uta & Chris Frith
2019 – Nancy Kanwisher
2018 – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.