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

2024 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 their 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 2024 conference in Toronto.
SANS DSA Rubric 2024

Mauricio Delgado

Mauricio Delgado

2024 Distinguished Scholar Award Winner

Mauricio Delgado is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Rutgers University-Newark. He is the Director of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Lab and serves as the Associate Director of the Rutgers University Brain Imaging Center (RUBIC). He received his B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior from Wesleyan University and his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh under the mentorship of Dr. Julie Fiez. He was a postdoctoral fellow at New York University working with Dr. Elizabeth Phelps.

Dr. Delgado’s research program focuses on understanding the influence of positive and negative emotions on our ability to learn, adapt and make decisions.  The lab utilizes functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and behavioral measures to investigate how we process positive and negative stimuli such as money or feedback from our peers, how we use this information to make decisions, and how we control or regulate our emotions.  His research has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and the McKnight Foundation.

Dr. Delgado was the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and a Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence at Rutgers University. In 2018, Dr. Delgado was honored to serve as President of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society.

Past Winners

2023 – Matthew Lieberman

2022 – Eveline Crone

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

2024 Mid-Career Award

As a way to better recognize our membership for their work, we have introduced the Mid-Career Award for 2024. The award recognizes an mid-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 to the 2024 conference in Toronto, and be invited to give a short talk at the annual meeting.
SANS MCA Rubric 2024

Luke Chang

Luke Chang

Dartmouth College

2024 Mid-Career Award Winner

Luke Chang, PhD is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College where he directs the Computational Social Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and co-directs the Consortium for Interacting Minds. He completed a BA in psychology at Reed College, an MA in psychology at the New School for Social Research, and a PhD in clinical psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the University of Arizona. In addition, Luke completed his predoctoral clinical internship training in behavioral medicine at the University of California Los Angeles and a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Boulder in multivariate neuroimaging techniques. His research is funded by the NSF and NIH and is focused on understanding the neurobiological and computational mechanisms underlying emotions and social interactions. He has been recognized by the Association for Psychological Science with the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions and is a strong advocate for improving methods and quantitative training and has developed several opensource software packages, summer training programs, and online books.

2024 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 to the 2024 conference in Toronto, and be invited to give a short talk at the annual meeting.
SANS ECA Rubric 2024

Justin Minue Kim

Justin Minue Kim

Sungkyunkwan University

2024 Early Career Award Winner

Justin Minue Kim is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. He is the director of the Human Affective Neuroscience Laboratory and a faculty member of the Center for Neuroscience Imaging Research at the Institute for Basic Science. He received a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Seoul National University, and a Ph.D. in Psychological and Brain Sciences from Dartmouth College. Afterwards, he completed his postdoctoral training at Duke University. His research, funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea, is dedicated to understanding the psychological and neurobiological mechanisms that underpin how we experience our own emotions and evaluate the emotions of others. He was the recipient of the Hannah Croasdale Award for Academic Excellence at Dartmouth College and recognized as an APS Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science.

Past Winners

2023 – Oriel FeldmanHall

2022 – Jon Freeman

2021 – Catherine Hartley

2020 – Emily Falk

2019 – Jamil Zaki

2018 – Leah Somerville

2024 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.
SANS IA Rubric 2024

2024 Innovation Award Finalists

*In order by last name of first author.

Camacho, M.C., Nielsen, A.N., Balser, D. et al. Large-scale encoding of emotion concepts becomes increasingly similar between individuals from childhood to adolescence. Nat Neurosci 26, 1256–1266 (2023).
Download the PDF and Read Now.

Elder, J.J., Davis, T.H., & Hughes, B.L. (2023). A Fluid Self-Concept: How the Brain Maintains Coherence and Positivity across an Interconnected Self-Concept While Incorporating Social Feedback.

McClay, M., Sachs, M.E. & Clewett, D. Dynamic emotional states shape the episodic structure of memory. Nat Commun 14, 6533 (2023).
Download the PDF and Read Now.

Tusche, A., Spunt, R.P., Paul, L.K. et al. Neural signatures of social inferences predict the number of real-life social contacts and autism severity. Nat Commun 14, 4399 (2023).
Download the PDF and Read Now.

Past Winners

2023Lin, C., Keles, U. & Adolphs, R. Four dimensions characterize attributions from faces using a representative set of English trait words. Nat Commun 12, 5168 (2021).

2022 – Lockwood, P., Apps, M. & Chang, S.W.C (2020). Is There a ‘Social’ Brain? Implementations and Algorithms. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 24(10), 802-813.

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.

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