Asifa Majid, Professor of Cognitive Science, has been awarded the prestigious Elman prize named in honour of Jeffrey Elman. This award, presented each year at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, is given to mid-career cognitive scientists (individuals or teams) whose accomplishments exemplify the twin strands of scientific excellence and commitment to community-building and service that were so evident in Jeff Elman’s career. The prize consists of a hand-crafted, custom silver medal, a certificate, a citation of the awardee’s contributions, and a monetary award of $25,000.
Asifa, and her team, investigate the relationship between language, culture, and cognition by conducting studies with adults in different cultures and sub-cultures, and by tracing how concepts develop over a child’s lifetime in diverse cultural contexts. The goal is to establish which aspects of cognition are fundamentally shared, and which are language or culture-specific. This work combines laboratory and field experiments, as well as in-depth linguistic studies and ethnographically-informed description. This coordinated approach has been used to study domains such as space, events, and perception, with a special interest in olfaction.
Professor Asifa Majid works on some of the fundamental aspects of psychology: the structure of thought and the way in which language affects the organization of the mind. We are very proud to have someone of her calibre working in the Department of Experimental Psychology and I am delighted that she has been awarded the Jeffrey L. Elman Prize for Scientific Achievement and Community Building.
- Professor Matthew Rushworth