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Richard N. Aslin, Haskins Laboratories and Yale University, received the 2020 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences.

Aslin has made landmark contributions to the study of infancy over the past 40 years, including revelations about the development of vision and speech perception, as well as the early stages of language acquisition. 

Aslin’s research provided important findings about statistical learning — the rapid acquisition of temporal and spatial patterns — in adults, children, and infants. He has helped to pioneer the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to understand the neural underpinnings of learning and development in infants.

A renowned mentor, Aslin’s collaborators and students have gone on to establish their own groundbreaking lines of study. He has also shown leadership in the field by standing up to support his students, especially women, when they face injustice.

The Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences (formerly the NAS Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences) is presented to honor significant advances in the psychological and cognitive sciences with important implications for formal and systematic theory in these fields. Two prizes of $100,000 are presented biennially. The prize was established by Richard C. Atkinson in 2013.


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