2010 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement
Michael Spivey, a professor of cognitive science at the University of California, Merced, is known for his innovative studies of language and visual perception. He was the driving force in creating a new line of research in psycholinguistics. His research has blazed new paths into understanding how people perceive, think and act. He uses eye-tracking and computer mouse-tracking equipment to study how humans perceive and respond to what they hear and see. Motion-tracking software and hardware document not only the subjects' final answers but also the answers they considered along the way. The end result is a more accurate representation of how the human brain processes information. This and related work is described in his book, The Continuity of Mind (Oxford University Press, 2007). He taught at Cornell University from 1996-2008. Spivey received an M.A. in psychology and Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has served as a visiting professor at the Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research and is the author or co-author of more than 100 articles, book chapters and conference papers. He is associate editor of Language and Cognitive Processes and serves on a number of editorial and governing boards, as well as a reviewer for more than 25 journals. His many honors include the UCM Academic Senate Award for Distinction in Research, the Sigma Xi Distinguished Scientist Award, the Sproull Fellows Award for Scholarly Excellence from the University of Rochester and two Merrill Presidential Scholar's Outstanding Educator awards from Cornell University. He is a member of Sigma Xi.