Creative Research Award 2016
Jennifer McDowell, professor of psychology, is an outstanding researcher who has dedicated much of her professional career to the study of cognition and brain function in healthy humans as well as those with psychiatric disorders. She integrates behavioral and multi-modal brain imaging methods, including electroencephalogram and functional magnetic resonance imaging, to provide comprehensive understanding of cognitive problems and what may be done to treat them. McDowell also conducted a series of methodologically sophisticated studies that documented the nature of cognitive control deficits in people with schizophrenia and their relatives using a particularly informative model based on eye movement performance. She has published scholarly papers in top journals on cognitive control deficits. These studies demonstrate that impaired cognitive control in schizophrenia is a core feature of the disorder, which may ultimately result in a change of the diagnostic standard or provide a target for functional rehabilitation.