The National Academy of Sciences on April 29 elected UO brain scientist Helen J. Neville as one of 21 foreign associates from 15 countries.
Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Members and foreign associates, who are nonvoting members of the academy, are chosen in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
The NAS elected 84 new members this year in addition to the 21 foreign associates.
Neville's research makes use of psychophysical, electrophysiological and magnetic resonance imaging techniques to study the development and plasticity of the human brain. Her work has regularly brought new understanding of the nature and mechanisms of human brain plasticity and has led to the design and adoption of education programs that address inequality between students of lower and higher socioeconomic status, especially children.
She has won numerous national and international awards, including the 2011 Transforming Education through Neuroscience Award given by the International Mind, Brain, and Education Society. In 2007, she was elected into American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Among her accomplishments was the release in late 2009 of an educational DVD produced in the UO's Brain Development Lab, which she directs. "Changing Brains: Effects of Experience on Human Development" has since been distributed widely to social service agencies and the general public.
Neville earned a bachelor's degree from the University of British Columbia and a master's degree from Simon Fraser University (British Columbia). Her doctorate is from Cornell University.
Neville becomes the eighth active member among the academy's current roster of 2,214 full members and 444 foreign associates. Affiliations on the academy's active roster are based on the home institution of members at the time of their election. She joins Eric Selker (2012), Geraldine Richmond (2011), Brian Matthews (1986), John Schellman (1982), Michael Posner (1981), Peter von Hippel (1978) and Franklin Stahl (1976).