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BC Neuroscientist Wins Early Career Award

Chestnut Hill, Mass. (September 2011) - Psychology Assistant Professor Liane Young has received the 2011 Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Social Neuroscience from the Society for Social Neuroscience.

Liane Young
Liane Young

This is third early career award for faculty in the Psychology Department in recent months. Associate Professor Elizabeth Kensinger received the American Psychological Foundation’s 2010-11 F. J. McGuigan Young Investigator Prize, while Assistant Professor Alexa Veenema won a Young Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression in January.

"Liane Young, the newest faculty member to join the Psychology Department, is carrying out innovative and important work on the neural bases of moral reasoning," said Professor Ellen Winner, chair of the department. "We are extremely proud that she is our third faculty member to have been honored with a young investigator award."

"Social neuroscience is an exciting new field, and I'm honored to be a part of the movement," said Young. "I'm very excited to join the Boston College faculty. It has been a total delight to get to know my colleagues both in the department and across the University."

Young, who holds a doctoral degree from Harvard University, came to BC this year from a position as a post-doctoral associate in brain and cognitive sciences at MIT, where she also was a visiting scholar of philosophy.

Her research focuses on moral psychology and neuroscience, specifically the role of theory of the mind in moral judgment; moral judgments vs. moral behavior; motivated moral reasoning; conceptions of the self and free will, and cultural and individual differences in moral cognition.

She was the recipient of a National Science Foundation graduate student fellowship, among other awards, and was co-author of a study of moral judgments by autistic adults that was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year.

The Society for Social Neuroscience is an international, interdisciplinary, scientific, nonprofit society established to advance and foster scientific research, training, and applications. The award will be presented at the organization's second annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in November.

--Patti Delaney is deputy director of the Office of News & Public Affairs;