May 12, 2006

Kennedy Center’s Blake elected

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Randolph Blake, Ph.D.

Kennedy Center’s Blake elected

Vanderbilt psychologist Randolph Blake, Ph.D., has been named to the American Academy of Arts and Science, a distinguished class of scientists, politicians, authors, artists and others.

The academy named 195 new fellows for 2006. In addition to Blake, the list includes former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts; Nobel Prize-winning biochemist and Rockefeller University President Sir Paul Nurse; Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the chair and vice chair of the 9/11 commission,; film director Martin Scorsese; choreographer Meredith Monk; conductor Michael Tilson Thomas; and New York Stock Exchange Chair Marshall Carter.

Blake is Centennial Professor of Psychology, former chair of the department and a Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development fellow. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative and Cognitive Neuroscience and is a founding member of the Vanderbilt Vision Research Center.

Using behavioral and brain imaging techniques, Blake studies human visual perception, with an emphasis on binocular vision, motion perception and the dynamics of perceptual organization. In recent years, he has also worked on visual imagery, visual memory, synaesthesia — a phenomenon in which an individual's senses, such as taste and vision, become confused — and the role of knowledge in visual perception.

Blake, who earned his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1972, came back to the university in 1988 from Northwestern University, where he spent 14 years studying human and animal vision. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine/University of Texas Health Sciences Center from 1972 to 1974.

Blake is a fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He has held the William Evans Chair at Otago University and received the Early Career Award from the American Psychological Association and a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. He also received the Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research from Vanderbilt in 2000.

Vanderbilt AAAS fellows named in past years include Chancellor Emeritus Alexander Heard; Thomas F. Frist Professor of Medicine John Oates, M.D.; former Hortense B. Ingram Chair of Molecular Oncology Brigid Hogan, Ph.D.; and Distinguished Professor of Psychology Jon Kaas, Ph.D.

The new fellows will be formally inducted on Oct. 7 in a ceremony at the society's Cambridge, Mass., headquarters.

Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. Members include scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs and business.