James McClelland

James McClelland

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded the 2014 C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science (USD 200,000) to professor James McClelland, Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at the University of  Stanford (United States).
Professor McClelland is receiving this award for his important and fundamental contributions to the use of neural networks to model cognitive processes of the brain.


James (‘Jay’) McClelland was born in Cambridge (U.S.) on 1 December 1948. He studied at Columbia University in New York City and got his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia in 1975.

The year before, McClelland had taken up a research position at the University of California at San Diego, while occasionally doing guest professorships at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (U.S.).

In 1984, McClelland transferred to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (U.S.). His seminal work Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition, however, was published in 1986 together with David E. Rumelhart and other former colleagues from San Diego. Today, the book has been cited over 19,000 times.

McClelland became Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at the University of  Stanford (U.S.) in 2006. He also leads Stanford’s Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation, which he has founded.

McClelland has received honorary doctorates from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the New Bulgarian University in Sofia. He is member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and President of the Psychology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Press photos

Persfoto's James McClelland

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