James McClelland (psychologist)

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James Lloyd McClelland
Born (1948-12-01) December 1, 1948 (age 66)
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Nationality United States
Fields Psychology
Alma mater Columbia University
University of Pennsylvania
Notable awards Grawemeyer Award in Psychology (2002)
Rumelhart Prize (2010)
Website
www-psych.stanford.edu/~jlm/

James Lloyd "Jay" McClelland (born December 1, 1948) is the Lucie Stern Professor at Stanford University, where he was formerly the chair of the Psychology Department.[1] He is best known for his work on statistical learning and Parallel Distributed Processing, applying connectionist models (or neural networks) to explain cognitive phenomena such as spoken word recognition and visual word recognition. McClelland is to a large extent responsible for the "connectionist revolution" of the 1980s, which saw a large increase in scientific interest for connectionism.

Early life and education[edit]

McClelland born on December 1, 1948 to Walter Moore and Frances (Shaffer) McClelland. He received a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University in 1970, and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. He married Heidi Marsha Feldman on May 6, 1978, and has two daughters.[2]

Career[edit]

In 1986 McClelland published Parallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition with David Rumelhart, which some still regard as a bible for cognitive scientists. His present work focuses on learning, memory processes, and psycholinguistics, still within the framework of connectionist models. He is a former chair of the Rumelhart Prize committee, having collaborated with Rumelhart for many years, and himself received the award in 2010 at the Cognitive Science Society Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

McClelland and David Rumelhart are known for their debate with Steven Pinker and Alan Prince regarding the necessity of a language-specific learning module.

In fall 2006 McClelland moved to Stanford University from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a professor of psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. He also holds a part-time appointment as Consulting Professor at the Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit (NARU) within the School of Psychological Sciences, University of Manchester.

Awards[edit]

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