Gordon Logan (psychologist)

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Gordon Logan is the Centennial Professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University. A cognitive and mathematical psychologist, Logan is well known for his work on cognitive control and inhibition of cognitive and motor activity, divided attention and the nature of the human brain’s processing limitations, and the fundamental characterization of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD. He has also done extensive research on the hierarchical control of skilled copytyping, which he views as a useful model for hierarchically organized complex human skills in general. He collaborates on research that applies mathematical models to neural and behavioral data.

Logan received his BA and MSc from the University of Alberta in 1969 and 1972, and received his PhD from McGill University in 1975. He was on the faculty of Queen's University, University of Waterloo, University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, Purdue University, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign prior to joining the faculty at Vanderbilt.

According to Google Scholar, Logan’s work has been cited more than 33,000 times and he has an h index of 86 (as of 2017).[1] He has been the recipient of many grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. He is the editor-in-chief of Cognitive Psychology.[2]


Logan was elected to membership in the Society of Experimental Psychologists. He is also an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science.[3] Logan received the Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 2014 [4] and gave the Sir Frederic Bartlett Lecture to the Experimental Psychology Society in the UK in 2014 [5] He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016 and received a Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association in 2017.[6] He was elected a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in April 2019.[7]

Inventions and discoveries[edit]

He is known for development of the Stop Signal paradigm which is generally cited as the standard method of studying cognitive inhibition in cognitive psychology and human cognitive neuroscience.[8] [9][10][11] "The stop-signal paradigm, is a popular experimental paradigm to study response inhibition."[12]

He also developed the Instance Theory of Automatization which provides a potential account for basic mechanisms of skill acquisition.[13]


  1. ^ "Gordon Logan". Google Scholar. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  2. ^ "Cognitive Psychology". Committee on Publication Ethics. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  3. ^ Official biography at Vanderbilt
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ "APA Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions". APA. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  7. ^ "2019 NAS Election". National Academy of Sciences. April 30, 2019.
  8. ^ Adam R. Aron and Russell A. Poldrack "Cortical and Subcortical Contributions to Stop Signal Response Inhibition: Role of the Subthalamic Nucleus" Journal of Neuroscience, 26(9): 2424-2433; doi: 10.1523 [3]
  9. ^ Logan, G. D., & Cowan, W. B. (1984). On the ability to inhibit thought and action: A theory of an act of control. Psychological Review, 91(3), 295-327
  10. ^ Crump, M. J., & Logan, G. D. (2010). Hierarchical control and skilled typing: evidence for word-level control over the execution of individual keystrokes. Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36(6), 1369-1380.
  11. ^ Logan, G. D. (1994). "On the ability to inhibit thought and action: A users' guide to the stop signal paradigm." In D. Dagenbach & T. H. Carr (Eds), Inhibitory processes in attention, memory, and language. (pp. 189-239). San Diego: Academic Press
  12. ^ Wixted, John T. and Wagenmakers, Eric-Jan; eds. (2018). Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Methodology, p.419. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781119170129.
  13. ^ Logan, G. D. (1988). Toward an instance theory of automatization. Psychological Review, 95(4), 492-527

External links[edit]