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At the time of his death, Driver was Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). From 2009 Driver held a Royal Society Anniversary Research Professorship, which allowed him to concentrate on research. He was formerly Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary research centre that studies mental processes in the human brain. He was a principal investigator at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL.
In 2005 Driver was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences; in 2006 as a member of Academia Europaea, the Academy of Europe; and in 2008 as a Fellow of the British Academy. Previous awards include the Spearman Medal of the British Psychological Society, the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Prize, and the EPS Mid-Career Award. He received a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award; a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship; and, at the time of his death, held a Royal Society Research Professorship.
Driver's research focused on perception, selective attention and multisensory integration (interplay between our different senses) in the normal and damaged human brain. He used a combination of psychophysical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and TMS methods, including most recently a combined brain stimulation and brain imaging approach (concurrent TMS-fMRI). His research had been funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Biology and Biotechnology Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the McDonnell Foundation, and The Stroke Association. Driver authored over 200 scientific publications.
Driver was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 4 July 1962. He was brought up in Hull where he attended Hymers College. He took his own life in London on 28 November 2011, aged 49. He is survived by his wife, Nilli Lavie, and their two sons.
- Driver, J.; Blankenburg, F.; Bestmann, S.; Ruff, C. C. (2010). "New approaches to the study of human brain networks underlying spatial attention and related processes". Experimental Brain Research. 206 (2): 153. doi:10.1007/s00221-010-2205-7.
- Driver, J. (1996). "Enhancement of selective listening by illusory mislocation of speech sounds due to lip-reading". Nature. 381 (6577): 66–68. doi:10.1038/381066a0. PMID 8609989.
- Ruff, C. C.; Blankenburg, F.; Bjoertomt, O.; Bestmann, S.; Freeman, E.; Haynes, J. D.; Rees, G.; Josephs, O.; Deichmann, R.; Driver, J. (2006). "Concurrent TMS-fMRI and Psychophysics Reveal Frontal Influences on Human Retinotopic Visual Cortex". Current Biology. 16 (15): 1479–1488. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.06.057. PMID 16890523.