Jon Driver

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Jonathon Stevens "Jon" Driver, FMedSci, FBA (4 July 1962 – 28 November 2011) was a psychologist and neuroscientist.


Driver studied at The Queen's College, Oxford and received a First Class degree in Experimental Psychology in 1984. He then stayed on at Oxford for his DPhil (awarded in 1988), under the supervision of Alan Allport and Peter McLeod.[1][2]


Following postdoctoral work in the US with Michael Posner at the University of Oregon, Driver took up a lectureship in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge University in 1990. In 1996 he was appointed to a professorship at Birkbeck College, and in 1998 he became Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London (UCL). From 2004 - 2009 he was Director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, an interdisciplinary research centre that studies mental processes in the human brain. From 2009 Driver held a Royal Society Anniversary Research Professorship, which allowed him to concentrate on research. He was also a principal investigator at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL.[3]


In 2005 Driver was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences; in 2006 as a member of Academia Europaea,[4] the Academy of Europe; and in 2008 as a Fellow of the British Academy.[3]

Driver received many prestigious awards during his career, including the Spearman Medal of the British Psychological Society, the Experimental Psychology Society (EPS) Prize, and the EPS Mid-Career Award. He was also awarded a Royal Society-Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. From 2009, Driver held a Royal Society Anniversary Research Professorship (one of only six scientists selected across all disciplines).[5]


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 was 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, and his work has been cited over 50,000 times.[6][2]

Personal life[edit]

Driver was born in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on 4 July 1962.[1] He was brought up in Hull and attended Hymers College, where he played cello in the school orchestra and also played bass guitar in a number of bands in Hull.[7] From his teens onwards he was a devoted and expert fly fisherman, which he pursued in the chalk streams of southern England.

He took his own life in London on 28 November 2011, aged 49, ten months after shattering his knee in a motorcycle accident which left him in debilitating chronic pain.[1][8] He is survived by his wife, Nilli Lavie, and their two sons.[1]

Jon Driver Prize[edit]

To honour the memory of Jon Driver, a group of friends and colleagues established the Jon Driver Prize. Reflecting Jon Driver’s commitment to mentorship and his seminal contribution to promoting neuroscience at UCL, the prize is awarded competitively every year to recognise high-quality research of students completing their PhD in the field of neuroscience at UCL.

Selected publications[edit]

  • 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" (PDF). Experimental Brain Research. 206 (2): 153–62. doi:10.1007/s00221-010-2205-7. PMC 2940032. PMID 20354681.
  • 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. hdl:11858/00-001M-0000-0010-A575-0. PMID 16890523.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Professor Jon Driver". The Times. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b Jon Driver CV Archived 2012-09-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Obituary: Professor Jon Driver - UCL News". British Neuroscience Association. Archived from the original on 24 December 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Academy of Europe: Driver Jon". Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  5. ^ "Top researchers receive Royal Society 2010 Anniversary Professorships - Science News | Royal Society". Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  6. ^ "Jon Driver (1962-2011) - Google Scholar". Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  7. ^ "Professor Jon Driver". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  8. ^ "Professor Jon Driver". The Daily Telegraph. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Professor Jon Driver _ the Times | Attention | University College London". Scribd. Retrieved 2020-09-23.
  10. ^ Dolan, Raymond J.; Kousta, Stavroula; Rees, Geraint (April 2012). "Jon Driver (1962-2011)". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 16 (4): 189–191. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2012.02.006.
  11. ^ "JON DRIVER 1962-2011". Retrieved 2020-09-23.