Mark Johnson, Ph.D.

Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

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Mark Johnson is professor of psychology and associate director of the Centre for Cognitive & Brain Development at Birkbeck University of London, and chair of experimental psychology and head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge.

He obtained his B.Sc. in biological sciences with honors in psychology from the University of Edinburgh, and his Ph.D. in neurobiology from Cambridge. Between two periods as a research scientist at the Medical Research Council’s Cognitive Development Unit in London (1985–89 and 1994–98), he was associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1997, he moved to Birkbeck, University of London, with funding from the Medical Research Council, and established the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development. In 2017, he was elected to the chair and headship at Cambridge.

He has published over 360 papers and 10 books on brain and cognitive development in human infants and children and in other species. His laboratory currently focuses on typical, at-risk and atypical functional brain development in human infants and toddlers using a variety of different brain imaging, cognitive, behavioral, genetic and computational modeling techniques.

He is an elected fellow of several academic societies, including the Association for Psychological Science (2004), Cognitive Science Society (2012), British Academy (2011) and American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2019). He is also recipient of awards such as the Queen’s Anniversary Prize (2006), British Psychological Society President’s Award (2008), Experimental Psychology Society Mid-Career Award (2009), Huttenlocher Prize (2015) and William Thierry Preyer Award (2017, joint with Annette Karmiloff-Smith).

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