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Professor James L (Jay) McClelland


Jay McClelland received his Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1975. He served on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, before moving to Carnegie Mellon in 1984, where he became a University Professor and held the Walter Van Dyke Bingham Chair in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. He was a founding Co-Director of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. He served as Co-Director until 2006. In that year he moved to Stanford University, where he is now Professor of Psychology and is the founding Director of the Center for Mind, Brain and Computation. 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.

Over his career, McClelland has contributed to both the experimental and theoretical literatures in a number of areas, most notably in the application of connectionist/parallel distributed processing models to problems in perception, cognitive development, language learning, and the neurobiology of memory. He was a co-founder with David E. Rumelhart of the Parallel Distributed Processing research group, and together with Rumelhart he led the effort leading to the publication in 1986 of the two-volume book, Parallel Distributed Processing, in which the parallel distributed processing framework was laid out and applied to a wide range of topics in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. McClelland and Rumelhart jointly received the 1993 Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the 1996 Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (see citation) from the American Psychological Association, the 2001 Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology, and the 2002 IEEE Neural Networks Pioneer Award for their pioneering work in this area. McClelland has served as Senior Editor of Cognitive Science, as President of the Cognitive Science Society, and as a member of the National Advisory Mental Health Council. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and he has received the APS William James Fellow Award for lifetime contributions to the basic science of psychology.

Recent Book

Rogers, T. T. and McClelland, J. L. (2004). Semantic Cognition: A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.



  • Maia T.V, McClelland J. (2004).

    A re-examination of the evidence for the somatic marker hypothesis: What participants know in the Iowa gambling task. National Academy of Sciences, 101, 16075-16080. eScholarID:1d14780 | DOI:10.1073/pnas.0406666101

  • Usher M, McClelland J. (2004).

    Loss aversion and inhibition in dynamical models of multi-alternative choice. Psychological Review, 111, 757-769. eScholarID:1d14781 | DOI:10.1037/0033-295X.111.3.757


  • Movellan, McClelland J. (2001).

    The Morton-Massaro Law of Information Integration: Implications for Models of Perception. Psychological Review, 108, 113-148. eScholarID:1d14782 | DOI:10.1037/0033-295X.108.1.113

  • Usher M, McClelland J. (2001).

    On the time course of perceptual choice: The leaky competing accumulator model. Psychological Review, 108, 550-592. eScholarID:1d14783 | DOI:10.1037/0033-295X.108.3.550