December 01, 2016

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named James H. Howard Jr., who is the Wylma R. and James R. Curtin Professor emeritus of  psychology, as a fellow for his study of the effects of aging on learning in older adults.

Jim Howard"I am deeply honored by my election to the rank of fellow of the AAAS,” says Howard. “There are many reasons why this honor is especially significant for me. Unlike many professional and academic societies that focus very narrowly on a specific discipline or even sub-discipline, AAAS is a broadly based organization that encompasses all scientific disciplines. Thus, I see this as recognition that my work has contributed to the advancement of science more broadly.”

Aaron Dominguez, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, says, "This is a very significant and prestigious award, which recognizes Professor Howard's exemplary work. Only people who have made exceptional contributions that are widely recognized by their peers are elected fellows."

Howard earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Providence College and his master’s and doctoral degrees in experimental psychology from Brown University. At Catholic University, Howard directed the Cognitive Aging Laboratory. He is a regular collaborator with his wife, Darlene Howard, who is a professor at Georgetown University.

“For nearly three decades, my group’s research has examined cognitive function in healthy aging and age-related pathology, adopting a cognitive neuroscience approach in which we relate age-related changes in cognition to changes in brain structure and function,” says Howard.

For more than 25 years, his group's research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging and other government and private agencies.

“Our focus has been on understanding the brain basis of changes that occur in skill learning with aging … and we hope that our work contributes in some small way to our understanding of successful aging as we confront the challenges of an aging population,” he notes.