[visionlist] Anne Treisman

Paul Downing p.downing at bangor.ac.uk
Wed Feb 14 14:40:27 -05 2018

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to join Anne’s lab as a PhD student soon after she and Danny arrived at Princeton. I had been particularly taken by the rich vein of ideas in a 1992 article based on her APA Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. Here, and in her other papers, I was impressed by her determination to test her ideas from as many different angles as possible – never content to stop at “good enough”. This determination was mirrored in her working pattern. In her office, she was always surrounded by towering stacks of printed papers – peeling them off, one by one, and making extensive notes on yellow legal pads. I say “working” – but it’s clear she enjoyed it immensely and simply wanted to know about all of it. Surveying this avalanche of work on attention and related topics (one that she largely triggered, as many have noted), she brought a sharply discerning eye. Yet I recall that in lab meetings, seminars, and the like, she was rarely dismissive and would often point up the bright spark in an otherwise dull study.

Anne set a tremendous example for us all. Rigorous, passionate, and positive – what better role model for a scientist could one ask for?


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