linda Spear Mid-Career Award

Linda Spear Mid-Career Award Winner

Nim Tottenham

Nim Tottenham

Columbia University

Nim Tottenham, PhD is a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and Director of the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research examines brain development underlying emotional behavior in humans. In particular, her laboratory investigates the interplay between brain development and the special caregiving experienced by humans. Her research has highlighted fundamental changes in brain circuitry across development and the powerful role that early experiences, such as caregiving and stress, have on the construction of these circuits. She has authored over 125 journal articles and book chapters. She is a frequent lecturer both nationally and internationally on human brain and emotional development. She is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and of the Society for Experimental Psychologists, and her scientific contributions have been recognized by the National Institute of Mental Health BRAINS Award, the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology, most recently by the National Academy of Sciences Troland Research Award.

One-on-One Interview with Nim Tottenham
(July 2022)

Congratulations to Dr. Nim Tottenham, this year’s winner of the Linda Spear Mid-Career Award recognizing her outstanding contributions in developmental neuroscience! Dr. Tottenham is currently a Professor of Psychology at Columbia University, where she leads the Developmental Affective Neuroscience Laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding brain development underlying emotional behavior, or as she puts it herself, “the brain development that helps support the massive changes in emotional behaviors that we experience throughout the first two decades of life and the powerful role that parents play in shaping that brain development.”

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Dr. Linda Spear was a Distinguished Professor Emerita in the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York, Binghamton. She was one of the true pioneers of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Her seminal work, using rodent models to investigate neurobehavioral function during adolescence, and the translation of that work to understanding effects of substance use on human development, has been greatly influential to the field. The importance of her contributions to the field was recognized in 2017 when Flux presented her with the Huttenlocher Award, our Society’s highest recognition for career achievement. She was an incredible human being, kind, humble, and supportive. This award is named for her in honor of her considerable achievements, her kindness, and her stalwart support of her colleagues.
The Mid-Career Award in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience is named in honor of Dr. Linda Spear, a pioneer in developmental neuroscience. This award recognizes outstanding contributions by scientists at the mid-level of their careers. The award winner receives complimentary registration and a 30-minute presentation slot at the next Flux Congress.

Eligibility Criteria

Scientists eligible for this award will have been working in the area of developmental cognitive neuroscience for at least 8 years following their terminal degree, but not for more than 19 years. Caregiving leave or time spent in clinical training do not count toward the 19 year limit.

Nominations can be submitted via the button below or emailed to

Application materials

    1. Nomination letter: The nomination letter should address how the nominee meets the criteria for excellence.
    2. Three papers: Include three papers that should be emphasized in the evaluation
    3. Nominee’s CV