INS Nelson Butters Award Recipients

This award was established to honor the contributions of Dr. Nelson Butters and to recognize the impact he has had in the area of training. The prize is awarded at the Society’s Annual and Mid-Year Meetings for the best research presented by a postdoctoral fellow. The recipient is selected at the discretion of each Meeting Program Chair. No formal application is necessary (all submissions by postdoctoral fellows are considered).

* Award recipients receive an honorarium of $500 USD.


Sharon Sanz Simon
Sharon Sanz Simon
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2019 Mid-Year Meeting
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – July 10-12, 2019

There is a recent growing interest in the extent to which personality is related to cognitive performance and brain functioning. We and others found robust evidence that personality affect cognitive performance in several domains across the adult lifespan, however there is little evidence how personality is associated to brain functioning, particularly brain connectivity. The aim of the current research was to investigate the association between personality traits and brain-network connectivity.

Kayela Robertson
Kayela Robertson
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 47th Annual Meeting
New York City, New York, USA – February 20-23, 2019

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in non-clinic samples often have high prevalence and unclear predictive validity for dementia risk. We used longitudinal data from a communitybased cohort to evaluate whether MCI stability over two years reliably identified people who would develop dementia.

Constance Vissers
Constance Vissers
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2018 Mid-Year Meeting
Prague, Czech Republic – July 18-20, 2018

Ample empirical evidence exists for executive deficits in schoolchildren with developmental language disorder (DLD). Little is known though about EF in preschoolers with DLD. Since early childhood is the primary period for both language and EF to develop, the early development of language and EF plausibly interact in an empowering or inhibitive way (see Vissers et al., 2015). Therefore, to come to insight into the aetiology of DLD, research on early EF and language development is necessary.

Lauren Salminen
Lauren Salminen
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 46th Annual Meeting
Washington, D.C, USA – February 14-17, 2018

Impaired fear learning and memory are core features of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that are subserved by the hippocampus. Some, but not all, studies report smaller hippocampal volumes in PTSD patients compared to controls, and this inconsistency may reflect underlying differences in hippocampal subregions across cohorts. We tested this in an international sample of patients and controls in the PGC-ENIGMA PTSD Working Group.

Ali Amidi
Ali Amidi
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2017 Mid-Year Meeting
Cape Town, South Africa – July 5-8, 2017

Seven participants (32%) were carriers of the APOE4, while 15 (68%) were not. Bootstrapped between-group tests indicated that APOE4 carriers evidenced accelerated decline in processing speed (p=.016) and global cognition (p=.007) compared with non-carriers. Furthermore, trends were found for working memory (p=.065) and verbal fluency (p=.062). A trend towards increased inflammatory response was observed in carriers of APOE4 (p=.054).

Aarti Nair
Aarti Nair
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 45th Annual Meeting
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA – February 1-4, 2017

In prior studies (Nair et al., 2013; Nair et al., 2015), we demonstrated that children with autism showed mostly reduced connectivity especially for prefrontal-thalamic networks, accompanied by overconnectivity within temporal-thalamic networks. Given the importance of early identification of biomarkers and endophenotypes of autism, it is crucial to understand how early in the developmental process these differences in thalamocortical networks emerge.

Alex Kafkas
Alex Kafkas
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2016 Mid-Year Meeting
London, England, UK – July 6-8, 2016

Best Submission By A Postdoctoral Fellow

Emily Edmonds
Emily Edmonds
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 44th Annual Meeting
Boston, Massachusetts, USA – February 3-6, 2016

Previous research has demonstrated heterogeneity in neuropsychological performance and biomarker profiles within MCI samples. We previously identified four empirically-derived MCI subtypes within the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) MCI cohort: amnestic MCI, dysnomic MCI, dysexecutive/mixed MCI, and a large cluster-derived normal group (34%) that was characterized by intact neuropsychological performance (despite their MCI diagnosis). The current study investigated cortical thickness profiles in these four cognitive subtypes.

Gershon Spitz
Gershon Spitz
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2015 Mid-Year Meeting
Sydney, Australia – July 1-4, 2015

Christopher C. Bosworth
Christopher C. Bosworth
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 43rd Annual Meeting
Denver, Colorado, USA – February 4-7, 2015

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is believed to result in alterations in functional connectivity in intrinsically connected networks. One such network is the default mode network (DMN), which displays increased activation in absence of an externally-imposed task and decreased activation during cognitively demanding tasks. Studying factors associated with post-TBI functional connectivity in the DMN may help further elucidate the role of this network, as well as the effects of TBI on functional connectivity in general.

Sarah Rajtmajer
Sarah Rajtmajer
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2014 Mid-Year Meeting
Jerusalem, Israel – July 9-11, 2014

The goal of this presentation is to provide a critical overview of the current approaches used to examine functional brain connectivity in neurologically impaired samples. There is now a growing literature using functional imaging methods to examine brain network changes and it is a goal in this presentation to offer a critique of the current methods used to examine brain pathology and aging including possible pitfalls and advantages of each approach.

Joseph van Steenburgh
Joseph van Steenburgh
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 42nd Annual Meeting
Seattle, Washington, USA – February 12-15, 2014

Presented for the Best Submission by a Postdoctoral Fellow

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation Changes Frontoparietal Control Network Connectivity Associated with Working Memory Performance in High-Functioning Autism

Egil Nygaard
Egil Nygaard
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2013 Mid-Year Meeting
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – July 10-13, 2013

Presented for the Best Submission by a Postdoctoral Fellow

Cognitive Abilities of Children Prenatally Exposed to Opiates and Polysubstances: A Longitudinal Study

Melissa Stern
Melissa Stern
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 41st Annual Meeting
Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA – February 6-9, 2013

Hanna Jokinen
Hanna Jokinen
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2012 Mid-Year Meeting
Oslo, Norway – June 27-30, 2012

Leigh Sepeta
Leigh Sepeta
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 40th Annual Meeting
Montreal, Quebec, Canada – February 15-18, 2012

Joe Simon
Joe Simon
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2011 Mid-Year Meeting
Auckland, New Zealand – July 6-9, 2011

Kathrine Bangen
Kathrine Bangen
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 39th Annual Meeting
Boston, Massachusetts, USA – February 2-5, 2011

Anita Cybulska-Klosowicz
Anita Cybulska-Klosowicz
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2010 Mid-Year Meeting
Krakow, Poland – June 30-3, 2010

Caron Clark
Caron Clark
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 38th Annual Meeting
Acapulco, Mexico – February 3-6, 2010

Jens Egeland
Jens Egeland
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2009 Mid-Year Meeting
Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia – July 29-1, 2009

Lisa Delano-Wood
Lisa Delano-Wood
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 37th Annual Meeting
Atlanta, Georgia, USA – February 11-14, 2009

Agustin Ibanez
Agustin Ibanez
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2008 Mid-Year Meeting
Buenos Aires, Argentina – July 2-5, 2008

Jan Glascher
Jan Glascher
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 36th Annual Meeting
Waikoloa, Hawaii, USA – February 6-9, 2008

Markus Thimm
Markus Thimm
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2007 Mid-Year Meeting
Bilbao, Spain – July 4-7, 2007

Richard Frye
Richard Frye
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2006 Mid-Year Meeting
Zurich, Switzerland – July 26-29, 2006

Rachael J. Mackinlay
Rachael J. Mackinlay
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2005 Mid-Year Meeting
Dublin, Ireland – July 6-9, 2005

Lisa Bartha
Lisa Bartha
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 2003 Mid-Year Meeting
Berlin, Germany – July 16-20, 2003

Sarah Cavaco
Sarah Cavaco
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 31st Annual Meeting
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA – February 5-8, 2003

Michael Santa Maria
Michael Santa Maria
Nelson Butters Award Recipient
INS 30th Annual Meeting
Toronto, Canada – February 13-16, 2002