Lupyan receives Cattell Sabbatical Award

Professor Gary Lupyan

Professor of Psychology Gary Lupyan has been awarded a 2024-2025 James McKeen Cattell Sabbatical Award.

Since 1974, the James McKeen Cattell Fund Fellowship has provided professors with a supplemental sabbatical allowance, allowing them to extend their leave time and research efforts. Lupyan is the eighth University of Wisconsin–Madison professor to receive the award since its inception.

Lupyan intends to spend his sabbatical deepening his research on how learning and using language augments human cognition. “The question has taken on additional relevance – and urgency! – in the last several years with the rise of generative artificial intelligence in the form of large language models such as chatGPT,” he says. “These models use language input to learn not only to fluently converse with the user, but to behave in human-like ways on tasks on which they have never been explicitly trained.” Lupyan will spend the fall semester at the Santa Fe Institute working with Professor Melanie Mitchell and the spring semester at UC-Berkeley working with past collaborator Assistant Professor Bill Thompson.

Congratulations, Professor Lupyan!