Andrew Meltzoff Receives Koffka Medal from Germany for 'Extraordinary' Work

Andrew Meltzoff, the Job and Gertrud Tamaki Endowed Chair and co-director of the Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, has been awarded the Kurt Koffka Medal.

Bestowed each year by Giessen University in Germany, the award honors scientists who "advanced the fields of perception or developmental psychology to an extraordinary extent."

Meltzoff received the award during a ceremony at Giessen on June 29, 2016.

The Koffka award is named for one of the founders of Gestalt Psychology. Kurt Koffka was a German psychologist who worked at Giessen University from 1911 to 1927 and made the famous phrase "The whole is other than the sum of the parts," which is often used to explain gestalt theory.

Recognizing Meltzoff's work on infant social cognition, the Koffka award committee cited Meltzoff's achievements in the fields of developmental, perceptual and cognitive psychology with far reaching implications for cognitive science, robotics, educational psychology, and philosophy of mind.

"Prof. Meltzoff’s important findings on imitation and social cognitive development from the early newborn period onwards have had an outstanding impact on theorizing about early social cognition and about the mechanisms of social cognition in general. His findings have transformed our understanding of the roots of social cognition," Professor Gudrun Schwarzer wrote on behalf of the Koffka award committee.