2010 CGS Dissertation Award

Samanez-Larkin awarded 2010 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Distinguished Dissertation Award for Social Sciences
Stanford Center on Longevity


Gregory Samanez-Larkin has been awarded the 2010 Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Distinguished Dissertation Award for Social Sciences for his dissertation “Incentive Processing in the Aging Brain: Individual Differences in Value-Based Learning and Decision Making Across the Adult Life Span.” The CGS award recognizes the year’s best social science dissertation in the country. Gregory presented his research to over 700 graduate school deans and representatives at the annual meeting of the Council of Graduate Schools on December 2, 2010.

Samanez-Larkin’s advisors for the dissertation were Stanford Center on Longevity Director Laura Carstensen and Brian Knutson, Samuel McClure and Anthony Wagner. His experiments explored age-related changes in learning and decision-making, which are not widely understood at this point. As Gregory writes, “The proportion of older adults continues to grow rapidly here in the U.S. and across the globe, [and] aging adults may be required to make increasingly more independent health-related and financial decisions.” The well-being of these older adults depends on good decision-making.

Samanez-Larkin was nominated for the award by Stanford University, where he completed his doctoral studies in Psychology in 2010. His research and teaching has previously been recognized by awards from the American Psychological Association, the National Institute on Aging, and Stanford University. He is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Affective Neuroscience Lab at Vanderbilt University.