Carnegie Mellon University

Leslie G. Ungerleider (1946–2020)

Chief of the Laboratory of Brain and Cognition at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

May 23, 2013

Singleton Room, Carnegie Mellon University 

The Functional Architecture of Face Processing in the Primate Brain

Talk Recording

Press Release


December 23, 2020

At the Neuroscience Institute we were sad to learn of the death of Leslie Ungerleider, the first recipient of the Andrew Carnegie Prize in Mind and Brain Science.

 “I have been a devotee of Leslie's research for as long as I can remember, even before I had the opportunity to meet her. Once we met, I became a firm devotee of all things Leslie. Her precision insights coupled with her wit and warmth defined her as a great colleague and friend. Leslie and I, along with our (now well established) ex-postdocs, Ning Liu and Galia Avidan, have worked together on a study on distributed face circuits. It has been a singular pleasure to collaborate with her. I only wish that I had more time to learn from her and to benefit from her immense wisdom and grace.”

—Marlene Behrmann, Thomas S. Baker University Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Ungerleider, an experimental psychologist and neuroscientist, is well known for a neurobehavioral theory identifying two cortical visual systems in the primate brain, one for object recognition and one for visuospatial perception. This theory has revolutionized the way we think about the functional architecture of human vision and exemplifies Ungerleider's ability to integrate psychology and brain research. Her work has set high standards for the entire field of cognitive neuroscience and has significantly advanced the understanding of brain functions and their relevance to public health.

She is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Distinguished Investigator and the past recipient of the Women in Neuroscience Lifetime Achievement Award.


Each year, the Andrew Carnegie winner receives an original piece of artwork commissioned from artist Greg Dunn.

What and Where

Greg Dunn artwork