Glyn Humphries, 1954-2016
19 January 2016
The School is saddened to hear that Professor Glyn Humphreys died on the 14th January 2016.
Glyn was a Bristol graduate: he obtained both his BSc (1st class) in 1976 and PhD in Psychology in 1980 here in Bristol. Following that, he took up a lectureship in psychology at Birkbeck College in 1979. He went on to be appointed Chair of Psychology at Birkbeck College in 1988 before moving to the University of Birmingham in 1989. As Head of School in Birmingham, he built up one of the strongest psychology departments in the UK. In 2011, he was appointed Head of Department and Watts Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford.
His contribution to psychology has been wide-ranging and profound. He has worked in almost every area of psychology, with a particular impact in the study of vision and language processes. In the 1980s, he applied the rigorous methods of experimental psychology to the study of patients with brain damage. This resulted in a step change in our understanding of these disorders, as well as an integration of theory between cognitive psychology and behavioral neurology. In the 1990s, he led the way in the use of computational models to explain cognition, again rewriting existing theory in the area. More recently, he had been using a range of neuroimaging methods to investigate the biological basis of cognition. Underpinning this work has always been a complete mastery of the design of behavioural experiments. He will be remembered for his exquisite experimental work and his astonishing productivity, as well as for his kindness and willingness to give of this time. Psychology has lost an incredible person.
Our thoughts are with Jane and his family.