Visiting Lecturer At Denison Discusses 'Why The Name Pavlov Still Rings A Bell'
Posted: January 29, 2002
Modern implications of the world's most famous learning process will be the subject when Mark Bouton visits Denison as the J.R. Kantor Memorial Lecturer. Bouton will speak on "Why the Name Pavlov Still Rings a Bell" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 7) in Herrick Hall. He will give a second lecture on "Context and Memory Processes in Conditioning and Associative Learning" at 3:30 p.m. on Friday (Feb. 8) in Olin Hall's auditorium (room 114). Both lectures are free and open to the public.
Professor Bouton has served on the faculty at the University of Vermont since 1980 and was adviser to Denison Assistant Professor Cody Brooks during his doctoral studies there. "Bouton works at the interface between basic science and application," says Brooks. "He is particularly interested in the implications of learning and memory research for improving the treatment of psychological disorders and for better understanding of how to prevent treated disorders from resurfacing."
Bouton's research interests center on context and memory processes in associative learning, applications of learning theory to issues in cognitive behavior therapy, brain structures in learning and memory, and conditioned drug tolerance and drug dependence. Bouton's work touches many areas in psychology and neuroscience and, in the tradition of Pavlov's classical conditioning research, uses learned behaviors to better illuminate mental life. His research contacts and unifies topics such as emotional disorders (e.g. panic disorder), forgetting, food preferences, drug abuse, and adaptive behaviors. One goal of Bouton's research is to better understand the memory networks that underlie the learning and behaviors related to these topics, many of which will be described in Bouton's talks during his campus visit.
Bouton was awarded a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in 1997/98 and was a visiting fellow in the department of experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge (England) in 1989/90. He also held a Fulbright Scholar position that year. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) where he earned his bachelor's degreemagna cum laudewith honors in psychology in 1975, Bouton earned his doctoral degree at the University of Washington in Seattle. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation since 1981. His articles have been published in numerous journals and he is the current editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes. His book, "Learning," is forthcoming from Sinauer Associates, Inc.
The J.R. Kantor Memorial Lectureship in Psychology was established in honor and memory of J.R. Kantor (1888-1984), a well-known professor of psychology at Indiana University for 39 years, by his daughter, Helene J. Kantor, and close friend, Albert Haas. Kantor studied at the University of Chicago under Professor Charles Judson Herrick, an 1895 master's degree graduate of Denison. Later, two of Kantor's students (Irvin Wolf and Parker Lichtenstein) would become faculty members at Denison, making Denison an "esoteric but important" center of Kantorian psychology according to Denison Professor of Psychology Harry Heft.
The lectureship strives to bring to Denison distinguished visiting psychologists whose work reflects the qualities Kantor demonstrated in his career: a commitment to scholarship; advanced thinking in psychology; and promotion of a scientific attitude for understanding the human condition.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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