I’m a psychologist with a strong interest in basic mechanisms of behavior. I teach courses about the brain, learning, and basic psychological principles. My research examines both neural mechanisms of behavior and lawful changes in behavior in response to changes in the environment or experiences of the animal.
Here is my vita.
I grew up in Pennsylvania, in a beautiful home that has since been converted to a bed and breakfast. I attended Haverford College for my undergraduate education, and UCLA for my Ph.D. I taught at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne for 15 years before coming to Albion in 1999. I was an early member of Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, giving the group its name and its logo, and I once served as its President. I have been an officer of the Pavlovian Society since 2002.
I trace my scientific roots to Pavlov — I am his scientific great-grandson. I did my Ph.D. with Stefan Sołtysik, who trained under Jerzy Konorski, who was Pavlov’s first Polish student. This might explain my deep interest in Pavlovian conditioning. I have twice spent a semester at the Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology in Warsaw, Konorski’s institute.
When I am not being academic, I enjoy interacting with my family, and playing the diatonic accordion (I have a Cajun 1-row and a recently acquired 3-row on which I want to learn Tejano style). Here are some examples of my Cajun accordion (another example, a holiday offering, my 1st public appearance, short Bach piece). I roast my own coffee beans – Mmm!! When I have time and money I enjoy working on my 1939 Chevy.
I have always been an avid photographer. I am now linking this with one of my life-long interests, astronomy (I almost double-majored in physics and astronomy in college) as I learn astrophotography. I am also experimenting with Lytro‘s new camera; especially playing with 3D effect.
Excluding the well-known psychologists and neuroscientists with whom I have interacted, I have had “brushes with greatness” that involve Katharine Hepburn, Francis Crick, Buckminster Fuller, and Stephen Jay Gould.
Olin Hall, Room 322
And students – it is good form to begin emails to professors with “Dear Dr. Wilson” or simple “Dr. Wilson” unless you are on a first-name basis with the prof. I will trash any emails that come to me and begin in a disrespectful manner (e.g., “Hey Wilson” or “Yo” or “Wassup?”)