20 September, 2012

{this memory} 62

This is the story behind last Monday's {this moment}.

Ah, youth. That would be me - 35 years ago in one of the animal research labs at Utica College.

Today I would be called a neuroscientist, but my training is as a specialist in theories of learning and motivation with further training in physiological psychology and in animal behavior.

That's right, lab rats, I study ... er ... lab rats. When I joined the faculty at UC, there was very little to support animal research, but a series of state and federal grants took care of that. In this photo you see some of the first cohort of subjects for my research - White Carneau pigeons.

Where are the rats, you ask? Well, it depends on the research question, and the animal is just a tool to help us explore the lawfulness of behavior. Different behaviors, different animals. Although I have used rats, monkeys, and pigeons over the years, these pigeons are by far my favorite subject.

I loved my years in the laboratory, and as my career begins to wind down, I have many wonderful memories of excellent students and quality research. I am a fortunate man.