My Ph.D. was awarded in 1988 from the State University of New York at Binghamton, after which I spent three years as a Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NINDS) in Bethesda, Maryland. Since arriving at Rutgers in 1991, I have been a member of our Department’s Behavioral Neuroscience Program, and my work regularly involves collaborations with members of our University’s Biology Department and the Center for Collaborative Neuroscience. My primary research interests lie in areas related to individual differences in general cognitive/learning abilities (c.f., “intelligence”), i.e., how general cognitive abilities are impacted by the efficacy of psychological processes and how these abilities are instantiated in the brain.
Current work in my laboratory involves the use of comprehensive batteries of learning tests, combined with quantitative analytic procedures, to assess the “general” cognitive abilities of genetically heterogenous species of mice (and occasionally other laboratory animals). With regard to psychological processes, we are interested in how individual differences in stress reactivity, novelty seeking, selective attention, and working memory capacity influence (or determine) an animal’s capacity for learning. Based on these quantitative behavioral analyses, we have developed specific hypotheses regarding the molecular, biochemical, and neurophysiological determinants of individual differences in intelligence, and are assessing these hypotheses using a variety of methods and techniques, ranging from the analyses of transgenic mice, to transcriptional profiling, to electrophysiological recordings.