West Virginia University professor of psychology Andy Lattal is headed to Kyoto, Japan for five weeks to conduct collaborative research and deliver lectures at five universities around the country thanks to a prestigious fellowship he received from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
Lattal will be working with Professor Hiroto Okouchi of Osaka-Kyoiku University in Osaka, Japan, who spent a sabbatical year in Lattal’s laboratory in 1998 when the two started conducting experiments on how past experiences directly influence current behavior.
“Over the years, we have continued our collaboration from afar, and now we have the chance to work closely together again,” said Lattal. “Among other things, I aim to extend some of our recent work on behavioral history with animals to similar situations with human subjects.”
Lattal will also be working with Professor Toshino Asano of Aichi University on a project related to the history of the cumulative recorder, an instrument that automatically records behavior graphically. In the course of writing another article on this topic, Asano uncovered perhaps the oldest existing example of one of these early tools. This will serve as the topic of his and Lattal’s collaboration.
While in Japan, Lattal will be spending time delivering lectures to Japanese students at various universities.
“Through my lectures, I hope I will interest Japanese students in some of the research areas that have intrigued me and that I will be talking about with them,” said Lattal. “At the Mito Campus of Ibaraki University, north of Tokyo, there is a particularly strong group of researchers led by Professor Moriyama. They have extended and further developed some of my findings in behavioral history and on the correspondence between what is said will be done and what people and animals actually do thereafter.”
Lattal and his wife, also a behavioral analyst, have worked with their Japanese colleagues for years, and Lattal is excited at the opportunity to keep up these relationships and establish firm scientific footing in behavioral history and how past events play out in people’s present behavior. His five-week-long trip began on Oct. 14.
For more information, please contact Andy Lattal, Centennial Professor of Psychology, at (304) 293-2001 or at Andy.Lattal@mail.wvu.edu.
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