The primary focus of this blog is going to be on the behavioral side of neuroscience or biological psychology and how that pertains to education and direct translation to the clinic. I have always been passionate about the importance of applying the same criteria of sensitivity and selectivity that we apply to molecular biology to behavioral analysis. As such, this blog will primarily focus on the behavioral paradigms used by the authors to test their hypotheses, and as such be a critical analysis of the state of the field in behavioral analysis. Additionally, as an avid believer in the importance of translating behavioral measures across species, I will also look at behavior in a clinical population and posit ways in which those studies could be replicated in an animal model and vice versa.
Rather than pursuing a University faculty position, I chose to apply my scientific training to directly make a difference in the lives of children with developmental disabilities. I have taken a position teaching in Life Skills classes teaching children with autism at the elementary school level. With this focus, I will also be blogging my enthusiasm for teaching children with special needs and developmentally disabilities. Hopefully my love for neuroscience and my love for teaching will reach full expression on my blog. Enjoy!
As anyone who has spent any time around me knows, when I read a research paper for the first time, I get really excited and immediately start asking anybody I can find if they know whether any of the logical follow-up studies have been performed. This is even more intense if the paper happens to be a few years old and there is actually a chance that someone has followed up. When the follow up studies had not been performed, I could usually be found standing at a blackboard, covered in chalk, diagramming a behavioral task and quietly muttering “Why have they not done that yet?” while scratching my head and showing my diagram to unsuspecting onlookers unfortunate enough to be waiting for a nearby elevator.
The name of this blog derives from my interest in writing about the topics I choose. That is, either focusing on the, “why have they not done that yet?” in reference to a follow up study that has remained untested after the initial report, or else a resounding, “Ooh ooh, look! They finally did it!” when a follow up study has been performed. Even more satisfying to me is when a finding in humans is recapitulated in an animal model.
Note: When I have case studies presented in this blog, they are highly anonymized and often the gender is switched. This is done to protect the identity of any children. I also do not blog cases using examples from my current classroom unless explicit consent has been provided. The vast majority of the cases I will refer to are children/adolescents/adults with autism or other developmental disorders that I have known in my life and through my research.