2010: William J. McIlvane

Dr. William J. McIlvane is professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and director of the UMMS Shriver Center and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. Dr. McIlvane directs a multi-focus program that addresses scientific problems relevant to understanding and ameliorating behavior deficits of persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities. One focus is developing procedures to encourage progressively more rapid learning of behaviors involved in symbolic communication. Another is to adapt behavioral neuroscience—including animal modeling—to further understanding of brain processes involved in symbolic behavior. A third focus is to develop valid nonverbal neuropsychological testing for use with those who do not understand verbal instructions. In addition, Dr. McIlvane's program has a strong research-to-practice emphasis. Methods translated from laboratory research are being used to teach practical skills in U.S. and Brazilian classrooms. His presentation covered translational behavior analysis as a concept and an objective, including possibilities for more fully realizing the expansive visions of Skinner, Keller, Sidman, and others concerning the development and dissemination of a true technology of teaching. 


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