Nicholas J. Mackintosh, PhD, will pursue more research on primate cognition as the new editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes (JEP: Animal).
"It's an important topic that we really haven't published very much on," says Mackintosh, former professor and head of the department of experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge, England. "It's sort of scattered around in journals like Animal Behaviour and in specialist primatology journals, which are not regularly read by psychologists."
Mackintosh says behavioral researchers are doing exciting work on primate cognition--such as studies on social cognition, social learning and communication--that the broader psychological community should know more about. And, giving such topics more prominence in psychology's top animal behavior journal could attract other disciplines to psychologists' work. "Too often, researchers in other fields pay too little attention to our research," he explains.
In line with the journal's current editor Mark Bouton, PhD, Mackintosh will also continue to pursue more manuscripts on associative learning in humans. "The journal has published quite a bit on human learning in the associative learning tradition, and I want to continue that," he says. "I think it could help bridge what is becoming a deep divide between animal learning psychology and cognitive psychology."
He also seeks to include more theoretical or empirical review articles in the journal. "We are all in danger of being overwhelmed by the accumulation of new experimental data," he notes. "The assimilation and integration that could be provided by such reviews will not come amiss."
Mackintosh is well-equipped for the editorship having served continuously as a consulting editor for JEP: Animal since it launched 25 years ago. "I know what the journal does best, and I hope that I am well-qualified to continue the tradition that has made it the world's leading journal in its field," he says.
His own research interests lie in traditional associative learning theory and in discrimination and perceptual learning. He earned his PhD in animal learning from Oxford University in 1963.
Mackintosh will begin accepting manuscripts for the journal this month. He officially starts his six-year appointment next January.