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Distinguished Scientist Lecturers to Speak at 2008 Regional Meetings

Psychologists Renee Baillargeon, Henry L. Roediger, III, and James H. Woods have been selected to participate in the 2008 APA Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program.

By Stephanie Cox

Psychologists Renee Baillargeon, Henry L. Roediger, III, and James H. Woods have been selected to participate in the 2008 APA Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program. Through the program, sponsored by APA’s Science Directorate, each psychologist will give a featured address at a regional psychological association annual meeting.

Baillargeon will speak on “Psychological Reasoning in Infancy” at the New England Psychological Association meeting in Bristol, RI, October 24-25. Baillargeon’s research focuses on early conceptual development in three core areas: physical reasoning, psychological reasoning, and biological reasoning. She assumes that each area corresponds to an abstract computational system, constrained by core causal knowledge, which makes infants’ reasoning and learning possible within the domain. Her research on physical reasoning examines infants’ ability to predict and interpret the outcomes of physical events. Her research on psychological reasoning explores infants’ ability to predict and interpret the actions of agents. Finally, in her research on biological reasoning, Baillargeon examines infants’ ability to reason about the displacements and changes that biological bodies can undergo. In addition to several research awards, including the McCandless Young Scientist Award (APA Division 7), Baillargeon was awarded the Psi Chi Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1986, 1996, and 2006.

Roediger will speak on “The Critical Role of Learning in Retrieval: From the Lab to the Classroom” at the Midwestern Psychological Association meeting in Chicago, IL, May 1-3. He is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor and Dean of Academic Planning at Washington University in St. Louis. Roediger’s research has centered on human learning and memory, and he has published over 200 articles and chapters on various aspects of cognitive processes involved in remembering. His recent research has focused on illusions of memory (how we sometimes remember events differently from the way they actually occurred) and effects of testing memory (how retrieving events from memory can change their representation, often making them more likely to be retrieved in the future). He has published three textbooks that have been through a combined total of 20 editions and he has edited six other books. In 2003 he was named a “Highly Cited Researcher” by the Institute of Scientific Information.

Woods will speak on “Cocaine esterase: A start toward pharmacological therapy of cocaine abuse” at the Southwestern Psychological Association meeting in Kansas City, MO, April 3-5. Woods is currently a Professor of Pharmacology and Psychology at the University of Michigan. He has conducted narcotics research with primates. The primate facility has been an outstanding training resource for graduate and postgraduate researchers. Woods received the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) Outstanding Mentor Award in 2001. He has served on the Board of Directors of the CPDD, and he currently chairs the Drug Evaluation Committee at his University. Woods has published over 300 articles on various subjects related to drug abuse, and he has been recognized as a “Highly Cited Researcher” in Pharmacology by the Institute for Scientific Information.

The Board of Scientific Affairs, with support of the regional association presidents, established the Distinguished Scientist Lecture Program 18 years ago as part of its ongoing mission to promote psychological science. The Distinguished Scientist Lecturers, together with APA’s G. Stanley Hall Lectures (sponsored by APA’s Education Directorate), allow APA to support invited talks at each regional meeting. For more information on psychology’s regional meetings, visit APA's Regional site, which provides links to each organization