It is sometimes not appreciated that research in behavioral pharmacology can have, and has had, implications for the experimental analysis of behavior, especially its conceptualizations and theory. In this presentation, I outline three general strategies in behavioral pharmacology research that have been employed to increase understanding of behavioral processes. Examples are provided of the general characteristics of the strategies and of implications of previous research for behavior theory. Behavior analysis will advance as its theories are challenged, and behavioral pharmacology is one source of such challenges.
|Prof. Marc N. Branch, after growing up in a small Western town, obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Stanford University, where interactions with Walter Mischel, Albert Bandura, and Gordon Bower influenced him to pursue graduate study. He began at Arizona State University, then known as “Fort Skinner in the Desert,” and his interests quickly veered toward the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, with important mentors like Fred Hegge, Peter Killeen, John Falk, and then-senior-graduate-student, Richard Shull. With that fortunate background, he next moved to the University of Maryland, where he studied with Lewis Gollub, Skinner’s last official Ph.D. student. There, under Gollub’s guidance, he expanded his interests to Behavioral Pharmacology. After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Branch spent a useful post-doctoral year at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, where he was mentored by James McKearney. After that year, he joined the faculty at the University of Florida, where he has remained since, rising to the rank of Professor, and having served a term as Chairman of the Department. At Florida his being mentored has continued to this day, with colleagues like Ed Malagodi, Brian Iwata, Hank Pennypacker, Jim Johnston, Tim Hackenberg, Tim Vollmer, Jesse Dallery, and Clive Wynne enriching his academic and research life. Branch’s academic life history shows he is a lucky guy.