Different Perspectives on Translational Research

Panel Discussion:

Different Perspectives on Translational Research

Iver Iversen

Dr. Iversen received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from University of Copenhagen, Denmark (1978). He is now professor emeritus of experimental psychology at University of North Florida, Jacksonville. His research has addressed basic mechanisms of operant behavior, primarily in non-human subjects. Examples are detailed analyses of the effects of individual reinforcements in rats, intermittent reinforcement of stimulus control in rats, visual guidance of drawing in chimpanzees. Research has also involved operant conditioning of brainwaves in humans to enable communication in completely paralyzed ALS patients. He has served on the boards of Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and Mexican Journal of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Iversen believes that a strong methodology is necessary to advance a science of behavior, and he has developed several automated methods to shape and control behavior as well as methods to analyze complex data from behavioral experiments. Together with Professor K. A. Lattal from the University of West Virginia, Morgantown, Dr. Iversen edited a two-volume text on methodology in operant conditioning (1991) and together with Dr. Wendon Henton wrote a book on Response patterns in Classical and Operant conditioning (1978). Besides, he has published several papers that document the development of behavior control techniques and methods of data analysis.

Elizabeth Kyonka

An Assistant Professor at California State University, East Bay, Dr. Kyonka has done behaviour analysis research in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. Her research uses experimental analysis of behavior to study choice adaptation and temporal learning, with emphases on basic principles and on promoting healthy behavior in gambling, gaming, and technology use. She is interested in translational research methods and a proponent of a more nuanced taxonomy of behavior analysis than is captured by basic, translational, and applied categories. Dr. Kyonka has served on the boards of several behavior analysis conferences and journals.

William McIlvane

Dr. Mcllvane has conducted broad research program that addresses a variety of scientific problems relevant to understanding and perhaps correcting behavior deficits of persons with neurodevelopmental disabilities. One area of deficit, for example, is in symbolic behaviors involved in communication (speaking, listening, reading, writing, etc.). One focus of his program has been development of methods to encourage more rapid learning of symbolic behaviors. Another has been to adapt behavioral neuroscience methods – including animal modeling – to further understanding of brain processes involved in symbolic behavior. A second focus of Dr. Mcllvane’s program has been to develop valid nonverbal neuropsychological testing methods for use with individuals and populations that do not understand verbal instructions. Methods developed in this aspect of his research have been adapted to further understanding of the behavioral profiles associated with disorders such as autism, depression, and neurotoxicant exposure. In addition, Dr. Mcllvane’s program has a strong research-to-practice emphasis. For example, methods emerging from his laboratory research are being used to teach practical skills in regular and special education classrooms in the United States, Brasil, and elsewhere.

Robert Mellon

Robert C. Mellon, Ph.D, BCBA, is professor of experimental and clinical psychology at the Department of Psychology at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, Greece, where he directs the Laboratory of Experimental and Applied Behavior Analysis and the lifelong learning program in behavior analysis. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He interned in clinical psychology at the New York University-Bellevue Hospital. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Developmental Psychobiology at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and an NIMH National Research Service Award fellow at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University. He has taught at the City University of New York, the University of Maryland and the University of Crete. He is president of the Hellenic Community for Behavior Analysis and has served as president of the European Association for Behaviour Analysis. He currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and the European Journal of Behavior Analysis.