Research Team and Oversight Committee
Dr. Jesús Rosales Ruiz
Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an associate professor at the University of North Texas in the Department of Behavior Analysis.
He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kansas in 1995, under the mentorship of two pioneers in the field of behavior analysis, Donald M. Baer and Ogden R. Lindsley. Jesús is one of the few scientists in the world studying animal training from both the theoretical and applied perspectives. He, along with his students, has greatly contributed to the understanding of the science and practice of animal training.
Jesús also studies the antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, rule-governed behavior, and contingency-shaped behavior. He has served on several editorial boards, including the Journal of Precision Teaching, the European Journal of Behavior Analysis, and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. He has also served as a reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, Behavioral Processes, and PLOS ONE. Jesús is a fellow of the Eastern Psychological Association, a trustee of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, and a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
Dr. Sigrid S. Glenn
Impressed with Bea Barrett’s research on discrimination training, I visited her at the Fernald State School while a grad student. Her research inspired some applied experiments conducted in my work with children with autism and we occasionally visited while at conventions. Over the years, we conversed on many topics and found we both suspected that at least some neuronal activity had operant properties. During her long illness, our phone conversations often resulted in my sending her articles investigating just that hypothesis. Near the end of her life, I visited at her home in Massachusetts to discuss housing in our department records of her research. Our conversation turned to neuro-operant research and she asked me how UNT might make use of a research endowment for that purpose. Upon returning to Texas, I received a call from Alice Popkin, her attorney, asking about the mechanisms for setting up such an endowment at UNT. Due to Alice’s extraordinary alacrity and diligence, she accomplished that outcome a few hours before Bea died. The endowment’s existence has always seemed to me the result of a long series of apparently disconnected events and coincidences.
Dr. Daniele Ortu
Daniele Ortu is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas, where he teaches Behavioral Neuroscience. He received his M.A. from AILUN in Nuoro (Italy) and his Ph.D. from the University of Stirling (United Kingdom). His primary interests are real-time measures of brain activity, specifically Electroencephalography and Event-Related Potentials and how they relate to a Skinnerian perspective. Conceptually, Dr. Ortu is involved in understanding how brain responses can help provide some missing pieces of the puzzle when it comes to comprehending complex human behavior. Daniele is on the editorial board of the Journal for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, Behavior and Social Issues, Behavior and Philosophy, and is a Guest Editor for Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
Dr. April Becker
April Becker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. She received her B.S. from Colorado State University, where she studied cellular mechanisms of muscle atrophy under Dr. Donald Mykles and behavioral ecology and songbird vocalizations under Dr. Myron Baker. After working in various zoos and aquariums as an animal trainer, presenter, and caretaker, she earned her M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas working with Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and Dr. Sigrid Glenn studying motivation, creativity and cultural contingencies. Dr. Becker earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Neuroscience from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where her work with Dr. Mark Goldberg focused on behavioral recovery from brain injury and the use of plasticity-modulating pathways to augment rehabilitation. Dr. Becker’s research and interests have several aims: to understand multi-level selection ranging from brain to cultural development, to better understand the basic brain mechanisms of learning and behavior in a radical behavior framework, and to develop better clinical and translational approaches to brain injury rehabilitation.
Carl Binder, Ph.D.
Dr. Carl Binder is CEO of The Performance Thinking Network (www.PerformanceThinking.com), and delivers certification programs in performance improvement to organizations worldwide. Invited by B.F. Skinner to the doctoral program in Experimental Psychology at Harvard, after completing his coursework Carl was hired as Associate Director of B. H. Barrett’s Behavior Prosthesis Lab, where he worked closely with Dr. Barrett for a decade. He conducted human operant research in Barrett’s lab, and led early precision teaching research in her laboratory classroom, mentored by Dr.Ogden Lindsley and Dr. Eric Haughton, his primary doctoral thesis advisor. When Dr. Barrett was in her final months, seeking an institution to endow a program in what she called neuro-operant research based on the simultaneous discrimination and differentiation research preparation (SIDID) that she and Lindsley had developed, she sent Carl on a “mission” to the Association for Behavior Analysis conference to identify a recipient for her endowment. Based on his admiration for the scientific expertise of Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, and his great respect for Dr. Sigrid Glenn, Chair of the Department of Behavior Analysis, Carl recognized that UNT was a perfect fit for the endowment. He initiated a dialog with Dr. Rosales-Ruiz at the conference, which led to discussions and an agreement between Dr. Barrett and Dr. Glenn to bring the endowment to UNT. Carl has served on the Oversight Committee from the beginning
Hank Pennypacker, Ph.D.
Henry S. Pennypacker received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Duke University in 1962. He soon became interested in applying behavioral principles to the solution of human problems. In 1974 he turned his attention to early detection of breast cancer and led a multidisciplinary research team that progressed from the basic psychophysics of lump detection through materials science engineering of a life-like training model. The resulting technology has become the standard of manual breast examination and is now taught in medical schools throughout the world. Dr. Pennypacker is a past president of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Currently, he is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, Founder and Director of the MammaCare Foundation, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies.
Betsy Constantine, Ph.D.
Dr. Constantine received her BA in mathematics from Wellesley College and her PhD from Northeastern University, where she studied with Murray Sidman. Her research involved experimental analyses of stimulus control in conditional discrimination tasks. She worked with young children, individuals with developmental disabilities and marine mammals. Following graduate school, her career veered through varieties of machine learning, including speech recognition, artificial intelligence, and neural networks, until she returned to behavior analysis as Executive Director of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies from 1995 to 2001. Her relationship with Dr. Barrett developed because of a mutual interest in extending the techniques of behavior analysis into the realm of neural behavior. She shared Dr. Barrett’s vision that exciting new developments in neuroscience would soon make it possible to explore the neural correlates of behavior and, to some extent, “peer into the black box.
Louisa Brandeis Popkin, M.A. BCBA