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James McGill Distinguished Speaker Series in Educational and Counselling Psychology

The Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology is proud to introduce the James McGill Distinguished Speaker Series in Educational and Counselling Psychology.

Upcoming Speakers


Joshua W. Buckholtz, Ph.D., Harvard University

Joshua K. Buckholtz

Biography

Bad Genes, Bad Moms, and Bad Brains: A Casual Biology of Poor Self-Control

From deciding between a cupcake and a carrot to choosing a retirement fund, we’re all faced with the need to delay gratification in order to achieve long-term goals.  While everyone indulges temptation occasionally, highly impulsive people consistently make immediate-focused choices with serious adverse consequences. Impulsivity is a stable trait that is associated with profound individual dysfunction and impairment, and causes significant financial costs society-wide. While we know that "bad genes" and "bad environments" can account for most of the variability in impulsivity, the specific systems-level neurobiological mechanisms through which these factors act to affect behavior are poorly characterized. Using a combination of pharmacological, genetic, and multi-modal brain imaging approaches, I will provide evidence that specific "bad genes" (MAOA, DRD2, and LEPR) selectively disrupt information processing within brain circuits for emotional arousal and reward motivation. Finally, I will show that a specific "bad environment" (childhood maltreatment) is associated with dysfunction in these same circuits, possibly accounting for observed gene-by-environment interactions in risk for psychiatric disorders characterized by poor self-control.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Education Building, Room 233
3700 McTavish Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2 (map)

To share the poster (.pdf) for this event, please click on the following link: Dr. Joshua Buckholtz - April 3, 2014.pdf

Previous Speakers


K. Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., Florida State University

K. Anders Ericsson

Biography

Making of Excellence through Deliberate Practice: What can we Learn from the Training of Chess Masters, Elite Athletes and Musicians?

Recent research in many domains of expertise, such as chess, music, medicine, and sports, shows that most forms of experience have surprisingly limited benefits for increasing performance. In contrast, research on expert performance demonstrates that some types of experience, such as focused appropriate training activities--deliberate practice--can dramatically change the human body (enlargement of hearts and arteries and growth of capillaries) and brain (myelinization and blood supply of nerve fibers), and over extended time modify virtually all characteristics relevant to superior performance, with the exception of body size and height.
The acquisition of expert and elite performance involves a successive development of increasingly refined mental mechanisms that afford experts increased control over their performance. A theoretical analysis of the full range of elite performers’ learning, skill acquisition, and physiological adaptations is now providing the foundation for a scientifically-based account of the human potential that is attainable through optimal development and deliberate practice.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

3700 McTavish Street, Jack Cram Auditorium (room 129)
Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2 (map)

To share the poster (.pdf) for this event, please click on the following link: Dr. K. Anders Ericsson - December 5, 2013


Richard M. Ryan, Ph.D., University Of Rochester

Richard Ryan

Biography

Psychological Needs and Human Motivation: Research in the Classrooms and Clinics from Self-Determination Theory.

In contexts involving learning or personal change, fostering self-motivation is a critical issue.  In this talk Dr. Ryan will present research based in self-determination theory (SDT) concerning how teachers, therapists and other motivators facilitate or undermine autonomous motivation and its positive consequences for learning and wellness. He will also discuss such varied issues as: why video game based learning is  (sometimes) engaging; how evaluations and incentives impact teaching and clinical practice; and what is culturally universal about motivation. Finally, he will discuss practical elements in motivating oneself and others.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

3700 McTavish Street, Jack Cram Auditorium (room 129)
Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2 (map)


Please note, the follow talk on February 6, 2014 was cancelled.

Richard M. Lerner, Ph.D., Tufts University

Biography

Promoting the Positive Development of Youth: Theory, Research, and Applications.

The positive youth development (PYD) perspective is a strength-based model of development that seeks to understand and enhance the lives of diverse adolescents. Findings derived from the 4-H Study of PYD, as well as from other longitudinal studies conducted within the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, will be used to illustrate that, when the strengths of young people are aligned with the resources existing in families, schools, and communities that are potentially useful in actualizing these strengths, then healthy development will occur. Accordingly, the support that exists for the PYD perspective illustrates that scholars may be optimistic about the potential for promoting thriving among youth, and suggests that the skills sets of researchers may be used in collaboration with community resources to answer questions about what actions, with what youth, at what points in their developmental trajectories, may be taken in what contextual settings, to foster what specific facets of well-being and health among youth. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Education Building, Room 233
3700 McTavish Street
Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2 (map)

To share the poster (.pdf) for this event, please click on the following link: Richard M. Lerner - February 6, 2014.pdf