Hebb Lecture Series

The D.O. Hebb Lecture Series was initiated in 1989 in memory of Hebb’s contribution to the science of behavior. Invited speakers of the D.O. Lecture series are scientists who have made distinguished empirical contributions to basic research in all areas of psychology. It is currently made possible by the generous support of the D.O. Hebb Endowment Memorial Fund.

Most speakers also deliver an informal seminar held in the morning.

All main lectures from 3.30 - 5:00 pm. Lectures are followed by a Wine and Cheese Reception in the Atrium of the Bellini Life Sciences Complex (3649 Promenade Sir William Osler). Admission is free.

2018 - 2019 Hebb Lectures


September 21, 2018 - Location: MCMED 522

Laura Stapleton

Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park

Professor, Measurement, Statistics and Evaluation Program


About:  https://education.umd.edu/directory/laura-stapleton

Title:  Measurement modeling in psychology: construct validation in nested settings

Abstract:  In social science research, latent constructs are often inferred from sets of items intended to measure those constructs. When data are collected in multilevel settings (e.g., students within schools or children within families) the construct of interest might exist at multiple levels. In this talk, I will consider how researchers might approach construct meaning and construct validation when working with data that are nested. I will first present extensions of the single-level confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) approach to a simple multilevel CFA (MCFA) when data are nested. I then will wade through the murky conceptual landscape that exists when considering measurement models at both the individual and cluster levels and introduce conceptual distinctions between constructs across levels and among different types of constructs at the cluster level. Specifically, I will discuss how items might be used to measure “shared” and “configural” cluster-level constructs. While shared constructs would reflect a shared element of the cluster (wherein individuals would be viewed as exchangeable within a cluster), configural constructs represent aggregation of characteristics of the individuals within the cluster. Additionally, an often-overlooked characteristic of configural constructs would be an evaluation of differential dispersion within clusters. Although empirical data may show cluster dependency, theoretically the construct may be an individual level one only but the data reflect a spurious intraclass correlation (ICC) or a spurious contextual effect due to measurement non-invariance. The appropriate CFA modeling approach will depend on the hypothesized constructs to be measured; examples based on empirical data and simulated data will be shown.



October 12, 2018 - Location: MCMED 522

Caroline Palmer

Department of Psychology, McGill University




About:  https://mcgill.ca/spl/palmer

TitleMusic-making, social interaction, and group synchrony


Music-making is a fundamentally human experience. Music exists across human cultures and across our lifespan. Its uses include enjoyment, social bonding, and mood regulation. Our work in the cognitive neuroscience of music addresses how and why musical sound influences our brains and bodies. I will describe experiments with musicians and nonmusicians singing, moving, and synchronizing with a beat as we investigate how individual differences or “signatures” in music-making affect electrophysiology and cognition, and why a physical model of coupled oscillations among individuals predicts group synchrony. These findings shed light on the relationship of music-making to social interaction and health.

Caroline Palmer is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at McGill University. Internationally recognized for her interdisciplinary research in auditory cognition, Dr. Palmer holds the Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience of Performance and she directs the NSERC-Create training network in Complex Dynamics of Brain and Behaviour. Her pioneering work uncovered temporal relationships among interpretation, expression, emotion and meaning in music performance and speech prosody. Those findings have altered our understanding of how complex acoustics communicate information among musicians, speakers, and listeners. As founder of two national training networks, Palmer has translated laboratory science into industrial and health-care workplace experience across Canada and North America.