I am interested in animal cognition and behavior. How do animals build and use representations of their world? I use Pavlovian and instrumental conditioning procedures to dissect this question. My work specifically addresses the intersection between associative and cognitive processes. How do rats make causal inferences? Is rat behavior rational? How do pigeons learn and integrate spatial maps? What are the sources of behavioral variability and what is its role in problem solving? Recently I have begun to study attentional and simple learning processes in hermit crabs, such as habituation and sensitization. I've also become interested in understanding human health and disease from the perspective of human evolution and ecology.
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Dr. Aaron Blaisdell received an B.A. in Anthropology from SUNY Stony Brook; a M.A. in Anthropology from Kent State University; and his Ph.D. in Psychology (Behavioral Neuroscience focus) from SUNY Binghamton. He then spent two years as a Postdoctoral fellow in Psychology at Tufts University and became a professor of Psychology at UCLA in 2001