Spring 2022

On May 17, 2022, the Department of Psychology was thrilled to host Dr. Nadel, a pioneer in the study of memory, as our esteemed speaker. Dr. Nadel presented a talk on “Brain Development and the Emergence of Learning and Memory in Humans and Other Animals”


Brain Development and the Emergence of Learning and Memory in Humans and Other Animals


Cognitive map theory proposed multiple memory systems, one of which, centered on the hippocampus, develops postnatally. This talk will consider three kinds of implications of this late development, rooted in the presumed functions of the hippocampus in place learning and episodic memory, reviewing research on hippocampal development from my lab over the years.


Dr. Lynn Nadel is currently Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Arizona. His work has focused on the functions of the hippocampus in memory and spatial cognition, leading to significant contributions in the study of stress and memory, sleep and memory, memory reconsolidation, and the mental retardation observed in Down syndrome. He has promulgated, with collaborators, two highly influential theories in cognitive neuroscience: the cognitive map theory of hippocampal function, and the multiple trace theory of memory. He was the co-recipient in 2005 of the Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology (for the “cognitive map” theory) and received the National Down Syndrome Society’s Award for Research (2006), the Sisley-Lejeune International Prize for Research on Intellectual Disability (2013), the Society for Experimental Psychologist’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement from the American Psychological Foundation (2017), the William James Fellow Award from the Association of Psychological Societies (2019), and the Distinguished Scientific Contribution award from the American Psychological Association (2020). His research, published in over 200 journal articles, chapters and books, has been supported by grants from NIMH, NSF, NICHD, NINDS and several private foundations. He is a Fellow of the Association of Psychological Societies, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. At the University of Arizona he served as Head of the Psychology Department for 13 years (1989 – 2002), contributing to the emergence of the department as one of the strongest on campus, and in the top 20% nationally. He also served in the role of Interim Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the early 1990s, has several times been Chair of the University-wide Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, and served for 4 years as Chair of the Faculty.


The annual Quinn Memorial Lecture brings together the UBC Psychology community and friends for an evening of dialogue and a chance to learn first-hand about some of the most innovative psychology research from renowned experts. The lecture is made possible by a generous gift to our department from prominent alumnus, Dr. Michael J. Quinn (1927-2004). Learn more.

We acknowledge that UBC’s Vancouver Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. We also acknowledge that people may join this event virtually from many places, near and far, and acknowledge the traditional owners and caretakers of those lands.