2018 Bindra Lectures

October 26, 2018

Scott Waddell will give the 2018 Bindra Lectures in the Department of Psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Canada on Friday 9th November 2018.

The Bindra Lecture is named in honour of Dalbir Bindra. It is one of a series of named lectures organised by McGill to be given by eminent scientists from around the world.

Dalbir Bindra, known widely as DB by his friends and colleagues, was a leader in the study of the motivation of animals and an influential figure in the development of the Psychology Department at McGill. Dalbir Bindra joined the McGill faculty in 1949, just around the time when Donald Hebb was appointed as the department Chair. Over the next 30 years, Dalbir Bindra became one of the Department’s most beloved members, eventually becoming the Chair himself in 1975.

Decades of Bindra’s work were synthesized into his first book Motivation: A Systematic Reinterpretation, published in 1959, within the same timeframe as George Miller’s “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two” and Noam Chomsky’s “Review of Verbal Behaviour, by B.F. Skinner”. Bindra analyzed motivation through the trinity of perception, learning and cognition. His drive to integrate these mental features also pushed him to expand the scope of his own research. As a result, over the next 15 years he became highly interested in intelligent behaviour. He defined it in part as “anticipatory choice and planning” and proposed a much more complex view of the phenomena than was present in existing literature. His findings on intelligence were reported in his second book, A Theory of Intelligent Behaviour, published in 1976.

Scott Waddell is Professor of Neurobiology, a Wellcome Principal Research Fellow and Vice-Director of the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford. Scott studied biochemistry at the University of Dundee in his native Scotland, and cancer for his Ph.D. at the University of London. He did postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston and was faculty of the University of Massachusetts Medical School before joining the University of Oxford in 2011. Scott is an elected Member of EMBO and was awarded the 2014 Liliane Bettencourt Prize for the Life Sciences. Scott’s group is primarily known for their discoveries of neural mechanisms of memory and motivation, using genetic-based approaches in Drosophila.

Scott will give two lectures at McGill on Friday 9th November 2018.
The first morning seminar is entitled:
Mechanisms of Memory Formation and Re-evaluation in Drosophila
10:00am to 11:00am in 2001 Ave, McGill College, rm 461.

The main 2018 Bindra Lecture is entitled:
Dopaminergic Control of Motivated Behaviour in the Fruit Fly
3:30 to 5:00 pm in the McIntyre Medical Bldg, rm 522, followed by a Reception in the Bellini building (3655 Promenade Sir William Osler). Admission is free.