Behavioral Processes - Department of Psychology
The Department of Psychology at Wofford has several laboratories dedicated to the study of behavioral processes across species. There are a wide variety of experimental chambers to provide hands-on education in basic behavioral processes in lab courses such as Psych 300 "Learning and Adaptive Behavior." There is a seminar area to facilitate collaborative, publication - quality research with students and professors in Psych 451-2 "Senior Thesis".
At the same time, the lab is a place to have a great time incorporating an informal study area with a couch, chairs, and a library with over 1000 volumes and an up-to-date collection of approximately a dozen professional journals used in the experimental analysis of behavior. The informal study area allows students and professors to discuss their research projects, data, and research articles.
Our goal is to ensure that all our majors graduate with extensive laboratory experience. We ensure that they always have more to show for their college education than just a list of courses completed.
The Learning Lab
The Learning Lab contains four identical operant chambers designed for the study of behavioral processes in rats. These chambers are used in the laboratory portion of the course "Learning & Adaptive Behavior" (Psych 300), taught by Dr. Reid every spring semester. Each chamber is located inside an isolation chamber and connected to its own dedicated microcomputer. The equipment is also available for student use throughout the year for independent projects.
Although the equipment in the learning lab is suitable to conduct serious publication-quality research, there is also a light-hearted fun aspect to animal behavior modification at Wofford College. For example, students in the behavioral processes labs trained rats to play one-on-one basketball in a miniature basketball court. This experience led to the Final Four Rat Basketball Tournament, which was shown on TV news throughout the U.S. and other countries from Canada to Venezuela.
The Advanced Behavioral Processes Lab
Dr. Reid's Advanced Behavioral Processes Lab is a large, well-equipped laboratory designed specifically to support students involved in the Senior Thesis (Psych 451-2) and students carrying out independent research for other courses. The laboratory contains a dozen experimental chambers of a variety of designs for rats and for pigeons. Each chamber is connected to its own dedicated microcomputer. Each research project is provided a group of experimental chambers of identical design so that most experimental sessions for each project can run concurrently.
A separate room in the Behavioral Processes Lab Area contains a large octagonal apparatus for rats. The apparatus has received the nickname "Disneyland" because it provides a rat with eight separate areas, each of which may contain a separate apparatus such as a running wheel, drinking tube, feeder, etc. This apparatus has been used for a variety of published experiments over the years, including studies of schedule-induced behavior, behavioral interaction, and relationships between motivational systems.
Included in the behavioral processes suite are separate rooms containing laboratory computers dedicated for students to analyze their data and create publication-quality graphs. Additionally, there is a dedicated electronics workroom, in which experimental apparatus can be constructed, computers repaired, and interfaces designed and built. The electronics workroom is well supplied with testing equipment, tools, and electronics components.
ASSOCIATED NEUROSCIENCE FACILITIES:
Psychology Neuroscience Laboratory
Animal Husbandry Facilities