A Biographical Sketch

I’m proud to be from Montreal, Quebec. I grew up there—apart from a couple of two-year stints in Ottawa. Growing up in Montreal in the 1950s was great for one major reason—the Montreal Canadiens, a true sports dynasty. Oh, and collecting DC comics occupied a fair amount of time, too. I did my B.A. at McGill University in the late 1960s, a wonderful time and place to be not just for the education but for the music—music, with psychology, is my other lifelong interest. I graduated in 1971, having had the great privilege of taking Introductory Psychology from Donald Hebb, and became interested in perception and cognition.

From McGill, I moved to the University of Washington in Seattle for my Ph.D., where I worked with Tom Nelson, my supervisor, and Geoff Loftus and Buz Hunt, my dissertation committee. I found a new interest in memory, which has proved to be career-long. Being so close to the mountains and ocean was terrific, too. Tom and I also got to spend an idyllic year at the University of California, Irvine, living on the beach, which is where I actually wrote my dissertation. Returning to Seattle, I graduated in 1975 and stayed on to do a postdoc with Buz Hunt, moving into the area of individual differences in cognition.

In 1978, I left Seattle to return to Canada as a professor at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. I spent a terrific quarter of a century at U of T, apart from sabbaticals at the University of Queensland (Australia), the University of Pittsburgh (U.S.A.), Duke University (U.S.A.), and the Free University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands). At U of T, I continued my work on memory, stimulated by the incredible group of colleagues in that area of research—among them, Gus Craik, Paul Kolers, Bob Lockhart, Morris Moscovitch, Ben Murdock, Norm Slamecka, and Endel Tulving—but I also developed a new career-long interest in attention, such that my work now spans the two areas (for more specifics, see Research Interests and Recent Publications).

In 2003, I moved to the University of Waterloo, also a terrific place to teach and do research. That year, too, our son Nathan was born (for pictures, see Photo Gallery). I continue to find the operation of mind a wonderful thing to study, and Nathan is helping me to find the development of mind fascinating as well. I am privileged indeed to have a career in teaching and research.

In 2010, I was thrilled to be the recipient of the Donald O. Hebb Distinguished Contribution Award from the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science; for the corresponding publication, click here. In 2012, it was wonderful to also be the recipient of the CPA Donald O. Hebb Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychology as a Science from the Canadian Psychological Association.


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