Science of “being human” explored in upcoming Western Psychology lecture series

Researchers from Western University’s renowned Department of Psychology will present free public lectures over the next four weeks, each exploring a specific aspect of “being human” as it relates to controlling everything from biological clocks and the criminal mind to the human brain and one’s own self.

The weekly events begin Thursday, April 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Stevenson & Hunt Meeting Room A, London Central Library (251 Dundas Street, London, Ont.).

The full schedule for “It’s All Under Control” is as follows:

How Biological Clocks Make us Tick
Scott MacDougall-Shackleton
Advanced Facility for Avian Research
Thursday, April 9
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Cycles of day and night and the turning of the seasons influence all life on earth. As a result we have internal biological clocks that are used to coordinate daily and yearly changes. This lecture explores how our internal clocks can affect jet lag, seasonal depression, and why teenagers like to sleep.

Control: Its Role in Crime and Corrections
Peter Hoaken
Clinical Psychology
Thursday, April 16
7 to 8:30 p.m.

It’s not a new adage: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.” But what does contemporary science say about control and ‘crime’ and ‘time?’ And what might a psychologist have to say about Canada’s current criminal justice initiatives, including the 2012 Safe Streets and Communities Act?

How the Mind Can Control Machines
Jody Culham
Brain and Mind Institute
Thursday, April 23
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Neuroscientists may be unable to “read your mind” but increasingly they can “read your brain.” One goal is to use brain signals to control artificial limbs in patients with paralysis. This talk will discuss the potential, hype, and challenges in developing brain-machine interfaces for patients and the general public.

The Development of Self-Control in Children and Adolescents
J. Bruce Morton
Brain and Mind Institute
Thursday, April 30
7 to 8:30 p.m.

Have you ever wondered why some people struggle to control urges and are easily distracted away from their long-term goals? These aspects of our personality can be traced back to early development, a time that is increasingly recognized as crucial for shaping how the brain makes sense of rewards, risks, and goals.

Admission is free and no registration is required. Two hours of free validated parking is also available in Citi Plaza during library hours.

For more information, please visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165,, @jeffrenaud99

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