On December 17th, 2009, Dr. Donald J. Woodward, Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Research Institute of North Carolina, USA, visited the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, after the invitation of Professor Fei Luo. Dr. Woodward delivered a talk in the Institute of Psychology, which satisfied a large group of audience containing scientists and students from several medical or comprehensive institutes including Peking University, Zhejiang University, Capital Medical University, and Capital Normal University. Professor Luo chaired the talk session.
Dr. Woodward was one of the first to develop the awake-animal behavioral and multi-neuronal recording technique in 1990s. He was also the pioneer in the international application and education of this new methodology. Under his leadership, a group of excellent R & D experts, including Harvey Wigins, who was the founder of Plexon Inc., Ltd., the most famous company in this field, has developed the first neuronal signal sorting system, the Harvey Box, the core instrument for multiple channel single-unit recording. Collaborated with his students (John, K. Chapin, Miguel A. Nicolelis, etc) .who are now the distinguished scientists, Dr. Woodward has published series of papers in top journals including Nature, Science, and PNAS. For more than 40 years, Dr. Woodward worked actively in Neuroscience, and has made multiple contributions in the field of drug abuse, learning and memory, brain development and plasticity, and sensoriomotor modulation.
The topic of Dr. Woodward’s talk was “Introduction of enabling technology for multineuron recording: impact on studies of brain and behavior”. He has described the history of the multichannel single-unit recording technology, its application in neuroscience and psychology, as well as the future directions, which has greatly improved the knowledge of the attendees. An eager discussion was held after the talk. Professor Xiaolan Fu, the vice-Director of the Institute, met Dr. Woodward with a warm welcome after the talk. They exchanged discussion for future collaboration.
The aim of this visit was to further establish the technological platform of awake-animal behavioral and multi-neuron recording system in the Institute of Psychology, CAS. Dr. Woodward is also planning to develop research collaboration between the two Institutes based on the existing relation with Dr. Luo’s team. This is his first exchanging visit after he becomes the visiting professor of the Institute of Psychology. This marks the “kick-off” of the Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists Plan of the Institute of Psychology.