How Brain Damage Affects Critical and Criminal Thinking

October 24, 1997

7:00 pm
Salem Senior Center, 1055 Erixon NE, Salem, OR

Joel Alexander, Ph.D.

Alexander’s research focuses primarily on extreme group designs in which group differences are evaluated. His primary tool is the electroencephalogram (EEG), a functional measurement of brain activity. Presently, he is involved in functional brain studies on melatonin, musical expertise, left-handedness, and predatory criminals. For any trait understudy, he would examine the EEGs of the most extreme individuals within the group. Individuals considered extreme for left-handedness had other immediate family members who were also left-handed. In studies of criminality, he selects murderers who planned their crimes and stalked their victims; a murder under impulse or provocation did not meet his criteria of “extreme.” In this talk, he will discuss how functional studies of the brain are conducted and the results of some of his current research.

Alexander is an assistant professor of psychology at Western Oregon University (WOU) and the director of the WOU neurocognitive laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Iowa State University and completed an internship at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, before coming to his current position at WOU in 1994.