Michael Vigorito, Ph.D.
Dr. Vigorito's research with a rodent model of HIV aims to learn how the virus affects the brain and behavior.
I began teaching at Seton Hall University in 1989 when the Department of Psychology was exclusively an undergraduate department. In 2004 the department began offering graduate education by introducing an M.S. in Experimental Psychology and I served as its first director.
My general interests are in science, animal behavior, and human nature and I learned early in my education (as an undergraduate at Brooklyn College) that experimental psychology is an ideal field to cultivate these interests. One of my goals as a professor is to introduce the scientific study of psychology to undergraduates and to help graduate and interested undergraduate students further develop their scientific way of knowing through study and research. Most of my recent empirical research falls within the category of behavioral neuroscience and investigates learning and behavior in laboratory rodents. I am also interested in computers and technology and their application to instruction (pedagogy). I am known to occasionally try new technologies and approaches in my classes.
The courses that I have been teaching for undergraduates in recent years are Introductory Psychology and Research Methods; for graduate students I teach Conditioning Behavior and Biological Basis of Behavior. Most recently I have also been thinking about how to incorporate a discussion of faith and science into my classes. Many (perhaps most) believe that faith and science are incompatible and even adversarial. This need not be. To focus on a discussion of science, faith, and what it means to be human I am co-teaching with Dr. Bert Wachsmuth of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science a multidisciplinary course called Robots and the Mind.
- Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1988
- M.S., University of Massachusetts-Amherst, 1982
- B.S., CUNY - Brooklyn College, 1979
- Provost's Faculty Scholarship Award for Publication, 2008
- Provost's Summer Fellowship Award, 2006
- Seton Hall University TRIO Grant, 2005
- SHU Curriculum Development Initiative(CDI-6)Grant(Director),2002-2005
- Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology (OTRP) Instructional Research Award,2002.
- Seton Hall University Research Council Grant,1998
- Faculty Excellence Award (1995)
- National Science Foundation (NSF) Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) grant, 1992
- Methamphetamine-Induced Behavioral Sensitization is Enhanced in the HIV-1 Transgenic Rat
Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology,
- Spatial Learning and Memory in HIV-1 Transgenic rats
Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 2(4), 319- 328,
- An Electronic Workbook for Assessing the Dunn et al (2007) Quality Benchmarks in Undergraduate Psychology Programs
Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology,
- The role of cognition in classical and operant conditioning
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60, 369- 392,
- A curriculum matrix for Psychology program review
Teaching of Psychology, 26(4), 291- 294,