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Lanny Fields
Position: Professor Emeritus
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. Columbia University
Research Interests: Behavior Analysis, Concept Formation; Categorization

Lanny Fields received his B.A with a major in Psychology from Columbia College in 1960. He earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at Columbia University in 1968. He has been a faculty member of the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York (CUNY) from 1968 to 1983, and since 1983, as a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Queens College/CUNY. He is also a member of the Doctoral Program in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis and the Doctoral Program in Neuropsychology, both in the Graduate School of CUNY. His dissertation explored the conditional and primary aversive properties of pain thresholds. From 1970 to 1984, he investigated variables and processes that influenced errorless learning. From 1979 to the present, he has been studying factors that influence the formation of conceptual categories that include perceptual classes and equivalence classes, the effects of nodal structure on the strength of relations among the stimuli in equivalence classes, and the merger of equivalence and perceptual classes that result in the formation of complex categories like those found in natural settings, the neural concomitants of equivalence class formation, the contextually guided classification of symbols based on their acquired properties, and the use of equivalence class formation to establish academically relevant repertoires by college students. The results of his research have been reported in more than 60 articles and chapters published in peer reviewed journals and books, and have also been presented in more than 200 talks and invited presentations given at national and international conferences.

Research Interests:

Variables that induce the formation of conceptual classes, and that enhance the ability to categorize and classify information.
The neural substrates of concept formation.