Norman Adler Biography
Dr. Norman Adler Biography
Norman Tenner Adler (born June 7, 1941) through his research, teaching, writing, and academic administration, has made major contributions to the modern study of biological psychology and in American higher education, having helped develop the fields that are now labeled behavioral neurobiology and evolutionary psychology. One of Adler’s prominent experiment included an in depth analysis of mating performance of male rats and its relation to fertilization in the female, which led him to observe how behaviour could affect reproduction in species. With his students and colleagues, he has worked at the interface between biology and behavior. They have stressed the importance of combining the study of physiological mechanisms controlling behavior with the functional/adaptive significance of behavior in an evolutionary context. He was influenced in this approach by his undergraduate teachers at Harvard, especially Paul Rozin, Jerry Hogan, and Gordon Bermant, and his student colleagues like Don Pfaff with whom he has maintained scientific relationships over the years. His research was also impacted by Daniel Lehrman, and he worked closely with Lehrman’s student, Barry Komisaruk, on hormones and neural functioning. Adler is also a prominent figure in American higher education, especially the role of behavioral neuroscience in liberal arts education and religion in the college classroom. He participated in Phillip Zimbardo’s PBS TV series Discovering Psychology, one of the first distance-learning courses in psychology.
HONORS AND AWARDS
Among other honors, Professor Adler was awarded the Dana Foundation Prize for Pioneering Achievement in Higher Education for his work on the Biological Basis of Behavior Program at the University of Pennsylvania, a model for neuroscience, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology as undergraduate majors. He has received two Guggenheim Awards, the American Psychological Association’s Early Career Award, and the Sigma Xi National Lectureship. The annual Norman Adler Lecture Series in the Biological Basis of Behavior was established in his honor at the University of Pennsylvania.