Stephen F. Austin State University
Human Neuroscience Laboratory
Box 13019, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75965
A second-generation Texan, Dr. Judith L. Lauter is professor and director of the Human Neuroscience Laboratory at Stephen F. Austin State University. She began her academic career as an English major and published poet, but her muse soon led her to study the human brain as a pathway for exploring the biological basis of human behavior. Her research on brain imaging at a number of universities around the country has focused on features that have fascinated artists as well as scientists for years, such as personality; individual differences in learning styles; and the propensity for disorders such as autism, hyperactivity, and mental problems including violence, dyslexia, and Alzheimer’s disease. She has worked with students from middle school through graduate school and adults, coordinated a series of public-information forums about the brain, and published and lectured widely, both in this country and abroad.
Every human being, like a fingerprint or a zebra’s stripe pattern, is unique, yet people also share features such as personality type, gender behavior, or specialized skills for language or math or athletics. New ideas highlighting the influence of sex hormones on the developing brain provide exciting clues to the origins of these characteristics as well as novel insights into problems such as autism, hyperactivity, dyslexia, and disorders of aging. This lecture will illustrate how knowing more about the neurological basis of behavior can lead us to a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.