Barrett Research Endowment
Beatrice H. Barrett Endowment for Neuro-Operant Relations
The Department of Behavior Analysis has been named as the recipient of a multi-million dollar gift endowment to be awarded upon settlement of the estate of Dr. Beatrice H. Barrett of Lincoln, Massachusetts. The purpose of the endowment is to study the relations between everyday actions, measured moment to moment, and concurrent neurological activity occurring in the brain of the behaving person. The research program will build on 35,000 hours of behavioral data collected by Dr. Barrett during her tenure as director of the Behavior Prosthesis Laboratory at Fernald State School near Boston.
The first step in carrying out the program is to have the Barrett archives shipped to Chilton Hall, where the archival data will be organized and the researchers will collaborate with the Texas Center for Digital Knowledge (TxCDK) to develop a digital database and digitize the data. Long term plans include making both digitized and paper archives available to scholars worldwide.
The research on neuro-operant relations will involve several of the behavior analysis faculty as well as a researcher hired to manage the project. The project is planned to serve as an incubator for a succession of postdoctoral researchers interested in the new research area, who will then continue their research as they move on to full-time positions in universities throughout the nation.
Dr. Barrett chose the Department of Behavior Analysis as recipient of the gift for three reasons. First, she shared with Dr. Sigrid Glenn a vision of a research program such as the one planned. A research colleague learned about UNT’s TxCDK at a conference where students of Dr. Jesus Rosales presented. And UNT has one of the largest and best known behavior analysis faculty in the world. Their applied and basic research provides a network of collaborative support for the new research project.