Specialty Area(s): Neurobiology of memory and emotion, olfactory sensory physiology and perception, consequences of early experience on neurobiology and behavior.
Donald Wilson, PhD, is a Research Scientist, at the Emotional Brain Institute within the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and Professor, Graduate Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, City University of New York.
His special interests include the neurobiology of memory and emotion, sensory physiology and perception (especially olfaction), and the role of early experience in shaping perception, memory and emotion.
Dr. Wilson received his BS in Psychology from the University of Nebraska and his PhD in Psychology from McMaster University. He completed post-graduate training in behavioral neuroscience at the University of California at Irvine as a fellow at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and as an Assistant Researcher in Psychobiology.
Prior to joining the faculty at NYU, Dr. Wilson was Professor (with tenure) and Assistant Chair of Zoology, and co-Director of the Neurobehavioral Institute at the University of Oklahoma.
Dr. Wilson is on the editorial board of Neural Plasticity and the Encyclopedia of Perception. He is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters and other professional publications. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology and the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. In addition, Dr. Wilson has extensive experience in classroom education and mentoring at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
In the News
Sense of smell 'can be improved through training'
Dr. Wilson recently published findings in Nature Neuroscience showing that the sense of smell can be improved. This study suggests possible ways to reverse the loss of smell due to aging or disease. Dr. Wilson's results garnered a lot of attention in the media including: Scientific American, BBC News, French Tribune.com, and Medical News Today.
The article itself can be found here.
Secrets of Smell: Different Nose Parts for Stinky, Sweet
Dr. Wilson spoke to National Geographic about a new study on why people with Alzheimer's disease often lose their sense of smell early on in the course of the disease. According to the study, millions of receptors in the nose's smelling organ aren't scattered at random, but congregate in tiny hot spots that help the brain discern good smells from bad ones. Click here to read the article. (October 3, 2011)