Title: Professor of Psychology, Musician
Company: University of Illinois
Location: Saint Augustine, Florida, United States
Michael Gabriel, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Musician at the University of Illinois, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Artists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in neuroscience and jazz music.
After spending nearly 40 years in the fields of neuroscience and psychology, Dr. Gabriel retired from teaching in 2004 as a professor in the department of psychology with the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since his retirement, he has gotten back in touch with his musical roots as a talented trombone player. Uploading his music to Reverbnation.com under the name “Gabriel’s Horn,” he has accrued a large following due to his unique style of jazz. Prior to delving into the field of psychology, music was his utmost passion and several of his friends later became prominent jazz icons. However, he turned down the opportunity to play with Woody Herman in the early 1960s, deciding instead that he would be better suited as a psychologist.
Dr. Gabriel earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from St. Joseph’s College in 1962 and a Master of Arts in 1965 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1967 from the University of Wisconsin. He subsequently completed a senior postdoctoral fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health from 1970 to 1972. He has since received several grants in the field from renowned institutions, including the National Institutes of Health and the United States Air Force.
Among his other notable achievements, Dr. Gabriel played a significant role in several psychological breakthroughs. He has performed the only current neurologic analysis of the neural substrates of active avoidance learning in animals and provided the first documentation of neuron activity in multiple learning-relevant brain areas throughout the course of active avoidance learning. In addition, he was the first to demonstrate learning-relevant activity in the medial geniculate nucleus, a region previously believed to be involved solely in sensory processing. Furthermore, he was the first to demonstrate that neurons in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala played an essential role in the development of discriminative neuron activity in the MGn and cingulate cortex.
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