Donald S. Leitner, Ph.D.

Professor and Chair of Psychology
Specialization: Behavioral Neuroscience
Office: 227 Post Hall
Phone: (610) 660-1802
Fax: (610) 660-1819
Website: Faculty Website

Professor Donald Leitner is a behavioral neuroscientist with research interests in the areas of sensory processing and psychopharmacology. He received his B. A. in psychology in 1976 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received his M. A. in physiological psychology in 1978 and his Ph. D. in physiological psychology in 1981, both from Bryn Mawr College.  Upon completion of his doctoral degree, Professor Leitner spent a year as a visiting professor of psychology at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.  In 1981, he took a position as an NIMH postdoctoral fellow with the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry in New York City from 1981 to 1985.  He joined the faculty of Saint Joseph's University in 1985. He was awarded tenure in 1990, promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1991, and to the rank of Professor in 2000. Professor Leitner has served as chair of the Department of Psychology since 2004.

Professor Leitner has had seventeen manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, sensory processing and psychopharmacology. Current projects in his laboratory include mathematical analyses of auditory temporal resolution in human and non-human species and how drugs that alter brain chemistry affect temporal resolution.

Professor Leitner is a student of the martial arts. He advanced to the rank of first-degree black belt in American Kenpo Karate in November of 2006, after eight years of training.  He advanced to the rank of second-degree black belt in June of 2010, and to the rank of third-degree black belt in August of 2013.  He is currently training for his fourth-degree black belt.


B. A., Psychology, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1976

M. A., Physiological Psychology, Bryn Mawr College, 1978

Ph.D., Physiological Psychology, Bryn Mawr College, 1981

Postdoctoral Fellow, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry, 1981 through 1985


Faculty Expert Profile

  • Expertise: Behavioral Neuroscience, Brain Function, Psychphysics, the Biology of Psychology, Effect of External Factors on Sensation