Matthew Lewon with lab group

Matthew Lewon

Assistant Professor


Matthew and his students conduct research across the basic, applied, and philosophical/conceptual domains of behavior science. Research conducted in his laboratory is intentionally eclectic and based upon the assumption that students benefit from exposure to/participation in a diverse intellectual environment. Students are encouraged to develop and pursue their own research interests, but the work of the laboratory is held together by a group concern with the critical and continuous evaluation of philosophical and conceptual issues within behavior science.

Matthew is the principal investigator for the Animal Behavior Laboratory (ABL). The purpose of the ABL is to conduct basic research on learning, memory, and the contextual control of behavior with mice. The ABL also conducts interdisciplinary research with researchers outside of behavior science on mouse models of human conditions. Recent research topics have included motivational state-dependent learning, interactions between the effects of motivating operations, habituation/dishabituation to reinforcers, social reinforcement in mice, and how learning processes related to autism spectrum disorder in offspring are affected by parental early life exposure to anesthetic agents used in pediatric surgery.

Matthew is also the Clinical Director of Behavioral Education and Consulting Services (BECS). The goal of BECS is to support students and staff in Washoe County School District (WCSD) with evidence-based behavioral consultation services. BECS collaborates with WCSD personnel to develop functional behavioral assessments and function-based interventions for individual students, conduct staff and parent trainings, and develop/monitor school-wide behavior management strategies. Graduate and undergraduate students working in BECS receive training in providing school-based consultative services.

Research interests

  • Motivation and emotion
  • Contextual control of learning and memory
  • Animal models of disease and relapse
  • Epigenetics and learning and memory
  • Treatment integrity
  • Observing behavior
  • Maintenance and generalization of behavioral treatment

Professional certifications

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst
  • Licensed Behavior Analyst (NV)


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2017 
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2013
  • B.A., History, University of Arizona, 2001

Selected publications


  • Contreras, B. P., Lewon, M., Peal, C., & Vitale, N. L. (2023). The state of teaching philosophy in behavior analysis training programs. Behavior Analysis in Practice.
  • Lewon, M. (September, 2022). Context in learning: Processes and outcomes. Paper presented at the 11th International Conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, Dublin, Ireland. (Symposium title: “Context: Toward Defining the Ineffable,” M. Lewon, Chair.)
  • Lewon, M., Houmanfar, R. A., & Hayes, L. J. (2019). The will to fight: Aversion-induced aggression and the role of motivation in intergroup conflict. Perspectives on Behavior Science, 42, 889-910.
  • Hayes, L. J., Jacobs, K. W., & Lewon, M. (2020). Basic concepts. In M. J. Fryling, R. A. Rehfeldt, J. Tarbox, & L. J. Hayes (Eds.). Applied behavior analysis of language and cognition. New Harbinger.
  • Lewon, M., & Hayes, L. J. (2014). Toward an analysis of emotions as products of motivating operations. The Psychological Record, 64, 813-825.


  • Lewon, M., Peal, C., Peters, C. M. & Hayes, L. J. (2022). Motivational state-dependent renewal and reinstatement: Discriminative and motivational functions of food deprivation and satiation states. Learning and Motivation, 79, 101820.
  • Spurlock, E. D., & Lewon, M. (2022). Motivational state-dependent renewal and reinstatement of operant responding under food and water deprivation states. Behavioural Processes, 204, 104803.
  • Stites, M., Lewon, M., Peters, C. M., & Hayes, L. J. (2022). Motivating operations as contexts for operant discrimination training and testing. Behavioural Processes, 203, 104779.
  • Lewon, M., Thomas, J., Peters, C. M., & Hayes, L. J. (2020). Interactions between the motivational and discriminative functions of motivating operations in the renewal of operant responding in mice. The Psychological Record, 70, 21-31.
  • Lewon, M., Spurlock, E. D., Peters, C. M., & Hayes, L. J. (2019). Interactions between the effects of food and water motivating operations on food- and water-reinforced responding in mice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 111, 493-507.


  • Green, K., Lewon, M., Lewon, A. B., & Ghezzi, P. M. (2023). All things must pass: Termination of services in behavior analysis. Behavior Analysis in Practice.
  • Faletta-Cowden, N., & Lewon, M. (2022). The fundamental importance of social validity in behavioral consultation in schools. Psychology in the Schools, 60(6), 1918-1935.
  • Castro-Hostetler, M., Greenwald, A. E., & Lewon, M. (2021). Increasing access and quality of behavior-analytic services for the Latinx population. Behavior and Social Issues, 30, 13-38.
  • Lewon, M., Webb, E. K., Brotheridge, S. M., Cox, C., & Fast, C. D. (2019). Behavioral skills training in scent detection research: Interactions between trainer and animal behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 52, 682-700.


  • Lewon, M., Wang, Y., Peters, C., Peterson, M., Zheng, H., Wang, Z., Hayes, L., & Yan, W. (2020). Assessment of operant learning and memory in mice born through ICSI. Human Reproduction, 35, 2058-2071.
  • Lewon, M., Peters, C. M., Van Ry, P. M., Burkin, D. J., Hunter, K. W., & Hayes, L. J. (2017). Evaluation of the behavioral characteristics of the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy through operant conditioning procedures. Behavioural Processes, 142, 8-20.

Dr. Matthew Lewon's Google Scholar