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By The Great Courses, Professor Robert Sapolsky, The Great Courses

When are we accountable for our personal activities, and while are we within the grip of organic forces past our keep watch over? What determines who we fall in love with? The depth of our religious lives? The measure of our competitive impulses?

These questions fall into the medical province of behavioral biology, the sphere that explores interactions among the mind, brain, physique, and setting that experience a shocking effect on how we behave. briefly, how our brains make us the members we're.

In this sequence of 24 interesting lectures by means of a sought after neurobiologist, zoologist, and MacArthur origin "genius" provide recipient, you are going to examine how the human mind is sculpted by way of evolution, restricted or freed by way of genes, formed by means of early event, modulated by means of hormones, and another way motivated to provide a variety of behaviors, a few of them irregular. and you may learn the way little will be defined by means of wondering any of those components on my own, simply because a few mixture of impacts is sort of constantly at paintings.

Professor Sapolsky contains a provocative exploration of the consequences of our rising knowing of the origins of person adjustments, contemplating such questions as: How a lot do those insights threaten our personal experience of self and individuality? the place can we draw the road among the essence of the individual and the organic abnormalities? What counts as being in poor health? who's biologically impaired, and who's simply varied? As increasingly more sophisticated abnormalities of neurobiology are understood, how a lot should still we fear concerning the temptation to label humans as "abnormal"? And what occurs once we each one have some of these labels?

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Extra resources for Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality

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Forgiving tit-for-tat is a derived strategy that comes about when a mistake in communication is introduced into the system. After the wrong signal is given, a few rounds of cheating ensue, then one player “forgives,” and cooperation is reestablished. III. Establishing cooperation in such games as the Prisoner’s Dilemma can prove challenging. A. The problem exists of the disadvantage for the first player to make an altruistic gesture; that player will always be one step behind. B. One solution is kin selection in isolated, inbred populations.

Instead, however, hormones alter a preexisting tendency for the behavior to occur in the context of interaction with the environment. This notion will be studied more in depth in the lectures on aggression. Further Reading: For two excellent texts: J. Becker, M. Breedlove, D. Crews, and M. McCarthy, Behavioral Endocrinology, 2nd ed. R. Nelson, An Introduction to Behavioral Endocrinology, 2nd ed. For the (very difficult) bible of the field: P. , Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 10th ed. Questions to Consider: 1.

Hormones can alter neurotransmitter actions in the brain. (Figure 9a) 1. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter of pleasure in the brain. 2. Steroid hormones called glucocorticoids are released during stress, and these hormones have an effect on dopamine release. a. During short-term stress (stimulation), a transient rise in glucocorticoid levels occurs, resulting in increased synaptic release of dopamine. This can produce pleasurable effects. LTP is enhanced as well. b. During long-term stress, however, a chronic rise in glucocorticoid levels occurs; thus, the dopamine neurons are depleted, leading to anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure.

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Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality by The Great Courses, Professor Robert Sapolsky, The Great Courses

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