Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition : The Great Courses: Biology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert Sapolsky Ph.D. Rockefeller University
  • Series: The Great Courses: Biology
  • 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

When are we responsible for our own actions, and when are we in the grip of biological forces beyond our control? What determines who we fall in love with? The intensity of our spiritual lives? The degree of our aggressive impulses?
These questions fall into the scientific province of behavioral biology, the field that explores interactions between the brain, mind, body, and environment that have a surprising influence on how we behave. In short, how our brains make us the individuals we are.
In this series of 24 fascinating lectures by a prominent neurobiologist, zoologist, and MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant recipient, you'll investigate how the human brain is sculpted by evolution, constrained or freed by genes, shaped by early experience, modulated by hormones, and otherwise influenced to produce a wide range of behaviors, some of them abnormal. And you'll learn how little can be explained by thinking about any of these factors alone, because some combination of influences is almost always at work.
Professor Sapolsky includes a provocative exploration of the implications of our emerging understanding of the origins of individual differences, considering such questions as: How much do these insights threaten our own sense of self and individuality? Where do we draw the line between the essence of the person and the biological abnormalities? What counts as being ill? Who is biologically impaired, and who is just different? As more and more subtle abnormalities of neurobiology are understood, how much should we worry about the temptation to label people as "abnormal"? And what happens when we each have a few of these labels?
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

very neuroscience

narrator talks fast and can be difficult to keep up with at times.
very interesting listen though.
a pre existing knowledge of neuroscience is essential.
very detailed and flows well.
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- Ben

Fascinating topic

Amazing course on tracing human behavior back through the insights of neurology, endocrinology, genetics and evolution.
A few lectures at the end apply this scheme to violent behavior. Here I missed some deeper connections from violent tendencies to other maybe not so destructive behaviors, i.e. going one level up towards psychology, but hey, the scope is already massive, and all the appropriate caveats were in place.
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- Santiago

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses