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Examining a reciprocal interaction
Joe Herbert M.B, Ph.D.
Mental illness in university students appears to be on the rise. Is this really the case—and what can we do about it?
A clock in your brain rules when you do most things. if it malfunctions, you can become decidedly unwell. Even depressed.
Hormones play a powerful but unsuspected role in influencing financial decisions. Bankers need to take notice!
Sexual harassment is an invention of the human brain. The inventiveness of the human brain makes harassment one inevitable feature of human behavior, but it also offers a remedy.
You might think that hormones such as testosterone have little to do with human behavior. But the recent evidence suggest otherwise. And it's not just a "male" hormone.
The origins of gender inequality go way back into our biological history. The evolution of the human brain has enabled us to develop increasingly effective ways of dealing with it.
A recent book on the poet Robert Lowell raises some fascinating questions about the relation between bipolar disorder and creativity
It has been known for a long time that early exposure to testosterone has a powerful influence on later sexuality. Now we are beginning to understand how this might come about.
Some feminists deny that true gender differences in behavior exist: they mistake similarity with equality, and neglect an important source of individuality.
Even the Marines are recruiting women. What does this tell us about being war-like? Or about gender equality? And is it to be welcomed?
There are well-known associations between abuse or neglect early in life and later psychological or psychiatric complications. What do we know about what goes on in the brain?
Has the surge in our knowledge of the brain told us anything useful about the basis for gender identity? If it did, how would we use it?
Why is brain aging so individually variable? Can we do anything to delay cognitive decline?
Inflammation is not just a response to infection. There are signs that it can be a precursor to some common brain disorders, including strokes, depression and Alzheimer's disease.
Women are not as free from the effects of hormones as once was thought.
A group of Americans are dying earlier than they used to do. This bucks the trend in other countries, and in America in other groups. Why is this? Can anything be done?
What happens in the brain when we fall in love? Do modern scanning techniques tell us?
Some men seek to attract other men's partners, others do not. Now there are indications that activation of a particular part of the brain may separate them.
We think cold logic determines how we spend or make our money. But our hormones may be influencing us in ways we don't know, if results on financial traders applies to us all.
There is now consensus that depression is a risk for later Alzheimer's disease. But depression is not a single disorder; are there recognizable sub-types that are the real risk?
Bonding is an essential part of social, sexual and family life. How much is this due to one simple chemical in the brain?
Stroking gives pleasure to humans as well as cats. We are beginning to know why.
Gender differences in behavior may have a biological as well as a social determinant. Can we envisage a time when we accept these as true examples of individuality?
Genetic developmental disorders of the brain are usually considered incurable. But recent results suggest that, in Rett's syndrome at least, this may not be the case.
White fat is more that a layer of greasy energy stores. It has a surprising amount of other actions, including the production of several very powerful hormones.
Stress can alter the rhythm of the body, particularly because it changes the daily pattern of the hormone cortisol. This may be why it also increases the risk of mental illness
We now know that there are parts of the brain that go on making new nerve cells throughout adult life. Does this help us find ways of repairing the damaged brain?
Testosterone is known to promote aggressive behavior and risk-taking as part of its function. Does this include a propensity to make war?
Using the term 'mental illness' is an admission of our ignorance about causation—not a logical distinction. And it may add to the stigma attached to psychiatric disorders.
Stress, partly because it activates cortisol, can have damaging effects on the brain. Why is this?
Joe Herbert, Ph.D., is an emeritus professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.