Integrating levels of understanding
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of understanding behavior on multiple levels and the interactions of genes, cells, and social systems.
So the way I would think about understanding something as complex as social cognition or social behavior - the operative word here is â€˜understanding.â€™ Understanding for us nowadays in science means a comprehension of this across many levels of analysis. So 20 years ago it would have been fine to understand language or social motivation or parental care at the level of behavior, and there is still a very deep amount of research that is necessary to characterize the behavior. But increasingly in this decade â€˜understandingâ€™ means now getting at it at other levels. Other levels can kind of cascade down. So you go from the level of observed behavior to the level of observing whatâ€™s happening within brain networks and systems to then understanding what is happening at a cellular basis and how those systems within the brain, how those networks form. At a molecular level, what is changing within cells to drive a certain kind of development, to buy us a certain kind of behavior, to permit something like language to actually take place? Thatâ€™s where often the kinds of tools that are used now from genetics are having the most information. So we are talking about genes are molecular level, cellular level, systems level, ultimately the behavioral level which then divides up between individual behavior and then finally social behavior and what happens within social networks.
systems, levels, understanding, genes, cells, brain, networks, social behavior, social networks, thomas, insel,
- ID: 2002
- Source: DNALC.G2C
- Download: Theora Video MPEG 4 Video Windows Media Video
2001. Organizing cells into networks
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses difficulties in understanding how cells become organized to the form networks that allow information to flow within a nervous system.
2009. Model animals (NOT animal models)
Doctor Thomas Insel makes the case for model animals with the power to see how candidate genes for human disorders could affect other systems.
2010. Vasopressin, oxytocin and bonding (1)
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of two neuropeptides - oxytocin and vasopressin - in relation to attachment and social bonding.
2008. Cognitive disorders are early onset disorders
Doctor Thomas Insel points out that many cognitive disorders have a relatively early onset, and the challenge is to find out the relevant genetic, cellular, and neural correlates.
1443. Neural Networks
Networks are the engines that drive our brain, they exist at every level of organization. Genes, proteins, and neurons all form highly integrated complex networks.
2000. Social cognition (2)
Doctor Thomas Insel defines social cognition as the way we process information about recognition, social memory, social motivation, and language.
2004. Neuroimaging - notes of caution
Doctor Thomas Insel points out that although neuroimaging is a tremendously exciting technique, there are no examples of findings affecting clinical practice or diagnosis.
2266. Neuroimaging - review
Bridging the gap between descriptions of human behaviors and underlying neural events has been a dream of both psychologists and neuroscientists for quite some time.
An overview of depression-related content on Genes to Cognition Online.
825. A Brain Built for Fair Play
A new theory of the neuroscientific basis for the human instinct for fair play.