Linking Genes, the Brain, and Behavior
Doctor Larry Young discusses how genes, biochemicals, and the brain interact to form complex social behaviors.
As a student I was really fascinated by the sort of differences in behavior that you see in nature. Striking differences between different species of birds and how they dance or different social behaviors. But I was also a biochemist and I was fascinated by genes and proteins and things like that. So I really was convinced that it was possible to make a link between the genes and behavior, and thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been working [on] throughout my career to try to understand how you can go from a gene, the starting point, to the outcome of behavior. Of course we know that behavior is controlled by the brain and the brain is controlled by genes, so the philosophy that weâ€™ve taken in my lab is really to see how variation in genes affects neuroanatomy or brain distributions of different molecules, and then how do those differences in distributions affect behavior. So I believe that you really have to have a comprehensive view, go across multiple different levels of analysis, to really understand how our genes, the molecules that we inherit from our parents can influence our behavior as adults.
genes, brain, cognition, behavior, social, neuroanatomy, biochemistry, molecules, larry, young
Doctor Larry Young discusses evidence of a relationship between oxytocin and autism, speculating that oxytocin may be used to treat autism.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how vasopressin and oxytocin contribute to the reward system, which can promote behavior such as bonding and drug addiction.
Doctor Larry Young describes the prairie vole as an excellent model species because it forms social bonds similar to humans.
Doctor Larry Young explains that the genes that encode for vasopressin receptors can predict social behaviors. This intriguing finding makes the link between genes, the brain and behavior.
Doctor Larry Young describes how neuropeptides can activate circuits that can change emotions and behaviors.
Doctor Larry Young discusses that he believes there is a biological basis to love.
Doctor Larry Young discusses how taking oxytocin may increase trust and affect social abilities in humans. This may be a future treatment for autism.
Doctor Larry Young discusses the proposition that, although different in intensity, the bonds between friends, relations, and lovers have the same underlying biochemistry.
Doctor Larry Young explains that social personality traits are influenced by levels of oxytocin and vasopressin in the brain.
Doctor Thomas Insel discusses the importance of understanding behavior on multiple levels and the interactions of genes, cells, and social systems.