How can we better understand the evolutionary origins of mental illness? The polarizing debate that has surrounded this question too often
How can we better understand the evolutionary origins of mental illness? The polarizing debate that has surrounded this question too often has centered on brain function in early man. It is increasingly recognized, however, that the mental processes and behavior of animals from mammals, to birds, to reptiles can become dysregulated. Many forms of psychopathology can emerge in animals: self-‐injuring syndromes in mustangs, parrots, and dogs; compulsive grooming in cats, birds, and reptiles; psychogenic sexual dysfunction in stallions; and psychotropic substance seeking behavior in wallabies, waxwing birds, bighorn sheep, and others. This burgeoning awareness of psychopathology in extant animals species offers novel insights into the nature and evolutionary origins of mental health and illness in contemporary humans. Comparative psychopathology can advance evolutionary psychology beyond “Just So Stories” and Stone Age speculation, to an evidence-based field with an abundance of generative questions and testable hypotheses.
Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College and received a Master’s degree from Harvard University. She received her medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her psychiatry residency and served as Chief Resident at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. She is an attending cardiologist at UCLA Medical Center, as well as a psychiatrist. With Kathryn Bowers, she is co-‐author of Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing (Knopf, 2012). She is a member of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent) Working Group entitled, “Infusing Evolutionary Thinking into Medical Education.” With Daniel Blumstein, she co-‐directs an interdisciplinary program in evolutionary medicine.
The Jacob Marschak Interdiscipliary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences just celebrated its 50th year since its foundation by Jacob Marschak, a pioneer of the economics of information. The colloquium is designed to bring together scholars from across the behavioral sciences (broadly defined) employing mathematical models and methods (also broadly defined). Presentations are scientific and rigorous, while at the same time directed at an audience with a wide spectrum of expertise, rather than a narrow disciplinary audience. The Marschak Colloquium is co-‐directed by Susanne Lohmann (Political Science and Public Policy), Mark Kleiman (Public Policy), and Sally Blower (Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences), with Michael Intriligator (Economics, Political Science, and Public Policy) serving as the Honorary Lifetime Director. Martie Haselton (Communication Studies and Psychology) is Chair of the Marschak Colloquium Committee. We welcome speaker suggestions (email@example.com)!
(Friday) 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Anderson School of Management, Room C-301