Watson Lecture - The Inner Life of the Brain: Fear, Sex, and Violence

Wednesday, December 9, 2020
5:00pm to 6:00pm
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David J. Anderson, Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology; Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience Leadership Chair; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Director, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, Caltech,
  • Public Event

Behaviors that are fundamental to animal survival, such as mating and the fight-or-flight response, are driven by internal emotional states. In humans, these brain states are subjectively experienced as "feelings," such as desire, rage, or terror. Understanding the brain mechanisms that govern these states, using powerful new tools such as optogenetics and calcium imaging, will lead to better treatments for psychiatric disorders. However, such studies can only be performed in animal models. How can we study an animal's internal state when we do not know if it has subjective feelings? In this lecture, Anderson will describe a new approach to this problem, which allows the neurobiology of emotional states to be studied in diverse animal species without reference to subjective feelings.

This Zoom webinar is free and open to the public. Advance registration is required.

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Each Watson Lecture will begin at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time as a Zoom Webinar
with live audience Q&A at the end. Please note the new start time. At 8 p.m. Pacific Time the recorded lecture (without Q&A) will be posted on Caltech's YouTube channel.

About the Speaker

David J. Anderson is the Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology; Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience Leadership Chair; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Director, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience.

About the Series

Since 1922, The Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series has brought Caltech's most innovative scientific research to the public. The series is named for Earnest C. Watson, a professor of physics at Caltech from 1919 until 1959. Spotlighting a small selection of the pioneering research Caltech's faculty is currently conducting, the Watson Lectures are geared toward a general audience, as part of the Institute's ongoing commitment to benefiting the local community through education and outreach. Through a gift from the estate of Richard C. Biedebach, the lecture series is able to highlight assistant professors' research each season.

Many past Watson Lectures are available in a playlist on YouTube.

For more information, please contact The Caltech Ticket Office by email at events@caltech.edu.