Human Behavioral Biology
by Robert Sapolsky
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to iTunes U collections.
This course covers how to approach complex normal and abnormal behaviors through biology; how to integrate disciplines including sociobiology, ethology, neuroscience, and endocrinology, to examine behaviors such as aggression, sexual behavior, language use, and mental illness.
|1||Video1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology (March 29, 2010)||Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky gave the opening lecture of the course entitled Human Behavioral Biology and explains the basic premise of the course and how he aims to avoid categorical thinking. (March 29, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|2||Video2. Behavioral Evolution (March 31, 2010)||Stanford professor Robert Sapolsky lectures on the biology of behavioral evolution and thoroughly discusses examples such as The Prisoner's Dilemma. (March 31, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|3||Video3. Behavioral Evolution II (April 2, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky continues his two-part series on evolution focusing on individual and kin selection, behavioral logic, competitive infanticide, male/female animal hierarchies, sex-ratio fluctuation, intersexual competition, imprinted genes, sperm competition, inbred-founder populations, group and multi-level selection, and punctuated equilibrium. (April 2, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|4||Video4. Molecular Genetics I (April 5, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky makes interdisciplinary connections between behavioral biology and molecular genetic influences. He relates protein synthesis and point mutations to microevolutionary change, and discusses conflicting theories of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium and the influence of epigenetics on development theories. (April 5, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|5||Video5. Molecular Genetics II (April 7, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky continues his series on molecular genetics in which he discusses domains of mutation and various components of natural selection on a molecular level. He also further assesses gradualism and punctuated equilibrium models of evolution, integrating these theories into an interrelated model of development. (April 7, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|6||Video6. Behavioral Genetics I (April 12, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky introduces a two-part series exploring the controversial scientific practice of inferring behavior to genetics. He covers classical techniques in behavior genetics and flaws, the significance of environmental factors, non genetic inheritance of traits, and multigenerational effects and relationship to epigenetic differences. (April 12, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|7||Video7. Behavioral Genetics II (April 14, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky continues his series addressing the link between behavior and genetics. He covers the complex endeavor of gene isolation and variability and heritability and wrongly eliminated environmental influences in heritability tests -- finding that genes and environment are infinitely interconnected and co-dependent on each other. (April 14, 2010)||11/12/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|8||Video8. Recognizing Relatives (April 16, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky discusses various methods of innate recognition of relatives between animals and humans through protein signatures, olfactory cellular mechanisms, cognitive, and sensory processes. He explores the importance of relatedness in animal mating/ovulation cycles and other phenomena that show how organisms identify each other. (April 16, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|9||Video9. Ethology (April 19, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky looks at the biology of behavior through the ethological lens: observing animals in various natural environments, in their own language. He explores behavioral variety, the importance of gene environment interactions, experimental testing of fixed action patterns, the releasing of informational stimuli, and neuroethology. (April 19, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|10||Video10. Introduction to Neuroscience I (April 21, 2010)||Nathan Woodling and Anthony Chung-Ming Ng give a broad overview of the field of neuroscience and how it relates to human biology. They discuss the different lobes of the brain and the cells within as well as neuropharmacology and re-uptake. (April 21, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|11||Video12. Endocrinology (April 26, 2010)||(April 26, 2010) William Peterson and Tom McFadden introduce the field of endocrinology. They explore at the contextual basis of the endocrine system, peptide vs. steroid hormones, the processes by which the brain controls hormones, and hormonal influence on the brain.||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|12||Video11. Introduction to Neuroscience II (April 23, 2010)||Patrick House discusses memories and how they are formed. Dana Turker then lectures about the autonomic nervous system and its functions. (April 23, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|13||Video13. Advanced Neurology and Endocrinology (April 28, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky continues the exploration of endocrinology and neurology. He looks at more complicated systems of communication within neurobiology, the limbic system's role in personality and behavior, abnormal behavior possibilities within these systems, and individual organism variation and imprinting. (April 28, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|14||Video14. Limbic System (April 30, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky focuses on the role of the limbic system as the emotional component of the nervous system. He explores its influence on decision making, its connection to the cortex, and the various functions of subparts within the limbic system circuitry. (April 30, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|15||Video15. Human Sexual Behavior I (May 5, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky explores behavioral patterns of human reproduction. He focuses on proximal and distal motivations, orgasm and fertility facilitation, non-reproductive sex, hormonal and cerebral sexual functions, and the differences and similarities between humans and animals in various physiological realms. (May 5, 2010)||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|16||Video16. Human Sexual Behavior II (May 7, 2010)||(May 7, 2010) Robert Sapolsky delivers the second part of his two-part lecture on sexual behavior. He discusses how this behavior has evolved into the intricate and complex system that exists today.||11/17/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|17||Video17. Human Sexual Behavior III & Aggression I (May 10, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky completes his talk on sexual behavior in humans as well as other species, focusing on characteristics that create attractiveness. He then switches subject and talks about human aggression and how this has evolved and developed. (May 10, 2010)||11/19/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|18||Video18. Aggression II (May 12, 2010)||(May 12, 2010) Robert Sapolsky continues his lectures about aggression in humans but also continues to talk about other emotions and what goes on in the brain to cause these various emotions.||11/19/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|19||Video19. Aggression III (May 14, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky continues his neurobiological exploration of human aggression. He discusses correlations between neurotransmitter prevalence and aggression levels, aggressive activity differences from genetic variance, societal factors and application, amplification from alcohol, and crime and punishment. (May 14, 2010)||11/19/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|20||Video20. Aggression IV (May 17, 2010)||Professor Robert Sapolsky completes his fourth and final part of a discussion about aggression and violence. He discusses how hormones and evolution have shaped this behavior into the way humans interact today. (May 17, 2010)||11/19/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|21||Video21. Chaos and Reductionism (May 19, 2010)||Professor Robert Sapolsky gives what he calls "one of the most difficult lectures of the course" about chaos and reductionism. This lecture focuses on reduction science and breaking things down to their component parts. (May 19, 2010)||12/6/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|22||Video22. Emergence and Complexity (May 22, 2010)||Professor Robert Sapolsky details how a small difference at one place in nature can have a huge effect on a system as time goes on. He calls this idea fractal magnification and applies it to many different systems that exist throughout nature. (May 21, 2010)||12/6/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|23||Video23. Language (May 21, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky describes the similarities and differences between different human and animal languages. He focuses on how we use language to communicate with each other, how we communicate with animals, and how animals commute with each other. (May 21, 2010)||12/6/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|24||Video24. Schizophrenia (May 26, 2010)||Robert Sapolsky discusses environmental factors as well as genetic characteristics that could apply to people who are affected. He describes schizophrenia as a disease of thought disorder and inappropriate emotional attributes. (May 26, 2010)||12/6/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
|25||Video25. Last Lecture and Individual Differences (June 2, 2010)||Professor Robert Sapolsky gives the final lecture in the Human Biology 160 class. He uses the lecture to wrap up any loose ends and show how the themes of the class connects without the more complex concepts that were brought up throughout the course. (June 2, 2010)||12/6/2010||Free||View in iTunes|
This guy really brings this material to life, and doesn't skimp on the important details. Very happy to have this course available!
Behavior brought alive!
Robert Sapolsky isn't just accomplished, or experienced. His personality and his love of the subject really shows in the way he presents the material. I really enjoyed this, and I hope that Stanford makes more of his courses accessable here!
The lectures on Chaos, reductionism, emergence and complexity should be pre-req for all freshman, if not of all voters...
What is learned in this course is not just about biology, it will give the listener a new insight into science, business, politics or any other endeavor of interest he or she may pursue. God forbid it may even help ones personal relationships!
Excellent material presented with mastery, and always in style with humor that does not diminish the seriousness of the subject.
Thank you Professor Sapolsky and Stanford for this great gift.
...just another bee dancing around hoping to point others to the pot of honey.