on December 9, 2010
Our brain and emotions was the focus of this discussion, particularly on negative emotions (fear, anxiety, aggression). They talked about the Hess experiment with a cat which showed that when certain parts of the brain are stimulated, it induces fear/anxiety. Dr. Anderson of Cal Tech talked about his work with fruit flies showing that fruit flies experience the "freeze" fear response when exposed to blowing air and they also have the proclivity for aggressive behavior (particularly the males with each other). This dispels the notion (as some believe) that lower animals like arthopods have no brain. They also touched on the subject of sociel isolation and how it induces violent and aggressive behavior. After watching this film many will want to delve deeper into the fascinating topic. If so, there are many excellent books on the subject by Joseph Ledeux and Antonio Damasio. For a more advanced reading, try The Biology of Violence by Debra Neihoff.