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What Happened to the 'Mental' in Mental Disorders

Professor Joseph LeDoux

This event is free to attend but advanced booking is required.  Please book using the link above.

People often seek help for mental problems because they are suffering subjectively. Yet, for decades, the subjective experience of patients has been marginalized. This is in part due to the dominant medical model of mental illness, which has tended to treat subjective experience as a quaint relic of a scientifically less enlightened time. To the extent that subjective symptoms are related to the underlying problem, it is often assumed that they will be taken care of if the more objective symptoms, such as behavioral and physiological responses are treated. Given that 'mental’ disorders are named for, and defined by, their subjective mental qualities, it is perhaps not surprising, in retrospect, that treatments that have sidelined mental qualities have been disappointing at best. Negative views of about subjective experience took root in psychiatry and allied fields decades ago when there were few avenues for rigorously studying subjective experience. Today, however, research on consciousness is thriving, and offers a viable scientific approach that could help achieve a deeper understanding of mental disorders and their treatment.

Joseph LeDoux is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at NYU in the Center for Neural Science, and he is the director of the Emotional Brain Institute at NYU. He also a Professor of Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical School. His work is focused on the brain mechanisms of memory and emotion and he is the author of The Emotional Brain, Synaptic Self, and Anxious. LeDoux has received a number of awards, including William James Award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, the Fyssen International Prize in Cognitive Science, Jean Louis Signoret Prize of the IPSEN Foundation, the Santiago Grisolia Prize, the American Psychological Association Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, and the American Psychological Association Donald O. Hebb Award. His book Anxious received the 2016 William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association. LeDoux is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He is also the lead singer and songwriter in the rock band, The Amygdaloids and performs with Colin Dempsey as the acoustic duo So We Are. A documentary about Joe's life, work and music is now available on Amazon Prime. 

Neuroscience meets Rock & Roll -  April 15th at the King Charles Pub

Amanda Thorpe and Joseph LeDoux will be doing a set of Amygdaloids songs at the King Charles Pub on Saturday, April 15th, 8pm, featuring songs about neuroscience, the brain, and philosophy of mind.