Human Behavioral Biology

So, I spent some time watching this really cool and engaging lecture on YouTube of Stanford University by Robert Sapolsky, who himself is a neuroendocrinologist, professor of biology, neuroscience, and neurosurgery. In this lecture, he basically explained how human behavior can be caused by the variations in the biology of the body. He starts off by giving a scenario of a married man, living a quiet suburban life with 2 kids and 3 and half dogs. This man shows strange behavior such as randomly punching a guy in the face, having an affair with a 16-year-old, and it gets to a point where he just runs away. No one knows why. He just does. So this professor talks about three possibilities which are that he is a truly deep creep, or that he may be having a immature mid-life crisis, or that he has a mutation in one gene in his head. Which one do you think it is? Well, it’s surprising enough that he has a mutation in one gene but its completely astonishing that the gene would cause him to do all this crazy stuff. However, the point is the biology of our bodies can really impact our behavior and that to me, is just so fascinating.

Further in the lecture, he describes how a person consuming too much junk food can potentially be dangerous. That sounded absurd to me at first but then if you think about it, that’s why they say, “you are what you eat.” Apparently, this person he was referring to ate a lot of twinkies and there were wild fluctuations in his blood sugar. That caused him to go all out and kill the mayor of San Francisco. After listening to that, I was seriously contemplating what I should be eating the for the rest of the life in order to not behave like that. Anyway, if you’re interested in that, I’ve included the link below.

Going back to the, “you are what you eat,” phrase, I found this podcast a couple of days ago called, “Bulletproof,” which I’ve also included the link for below. This podcast has really exposed me to some facts I did not know about my own body and now I finally realize how important it is to eat the right food. As an American, I have so much processed food in my house that I eat, not knowing about how it actually looks inside my body. I know that sounds nasty but when you see that next scan of yourself, the results will be shocking. Don’t worry though, just messing with you. 

This podcast also has an episode in which it talks about how the human body is not necessarily supposed to have breakfast, lunch and dinner. That’s just a norm modern society came up with and now we are suffering with diabetes, blood pressure problems, etc. That was definitely interesting to know about. Check it out!

Bulletproof Podcast :

Stanford University Lecture : Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology:

Dopamine/Neurophysiology Article:


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