Jordan Smoller: "The Other Side of Normal: How Biology is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior"

Jordan Smoller: "The Other Side of Normal: How Biology is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior"

A professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Harvard University argues there are no bright lines between normal and abnormal behavior. He says psychiatric disorders are variations of the same brain systems that evolved to help us solve the challenges of everyday life.

Psychiatry often focuses on the abnormal. Patients are diagnosed based on a cluster of symptoms, many of which could be defined as mental illness in millions of healthy people. A Harvard University psychiatrist says this approach is misguided. He argues there are no bright lines between normal and abnormal, and that psychiatric disorders are variations of normal brain functions that help us cope with everyday challenges. It could also build a new foundation for defining disorders from autism to depression. Diane and her guest talk about the “biology of normal.”

Guests

Jordan Smoller

associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpt from "The Other Side of Normal: How Biology Is Providing the Clues to Unlock the Secrets of Normal and Abnormal Behavior" by Jordan Smoller. Copyright 2012 by Jordan Smoller. Reprinted here by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved.

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