Presented by Nick Jikomes
All animals, including humans, display a variety of innate motivational drives built in to the architecture of their brains. These include the drive to eat, sleep, find mates and defend against threats. Cutting-edge neuroscientific tools are now available that make it possible for scientists to map and interrogate the specific brain circuits that control these behaviors. Modern neuroscience now stands poised to unravel exactly how this circuitry works in order to generate both normal and pathological behaviors. The increasingly powerful tools being developed to manipulate neural circuits in animal models may soon find application in the treatment of human neuropsychiatric disorders, and confront us with a variety of bioethical and philosophical questions.