Dr. David Anderson: The Biology of Aggression, Mating, & Arousal


Huberman Lab

My guest is David Anderson, PhD, a world expert in the science of sexual behavior, violent aggression, fear and other motivated states. Dr. Anderson is a Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). We discuss how states of mind (and body) arise and persist and how they probably better explain human behavior than emotions per se. We also discuss the many kinds of arousal that create varying levels of pressure for certain behaviors to emerge. We discuss different types of violent aggression and how they are impacted by biological sex, gender, context, prior experience, and hormones, and the neural interconnectedness of fear, aggression and sexual behavior. We also discuss peptides and their role in social isolation-induced anxiety and aggression. Dr. Anderson also describes novel, potentially powerful therapeutics for mental health. This episode should interest anyone wanting to learn more about mental health, human emotions, sexual and/or violent behavior.

For the full show notes, visit hubermanlab.com.

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(00:00:00) Dr. David Anderson, Emotions & Aggression

(00:03:49) Sponsors: LMNT

(00:08:10) Emotions vs. States

(00:10:36) Dimensions of States: Persistence, Intensity & Generalization

(00:14:38) Arousal & Valence

(00:18:11) Aggression, Optogenetics & Stimulating Aggression in Mice, VMH

(00:24:42) Aggression Types: Offensive, Defensive & Predatory

(00:29:20) Evolution & Development of Defensive vs. Offensive Behaviors, Fear

(00:35:38) Hydraulic Pressures for States & Homeostasis

(00:37:24) Sponsor: AG1

(00:39:46) Hydraulic Pressure & Aggression

(00:44:50) Balancing Fear & Aggression

(00:48:31) Aggression & Hormones: Estrogen, Progesterone & Testosterone

(00:52:33) Female Aggression, Motherhood

(00:59:48) Mating & Aggressive Behaviors

(01:05:10) Neurobiology of Sexual Fetishes

(01:10:06) Temperature, Mating Behavior & Aggression

(01:15:25) Mounting: Sexual Behavior or Dominance?

(01:20:59) Females & Male-Type Mounting Behavior

(01:24:40) PAG (Periaqueductal Gray) Brain Region: Pain Modulation & Fear

(01:30:38) Tachykinins & Social Isolation: Anxiety, Fear & Aggression

(01:43:49) Brain, Body & Emotions; Somatic Marker Hypothesis & Vagus Nerve

(01:52:52) Zero-Cost Support, YouTube Feedback, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, Momentous Supplements, AG1 (Athletic Greens), Instagram, Twitter, Neural Network Newsletter, Huberman Lab Clips

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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