Tuesday 10 October - Second day

The Science of Human Behaviour and What does it mean to be normal?

  • Tuesday 10 October
  • From 7pm
  • Mayor’s Parlour, Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, W8 7NX

​​The Science of Human Behaviour
Dr Gio Frazzetto in conversation with Dr Peter Hughes.

Whether in friendship, love or family, intimacy evolves constantly, demanding we raise emotional barriers, and discover who we really are. Giovanni Frazzetto author of the recently published Together, Closer unravels the components of intimacy, through a brilliant mix of storytelling and science.

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Praise for Together, Closer

“An ambitious project . . . Giovanni Frazzetto marries science with art, the most recent discoveries of neuroscience with human stories about intimacy. . . . A clear love of art and science shines from the book.” — The Irish Times

Together, Closer examines the way humans relate to each other across a spectrum of relationships from parent-child to platonic friendships and, of course, romantic love. . . .  The reader reads the stories of others’ lives but, of course, we are really appraising our own. Every now and then — and where this happens will depend on your intimate style — the text seems to silver into a kind of mirror. It is unnervingly accurate the way this works, and triggers an interior scrutiny. In these characters, Frazzetto is really showing us ourselves, helping us to look at what we usually look away from.” —The Guardian

What does it mean to be normal? What neuroscience can (and cannot) tell us about mental illness and health
Dr Camilla Nord presents: What makes some experiences "normal", but others symptoms of a mental illness?

In the past two decades, neuroscience has begun to answer vital questions about the origins of mental illness, and we can now pinpoint biological factors that contribute to disorders such as depression, autism, and schizophrenia. At the same time, with the emergence of diagnoses like conduct disorder and ADHD, psychiatry has faced criticism that more and more "normal" behaviours could be categorised as mental disorders.

So: what is a mental illness? To what degree does it depend crucially on geographical location, on historical epoch, even on your friends and family? And what is neuroscience really telling us about brain illness and health, if the categories of mental disorders are more malleable than they first appear?

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