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NPR Arts & Life

What Can Fruit Flies Tell Us About Human Emotions?

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Headspace.

About David Anderson's TED Talk

Neurobiologist David Anderson explains why psychiatric drugs don't always work, and how researchers are working to find targeted forms of treatment — including his own experiments with fruit flies.

About David Anderson

David Anderson is the Seymour Benzer Professor of Biology at the California Institute of Technology. He is also an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

By studying the brains of lab mice and fruit flies, he searches for answers to some big questions: How is emotional behavior encoded in the brain? Where do depression, anxiety and other emotions originate in the brain?

By looking at how neural circuits give rise to emotions, Anderson hopes to advance a more nuanced view of psychiatric disorders.

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