Origins of the Human Mind

Brains and Minds, Evolution and Development
1: Brains and Minds, Evolution and Development

Professor Hinshaw lays the groundwork for this fascinating journey into the depths of the human mind by introducing the structure of the course, posing a series of provocative questions, and explaining the three predominant perspectives on our minds: the spirit-based, the naturalistic, and the humanistic....

32 min
How the Human Brain Works
2: How the Human Brain Works

Delve into the make-up and inner workings of the brain, from the level of the individual neuron to the larger regions specialized for the mind's different functions. In addition, get a brief introduction to psychopharmacology, as well as to some of the latest technological advances that help us understand how our brains work....

33 min
Development of the Human Brain
3: Development of the Human Brain

This lecture examines the ways in which our brains develop across the human lifespan. Professor Hinshaw uses a case study of children adopted from horribly deprived Romanian orphanages to focus on brain plasticity-the idea that changes in the brain result from experiences-and its potential long-term limitations....

29 min
Evolution and the Brain
4: Evolution and the Brain

How did evolutionary forces shape our brains? Discover the answer to this core question in modern science with a look at some of the key features of the human mind produced by natural selection and the ways the brain evolved over the span of millions of years....

30 min
Psychological Views of the Mind
5: Psychological Views of the Mind

Zero in on two modern psychological theories of the mind that serve as counterpoints to the evolutionary theory: the instinctive and deeply symbolic psychodynamic theory, and social learning theory, which explains behavior through our minds' abilities to learn. In addition, address mysteries about human consciousness and self-awareness....

32 min
Instinct, Learning, and Emotion
6: Instinct, Learning, and Emotion

Take an in-depth look at instinct and emotion-two inescapable processes of the human mind. Among the intriguing issues covered in this lecture are the relationship between instinct and language formation, how our primary emotions signal our experiences and intentions to others, and ways we can consciously regulate their expression....

30 min
Microevolution, Culture, and the Brain
7: Microevolution, Culture, and the Brain

Return to the evolutionary theory and investigate the key concepts and debates regarding the shaping of the human mind. How have subtle-yet powerful-changes given the modern mind some of its key powers? What are the differences between primate and human brains? And what is the influence of cultural behaviors and values?...

31 min
Infancy-Temperament and Attachment
8: Infancy-Temperament and Attachment

In the first of four lectures on the development of a mind across the human lifespan, examine the first life stage: infancy. The two aspects you cover-temperament and attachment-are crucial for the development of personalities and minds and reflect the importance of the earliest years of life....

29 min
Childhood-Stages and Widening Contexts
9: Childhood-Stages and Widening Contexts

Turn now to childhood, the second major stage of life during which our personalities and minds develop even further. It is during this stage, you learn, that factors such as families, peers, neighborhoods, and cultures work with our earliest biological and social foundations to mold the person we eventually become....

30 min
Adolescence-Rebellion, Identity, and Self
10: Adolescence-Rebellion, Identity, and Self

Continue moving up the developmental ladder into adolescence: the crucial period of rebellion, turmoil, and identity formation that prepares us for adult life. How does the mind change during this time? What are the dangers of sleep deprivation? And what are considered normative and healthy self-perceptions?...

32 min
Adulthood-Aging, Horizons, and Wisdom
11: Adulthood-Aging, Horizons, and Wisdom

Does getting older predict inevitable declines in how your mind functions? Or could you actually become wiser and more positive as you age? The answers you uncover in this lecture are undoubtedly fascinating-and may just reshape your views of what aging does to the mind....

30 min
Influences of Sex and Gender
12: Influences of Sex and Gender

Focus here on the association between sex and gender, on the one hand, and the brain and mind, on the other. Of vital importance to the study of the human mind, sex and gender have important implications for evolution, our diversity as a species, and our social relationships....

30 min
Parallels between Development and Evolution
13: Parallels between Development and Evolution

Bring together several core points about individual development of the mind. As you'll discover, in the development of the minds of both individuals and our species as a whole, biology constantly interacts with environment and context to produce a wealth of change....

33 min
Myths and Realities of Heritability
14: Myths and Realities of Heritability

With the mapping of the human genome, we now know that many traits and facets of the mind are more heritable than we once thought. In this lecture, Professor Hinshaw separates the facts from myths about how much importance our genes have in shaping our emotions, behaviors, and minds....

30 min
Genes and Environments Together
15: Genes and Environments Together

Move from behavior genetics to a detailed view of how genes and environments influence once another to shape our minds. By examining the ways genes and environments correlate and interact, you realize that the dichotomy of nature versus nurture is inaccurate; instead, it is nature and nurture....

31 min
The Abnormal Mind-What Goes Wrong?
16: The Abnormal Mind-What Goes Wrong?

Why do some minds suffer mental disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder? Answer this crucial question by exploring seven different perspectives-each of which contributes to our overall understanding of this pressing question in the study of the human mind....

32 min
Rationality, Psychosis, and Schizophrenia
17: Rationality, Psychosis, and Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is intimately involved with breakdowns in perception, rational thinking, and higher-order executive functions. Here, examine the roots of psychosis and make sense of the risk factors, characteristics, and treatment methods of one of the most devastating mental illnesses....

33 min
Emotion Regulation and Mood Disorders
18: Emotion Regulation and Mood Disorders

The roots of mood disorders lie in the emotional and mood-related fluctuations that we all experience. After you learn the difference between emotions and moods, you take a closer look at the science of two major mood disorders: depression and bipolar disorder....

32 min
Attention, Impulse Control, and ADHD
19: Attention, Impulse Control, and ADHD

Turn now to a mental disorder that can affect the way the mind stays attentive and controls inhibitions: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Examine four forms of attention and the importance of inhibitory control, then zero in on the causes and conditions of-as well as treatment options for-ADHD....

30 min
Empathy, Social Connections, and Autism
20: Empathy, Social Connections, and Autism

Major difficulties in emotional and social connections with other people present huge problems for the development of the mind. Case in point: autism. Conclude your look at abnormalities in the human mind with a focus on this often-devastating and increasingly prevalent disorder....

32 min
Evolution and the Paradox of Mental Illness
21: Evolution and the Paradox of Mental Illness

If mental disorders are passed through the generations by genes, then why haven't these disabling and maladaptive conditions simply been bred out of existence? Investigate how understanding 'heterozygote superiority,' gene interactions, and changing environments can help us finally answer this baffling question....

30 min
Roots of Religion, Aggression, and Prejudice
22: Roots of Religion, Aggression, and Prejudice

Investigate how evolution helps us understand these three wider aspects of human culture. Why are humans so prone to be religious? How aggressive are we as a species? How can natural selection help us understand why some people stigmatize their fellow humans?...

31 min
Bringing in Personal Narratives
23: Bringing in Personal Narratives

Personal narratives can play key roles in humanizing and helping us better understand the complexities of mental illness. As a powerful example, Professor Hinshaw details his own father's struggle with bipolar disorder -a story that proves just how important it is to blend the scientific and clinical with the personal....

30 min
The Future of the Human Mind
24: The Future of the Human Mind

In this final lecture, probe some of the fascinating possibilities and ethical issues at the frontiers of the human mind. These include harnessing the hidden and untapped power of our unconscious; making startling advancements in the development of artificial intelligence; and creating the potential for humans to engineer their own minds....

33 min
Stephen P. Hinshaw

Researching and presenting "Origins of the Human Mind" was a learning experience like no other--I only hope that listeners and viewers feel the same way!


University of California, Berkeley


University of California, Los Angeles

About Stephen P. Hinshaw

Dr. Stephen P. Hinshaw is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, where his teaching was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Letters and Sciences. He earned his A.B. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining the faculty at Berkeley in 1990, Professor Hinshaw was a clinical psychology intern at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute, a post-doctoral fellow at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute of the University of California, San Francisco (where he received the Robert E. Harris Award), and a professor at UCLA. A fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and the American Psychological Association, Professor Hinshaw focuses on developmental psychopathology, with particular emphases on child and adolescent disorders. He is the editor of Psychological Bulletin, the most cited journal in the entire field of psychology, and associate editor of the journal Development and Psychopathology; he has also written more than 200 scholarly articles, chapters, and reviews. Among his many books are Attention Deficits and Hyperactivity in Children and The Years of Silence Are Past: My Father's Life with Bipolar Disorder. Professor Hinshaw has received millions of dollars in research grants from federal agencies, including the National Institute of Mental Health.

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