While this article deals with genetics instead of more direct biological mechanisms, it raises an interesting question. When the differentiation between ‘psychological condition’ and ‘medical illness’ will finally be dropped? I’m not saying that psychopharmacology is the best answer at the moment (it’s currently a sledgehammer), but eventually, both the medical and psychological professions are going to have to realize that behaviors have a physiological basis.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that behaviors can be excused based on biology. We are humans after all, with intellect that takes into account sociological impetuses as well as personal well-being. Both things can go against what humans are biologically set up for. It would seem that polygamy is biologically preferred and evolutionarily advantageous, yet for sociological reasons, it’s probably best if a small number of men aren’t taking up all the potential wives, leaving a group of very unhappy men. And while my genes clearly state that I should be a good 50 pounds heavier than I am, it’s in my best interest to keep my weight lower than that. I can choose to limit what I eat and how active I am.
Behavior can be manipulated without the use of psychotropic drugs, and the more we learn about the physical mechanisms behind behavior, the better the physical treatments will become. It just going to be interesting to see where the middle ground occurs.
Thought this was interesting and apropos to the above:
The secret to long life may not be in the genes | Think Gene
It also remind me of how much of a wuss I am:
The article underlines the fact that until the age of 102, the man cycled every day and looked after the family orchard.