Corey and Steve talk with MSU Neuroscientist A.J. Robison about why females may be more likely to suffer from depression than males. A.J. reviews past findings that low testosterone and having a smaller hippocampus may predict depression risk. He explains how a serendipitous observation opened up his current line of research and describes tools he uses to study neural circuits. Steve asks about the politics of studying sex differences and tells of a start up using CRISPR to attack heart disease. The three end with a discussion of the psychological effects of ketamine, testosterone and deep brain stimulation.
This conversation occurred just after President Trump withdrew US forces from Northern Syria. Steve, Corey and Sebastian debate ISIS and the Kurds. Sebastian argues that men who went to war after 9/11 wanted to experience communal masculinity, as their fathers and grandfathers had in Vietnam and WWII, a tradition dating back millennia. When they came home, they faced the isolation of affluent contemporary American society, leading to high rates of addiction, depression, and suicide. War veterans in less developed countries may be psychologically better off, supported by a more traditional social fabric.