ORIGINAL

The biology of mental illness

4 minutes

Psychiatry is due for a revolution in diagnosis and treatment through brain science

For decades, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), with its universal set of standards, has been widely considered the best tool for classifying and diagnosing mental illness. But medical psychiatry may be overdue for a biological revolution. In this Aeon interview, the US-based neuroscientist Claire Gillan describes breakthroughs in brain science that suggest mental illnesses should be reclassified, and explains how brain-scanning technologies that investigate the underlying biology could lead to more effective mental health therapies. Read the paper on Gillan’s research here.

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

Essay/Love & Friendship
Why women stray

Evolutionary theory says men stray to increase offspring, but what motivates women? Enter the mate-switching hypothesis

David Buss

Essay/Neuroscience
The kindled brain

If each bout of depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD makes another more likely, should sufferers stay on medication for life?

Elizabeth Svoboda