Psychology professor to speak on mental illness

Dr. Bernard Crespi will speak at Vernon’s Okanagan College campus April 18

Credit: Contributed

How does the human brain work? Why do humans get mental illnesses and what causes these illnesses when the brain does not work as expected?

Dr. Bernard Crespi, SFU Professor of Evolutionary Biology and Canada Research Chair in Evolution and Psychology, will address these questions and more in a public talk entitled Where Darwin Meets Freud: the evolutionary biology and psychology of human mental illness at Okanagan College as part of the Science in Society Speaker Series, said the college in a press release.

Presented by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre, Crespi’s talk will take place at the College’s Vernon campus in the Lecture Theatre Wednesday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m.

Crespi’s research centres on integrating theory, methods and data from evolutionary biology, social behaviour, genetics, psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and hormones to understand why and how the human brain has evolved, how human cognition has evolved under Darwinian natural selection and how risks and forms of human mental illnesses have evolved, said the release.

According to Crespi, understanding the evolution of the human brain and mental illness risks represent some of the biggest research questions of the 21st century.

“Recent advances in genetics, neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology are re-casting psychiatric conditions in new light and guiding new ways to study and treat them,” he said. “Our goal will be to better understand the nature of mental illnesses, their causes and their consequences for individuals, families and communities.”

In addition to multiple major international awards in evolutionary and behavioral biology, Crespi was awarded 2016 Sterling Prize for revolutionizing psychiatry with his Diametric Theory of Human Mental Illness, originally published with co-author and sociologist Christopher Badcock in 2008. He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and conducted postdoctoral work at Oxford and Cornell Universities. Crespi is also a member of the Royal Society of Canada, said the release.

Admission to the lecture is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at 250-545-3644. To purchase tickets online and to find more information on this presentation and the Science in Society Speaker Series, visit okanagansisss.wordpress.com.

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