Loebel Lectures 2014

Inaugural Loebel Lectures, 2014

The well-attended inaugural Loebel Lectures were delivered by Professor Kenneth S. Kendler, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University, on 15 and 16 October 2014 at the Oxford Martin School.

Overview

Lecture 1 of 2: The Genetic Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Disorders: Multiple Levels, Interactions and Causal Loops   

I show how recent studies in the genetic epidemiology and molecular genetics of psychiatric and substance use disorders illustrate the complex causal pathways to mental illness. These include gene-environment interaction in the etiology of major depression (MD) and substance use and abuse, gene-social interactions in drug use, environment-environment interaction in the etiology of MD, and gene-environment covariation in the etiology of MD. I will illustrate the role of genetic factors on the comorbidity of psychiatric disorders using both twin and molecular methods, and describe complex developmental models for MD  and alcohol use disorder. I will conclude with a classical example of top-down causation: the impact of human decision-making on the gene-to-phenotype pathway for psychiatric illness.

Corresponding blog post by Professor Roger Crisp.

Lecture 2 of 2: The Dappled Causal World of Psychiatric Disorders: The Link Between the Classification of Psychiatric Disorders and Their Causal Complexity

Since it is unlikely that we can identify a single causal level at which we can define our disorders etiologically, I explore the dappled causal world for psychiatric disorders, through an examination of psychiatric and other literature. I will suggest three primary and progressive goals for psychiatric research: to populate our causal space, to develop multilevel causal mechanisms, and to integrate the resulting neurobiological models with psychological explanations. I will consider how we might best conceptualise psychiatric disorders, and propose a new framework for how their classification might best move forward in time.

Corresponding blog post by Dr Rebecca Roache.

Audio/Video

Lecture 1: The Genetic Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Disorders: Multiple Levels, Interactions and Causal Loops
Audio [MP3]
Watch video on YouTube

15 October 2014
Blog post by Professor Roger Crisp.

 

Lecture 2: The Dappled Causal World of Psychiatric Disorders: The Link Between the Classification of Psychiatric Disorders and Their Causal Complexity
Audio [MP3]
Watch video on YouTube

16 October 2014
Blog post by Dr Rebecca Roache.

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