ASUH and Professor Gal Richter-Levin changed thinking and opened minds in two eye-opening lectures in Chicago last Thursday and Friday. Prof. Richter-Levin, Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Affective Neuroscience at the University of Haifa and Dean of its Faculty of Natural Sciences, explained how a better understanding of emotions can change the way we understand and treat mental illness.
As part of a lecture series co-sponsored with the National Institute of Psychobiology in Israel (NIPI) and the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce – Chicago, Prof. Richter-Levin explained his paradigm-shifting approach to addressing mental health issues. In order to understand and treat debilitating illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression, Prof. Richter-Levin argues that we must have a deeper and more nuanced understanding of human emotions. For years, this approach was considered taboo and scientifically questionable because emotions are difficult to quantify. But Prof. Richter-Levin’s research is proving otherwise.
“Years ago, we thought there was only one kind of cancer. Now we know different,” remarked one engaged participant. “Would you say this will be true of our understanding of depression as well?”
“Yes, that’s exactly right,” answered Prof. Richter-Levin.
Chief among Prof. Richter-Levin’s methodologies is a re-examination of animal testing that furthers our knowledge of an animal’s ability to feel emotion. Rats, he says, are a lot more human than we think.
ASUH will team up with NIPI for a similar event on November 14 at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC. For more information, please email email@example.com or call 212.685.7800.
For more information on the University of Haifa’s ground-breaking Clinical Neuro-Psychology Program, see this video.
At Right: Prof. Richter-Levin (L), with one of the hosts of Friday’s breakfast meeting, Michael S. Rosen.