Biological Psychiatry

Mental health is a complex topic at the intersection of several disciplines and professions, including psychology, psychiatry, neurobiology, and counseling. Hence, our attempts at understanding it ought to be multi-angled and holistic. In Biological Psychiatry, we will focus on exploring how the brain regulates complex behaviors and how its malfunctioning can give rise to mental health issues and disorders. We will particularly focus on understanding the variety of symptoms of mental health issues/discorders, their biological and psychological causes, current research methodologies, and potential psychiatric therapeutic interventions. The materials presented will come from key contemporary studies. Although focused on neuropsychiatry, we will also explore a variety of common neuroscience techniques, including animal models, neuronal recordings and manipulations, brain imaging, and gene expression. Particularly, we will learn to interpret results and critically evaluate the conclusions drawn.

Class 1: Stigmata of Cuckoo’s Nest: Chronicles of Psychiatry and Its Failures
Class 2: Decoding the Brain: Neuropsychiatry Methods and Approaches
Class 3: Blue Devils: Depressive and Mood Disorders
Class 4: A Bundle of Nerves: Anxiety Disorders
Class 5: The Shining of a Beautiful Mind: Psychosis and Schizophrenia
Class 6: The High and the Low: Addictive disorders

The overall aim of the course is to provide an introduction to the complexity of mental disorders and foster an attitude of care and practical understanding. The course is especially beneficial for those interested in abnormal psychology, neuroscience, the brain-mind relationship, and multidisciplinary biological research.

Requirements: enthusiasm
Helpful but not necessary: basic biology and psychology
Desirable: basic statistics

Aleksa Petković

Aleksa is a fast-track PhD student at Max Planck Institute for Biological Intelligence in Munich. He is passionate about clinical and applied neuroscience, as well as scientific outreach to broader audience. During his undergraduate studies, he was part of a research group at NYU Abu Dhabi where he studied interactions between chronic stress, mood regulation, circadian rhythms and sleep/wake cycle in mice. Being exposed to neurobiological, cognitive and theraputic perspectives of mental disorders, Aleksa became deeply enamoured with holistic and multiangled approaches to understanding (mal)adaptive behaviour. Currently, Aleksa’s research involves studying the integratory roles of amygdala in anxiety and appetitiveness. His previous teaching experience includes several years of teaching mandatory undergraduate Introductory Statstics, extensive research mentorship, and preparation of Montenegrin students for International Biology and Philosphy Olympiads. Outside of grappling with darker aspects of human mind and existence, he also finds joy in good coffee, hiking, reading ancient manuscripts, discussing Tolkien’s work and playing D&D.

Session D

Art Against the Mainstream

Štěpán Folget

Biological Psychiatry

Aleksa Petković

Categories of Political Science

Gosha Evlanov

Contagion: infectious disease and society

Jana Lohrova

Cross-cultural studies 101

Mwika Kiarie

Defending Human Rights

Mirek Crha

History from Liberty to Liberation

Emma Nabi-Bourgois

Medicine

Soňa Feciskaninová

Neuronal Biophysics

Sara Banovska

Positive psychology

Laura Opletalová

Sound, music, and science

Sol Johansen

Surveillance capitalism

Vašek Šmatera

Sustainable design

Mariana Ochodková

Theory of General Relativity

Bohdan Glisevic