PUBLIC TALK: Microbes, Minds and Selves: exploring microbiome-gut-brain connections
|Microbes, Minds and Selves: exploring microbiome-gut-brain connections
A public lecture by Maureen O’Malley, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney and UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.
Microbes in the gut (‘microbiomes’) are thought to play a major role in producing disorders such as autism, anxiety and depression. Gut microbiomes even appear to have effects on general cognition and memory. Some strong interpretations have been made of these findings, including claims that microbes control our minds. Other researchers have argued that microbiome contributions mean we need a new concept of self: the ‘microbial self’. This talk will examine such statements in light of several broad problems in microbiome research, to do with causality, ‘dysbiosis’ (sick microbiomes), and probiotic treatments. The talk will conclude with reflections on whether insights into microbiomes change our views of who we are as humans.
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