Today, thanks to better early detection, there are 63% fewer deaths from heart disease than there were just a few decades ago. Thomas Insel, Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, wonders: Could we do the same for depression and schizophrenia? The first step in this new avenue of research, he says, is a crucial reframing: for us to stop thinking about "mental disorders" and start understanding them as "brain disorders." (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)
Thomas Roland Insel (born October 19, 1951) is an American neuroscientist and psychiatrist who has led the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) since 2002. Prior to becoming Director of NIMH, he was Director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He is best known for research on oxytocin and vasopressin, two peptide hormones implicated in complex social behaviors, such as parental care and attachment.