Audio Interviews

Click the play button below to listen to key figures in the world of sexuality. Each interview provides perspectives from people who have acquired either comprehensive or uniquely specialized knowledge about sexual behavior.

Dr. Joseph LeDoux

Dr. Joseph LeDoux (1949-) is the Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University and the head of the Emotional Brain Institute. As a neuroscientist, he has made major discoveries in the neurological mechanisms underlying both fear and anxiety.  He set forth an original model of fear founded on the premise that the brain has two distinct fear systems. Dr. LeDoux is an author of numerous scientific articles and several books, including Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety. He has received several awards for his work, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. LeDoux’s research has led to a greater understanding of fear, anxiety, and social worries – including those arising in intimate situations.

Discussion Questions:

  1. According to Dr. LeDoux, what is the meaning of cognitive unconscious? How is it different from unconscious that is mentioned in psychoanalytic theories?
  2. Think of an example of abnormal sexual behavior, and try to explain how the amygdala could influence the appearance of this behavior.
  3. What is your opinion on using anthropomorphic constructs and terms in explaining animal behavior? Is it justified?