25-lecture Course: Human Behavioral Biology (Stanford BIO 250)

February 18, 2011 · 16 comments

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This is a biology course presented by Stanford University. It covers how to approach complex normal and abnormal behaviors through biology. How to integrate disciplines including sociobiology, ethology, neuroscience, and endocrinology to examine behaviors such as aggression, sexual behavior, language use, and mental illness.

The course is taught by Robert Sapolsky. Sapolsky is a Professor of Biology, Neurosurgery, Neurology & Neurological Sciences at Stanford University.

25-lecture Course: Human Behavioral Biology (Stanford BIO 250), 9.3 out of 10 based on 149 ratings
Subjects: Biology

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiril Palazov March 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

What an incredibly enlightening series of lectures. What makes it particularly outstanding is Mr.Sapolsky’s ability to integrate the findings and methods of myriad related fields, along with their historical contexts, towards understanding animal behavior.
While I found he sometimes falls into the trap of “categorical thinking”, which he explicitly warns against, I’m exciting at the amount of completely new ideas I’ve learned during these lectures.

Thank you very much!


Karen Lewicki April 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

Is it possible to get the reading list and assignments for this course? I – and the people I’m following it with – would be grateful.

And thank you so much for putting it up!


Jamie Owen May 13, 2011 at 11:12 am

In the 24th Lecture on Schizophrenia, any idea if the “Friday Lecture” he talks about is online?


Phil August 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

A very small portion of what I believe to be an earlier version of the lecture that your referring to can be found here:


If anybody has any further information on where the full lecture might be found, let me know!


Laurence August 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I sent an email to Dr Sapolsky, and he kindly sent me the reading list.



mark February 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

hi, i tried to click on the reading list but it did not work, any chance you could send me a copy to my email address please?

thanks, mark


Cody Lenz December 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

It is a privilege to have access to these lectures. Thank you guys so much for doing this.


Phil January 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

Here is the lecture on religion which is missing from the collection above:


Sarah Z February 9, 2012 at 12:47 am

I enjoyed this series. I would say it is more of a hitlist of interesting (though debatable) conclusions from various studies than a means to a deep, critical understanding of the research in this area. There is simply not enough information on the methodological details of any of the studies reviewed, nor enough coverage of the range of studies relevant to a given topic, to really bring the audience up to speed on research in the topic areas addressed. Good as a teaser.


judy ross April 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Where are the lectures??!! I am on #11 and went back today and they are not available, are they permanently removed??? please don’t say that is the case.


Phil April 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

If they’ve been permanently taken down, you can watch them through iTunes University.

If you don’t have iTunes, it’s free:

Then go to iTunes University on the sidebar and search for Human Behavioral Biology.


Deborah Hyden August 7, 2012 at 1:42 am

Genius! Thankyou


George Eckenrode September 28, 2012 at 5:20 am

I really appreciate having these video lectures available ! Much thanks for such valuable information.


Eric W May 14, 2013 at 6:33 am

Provided such an interesting perspective I couldn’t stop myself from watching it.


Anna L. November 21, 2013 at 10:40 pm

I loved this course. A few of the lectures I heard twice. This Prof. sure knows how to tell a story and engage his audience. He makes learning easy– the sign of a great teacher. If as I suspect, the intent here is to popularize science; then Prof. Sapolsky has achieved it. I’m hooked. Thank you for this important public service, Stanford. My time was well spent.

I appreciate the links provided here by my virtual classmates.


donna May 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Fantastic teacher! The students of this world need more like him.


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