TypeOnline Course
Student Enrolled236

Contributing Authors: Pochu Ho, MD and Katherine Blackwell, MD, PhD

Overview: There is widespread public interest — at times, almost reaching a frenzied level — in the relationship between diet and physical and mental wellbeing. (Consider, for example, recent trends in gluten-free diets.)

One fascinating ongoing area of research explores the concept of the “microbiome” — i.e. the role that gut bacteria may play in health and illness — including potential effects on mental health and illness. This  topic has gained growing attention through recent coverage in the New York Times Magazine: “Can the Bacteria in your Gut Explain Your Mood?” (1) and National Public Radio: “Prozac in the Yogurt Aisle: Can ‘Good’ Bacteria Chill us Out?” (2). Given the widespread media coverage, there are many options available for class discussion. The following session is designed to explore this topic using a fun article that appeared in the New Yorker… enjoy!

Author Affiliations: Dr. Ho and Dr. Blackwell are from the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. David A. Ross, MD, PhD and Ashley Walker, MD arethe Contributing Editors to this publication. The National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative is a collaborative effort with AADPRT and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Medical Education and Lifelong Learning and receives support from the NIH (R25 MH10107602S1) ©National Neuroscience Curriculum Initiative.



Section 1Overview
Section 2Read / Watch / Listen to Media
Section 3Critique of Media Coverage
Section 4Read & Review Supplemental Material
Section 5Role Play Exercise
Section 6General Discussion / Q&A / Future Directions for Curious Learners
Section 7References