The course is about the molecular genetics of psychiatric disorders. We zoom in on the possible role of epigenetics in the development of autism spectrum disorders and psychosis. Central to the course is a thought‐provoking book by Christopher Badcock, "The imprinted brain" (2009). It describes a radical new theory of the mind and mental illness based on the recent discovery of genomic imprinting. Imprinted genes are those from one parent that, in that parent's interest, are expressed in an offspring rather than the diametrically opposed genes from the other parent. According to Badcock's view, a slight bias for the father's genes may result in autism, whereas bias for the mother's genes may result in psychosis. A state of equilibrium ‐ normality ‐ is the most likely outcome, with a no‐win situation of balanced expression. Imprinted genes typically produce symptoms that are opposites of each other, and Badcock uses psychiatric case material to show how many of the symptoms of psychosis can be shown to be the mental mirror‐images of those of autism.|
The course uses blended learning, with online collaboration between teachers and students.