Mon oncle d'Amérique, Henri Laborit and the illustration of the neurobiological theory of the social organization

F. Bosch-Lonch, Josep Eladi Baños

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


    The present and future changes in the teaching at the universities will advise for the use of new and more original methods. In the biomedical sciences there are some experiences regarding the use of popular movies to allow the discussion and interchange of points of view on some polemic topics. This review suggests the usefulness of the film Mon oncle d'Amérique in the teaching of students of human Biology, as a way of introducing the neurobiological theories of Henri Laborit on social organization. This film was directed by Alain Resnais and written by Jean Gruault in 1980. It considers the life of three people who live several situations that are used to explain the Laborit theories. Basically, they justify the human behaviour by the hierarchical organization of the brain in three levels: the most primitive is the archiencephal, the intermediate is the paleoencephal (linked to memory) and the highest, the neocortex that is responsible of consciousness. The movie tries to introduce to these theories using several filmic resources such the viewing of laboratory animals in situations that mimic those lived by the three people. These comparisons allow Laborit himself to explain why people behave in specific ways when submitted to social conflicts. We conclude that Mon oncle d'Amérique is highly recommended for the teaching of some principles related to psychology, psychoneurobiology and psychiatry. © Viguera Editores SL 2008.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-67
    JournalEducacion Medica
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


    • Learning
    • Neurobiology
    • Popular movies
    • Psychoneurobiology
    • Teaching


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