Podcast

All In The Mind

All In The Mind is ABC RN's weekly podcast looking into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour — everything from addiction to artificial intelligence.

Episodes

  • Suckers for pseudoscience

    Feb 23 2020

    When it comes to pseudoscience you might consider yourself to be a sceptic But don’t give yourself too much credit because we’re all vulnerable to believing dubious claims. This is because of powerful cognitive biases in the brain—and we could actually be satisfied with quite shallow explanations for things—and for being suckers for pseudoscience.

  • Why we need more Indigenous psychologists

    Feb 16 2020

    Indigenous people in Australia are having a very difficult time finding a psychologist who understands Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. Sometimes Indigenous patients seeking treatment have been denied a voice, and the reality of their situation. There are about 800,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, but only 218 Indigenous psychologists. Australia needs more of them—and we look at what many mainstream psychologists fail to understand about In...more

  • Music and imaginary hearing

    Feb 12 2020

    Dr Rebecca Gelding is a cognitive scientist who investigates what is going on in the brain as people imagine musical pitch and rhythm. As part of the series This Sounds Like Science, you can explore music on a different level in a free lunchtime event by Dr Gelding, presented by City Recital Hall and Inspiring Australia. In an upcoming program, All in the Mind will feature an interview by Sana Qadar with Dr Gelding, so stay tuned—in the meantime, here's a short extract about some topics being d...more

  • Workplace bullies—and corporate psychopaths

    Feb 09 2020

    At some point in your career there’s a good chance that you’ll cross paths with a workplace bully. If you do, it can have a profound impact on your well-being and mental health. But why do bullies do it and what motivates them? And do corporate psychopaths fit into the picture? We take a look at the personality and organisational factors that play a role in workplace bullying.

  • Lynne Malcolm takes a short break—and hello to Sana Qadar

    Feb 03 2020

    While presenter Lynne Malcolm takes a short break, the program will be presented by Sana Qadar—looking forward to your continued company for 2020.

  • What is my child thinking?

    Feb 02 2020

    We used to believe that babies and young children had irrational and naive thinking skills. Developments in psychology and neuroscience now reveal that infants are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and have a different consciousness to adults. Children’s exploratory and creative style of thinking may even inform improved AI design.

  • Fate, and predicting the human mind

    Jan 26 2020

    Questions about whether we are masters of our own destiny and if we really have free will have puzzled philosophers and scientists for many years. Now neuroscience is challenging much of what we thought we knew about ourselves—from how much our pre-birth experience affects our later lives, to how we make decisions and form our own reality.

  • Look up and connect

    Jan 19 2020

    When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly. This program was first broadcast in June 2019.

  • On happiness—notes from prison

    Jan 12 2020

    Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness. Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language This program was first broadcast in July 2019...more

  • Facing fears and phobias

    Jan 05 2020

    Would you be comfortable with a Huntsman spider crawling on your arm, or a python slithering over your shoulder? Not many of us would, but when this discomfort causes you so much anxiety that it interferes with your daily life – it’s become a phobia. But there is treatment, and virtual reality can assist.

  • Why smart people do stupid things

    Dec 29 2019

    Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else—they may even be more susceptible to them. This idea has been dubbed the Intelligence Trap. It explains the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and how the decisions of even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire.

  • Telomeres, trauma, and mindfulness

    Dec 22 2019

    The connection between our minds and bodies determines our health and well-being, and the rate at which our cells age and die can be influenced by lifestyle choices. We hear about keeping our genes in good order by protecting our telomeres—a buffer zone at each end of our chromosomes. We'll also hear about a mindfulness-based intervention which could really help millions of extremely traumatised displaced people around the world. This program was first broadcast in August 2019

  • Dementia, sleep, and daydreaming

    Dec 15 2019

    Dementia affects around 450,000 Australians, and it comes in hundreds of forms. New research reveals that one form of dementia takes away the ability to daydream, and this has implications for improved care. Sleep disruption in middle age also emerges as another risk factor. And we hear how, after diagnosis, one person found a meaningful role in breaking down the stigma of dementia.

  • Music and the brain

    Dec 08 2019

    Music deeply affects us emotionally, and individually—and now we know that our relationship with music provides a unique opportunity to gain further insight into the workings of the brain itself. We discuss the latest in music research with one of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain. Hear about why we may prefer particular types of music, how being a musician can change the brain over time, and what happens to our musicality as we age.

  • Climate change anxiety

    Dec 01 2019

    There’s more and more scientific evidence that climate change is having a major impact on our planet. Recently more than 11,000 scientists across the world declared a climate emergency, and many of us are experiencing grief, anxiety and powerlessness about the future. We discuss the connection between climate change and mental health, and the strategies we need to maintain hope and take action.

  • Childhood trauma and the brain

    Nov 24 2019

    What we see, hear, and feel as a child affects us later in life—and our brain is changed by childhood traumas. A leading Canadian psychiatrist is working to understand how childhood harm can impair brain development and affect mental health, in the hope of effective treatment. And we hear about an intervention which can improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children.

  • Our sexy brain

    Nov 17 2019

    Even when it gets the go-ahead, research on sex and the brain is still highly stigmatised—yet there is still so much to learn. Sometimes a brain injury or disease causes hypersexuality, or a change of sexual preference; orgasm can cause a brain aneurysm to rupture, and the latter becomes more likely if it’s sex with someone other than your usual partner.

  • Refugees, sport, and mental health

    Nov 10 2019

    The trauma of war and displacement has a negative impact on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world. Australian researchers recently travelled to a large refugee camp in Bangladesh* where around 500,000 Rohingya people are living. The researchers found that sports and exercise programs make a huge difference to these refugees' physical and mental health, and to their well-being. *There are around 900,000 Rohingya refugees now living in Bangladesh

  • Untranslatable emotions

    Nov 03 2019

    In English there's no single word to describe an anxiety about how much aeroplane flight is damaging our environment. But in Swedish the word for this anxiety is 'flygskam'. And perhaps, having a word for this specific emotion may change the way we think about it  Come on our tour of culture and language to explore some strange destinations and untranslatable emotions.

  • Creating selves to survive

    Oct 27 2019

    Our guest, Rhonda Macken, tells her remarkable story—a testament to the power of human creativity and resilience in the face of unimaginable childhood trauma. Rhonda created a complex jigsaw of multiple personalities as protection against her harsh reality. Now in her 70s, and after years of intense psychotherapy, she's fully integrated and enjoying the love of her family.

  • Meditation for the collective good

    Oct 20 2019

    Is an enlightened planet possible? Co-writers of a new film and book called The Portal say it is—through the power of collective meditation. They share personal stories of inspiring individuals who have come through adversity by reflecting inwards, using meditation.  Hope for humankind may lie in the cumulative effect of individual meditation and whether mindfulness can promote empathy.

  • Empathy for mental health through the arts

    Oct 13 2019

    The Big Anxiety festival uses the arts and lived experience to re-imagine mental health. Through creativity and innovative technology, empathy replaces fear and stigma. Virtual reality worlds open up to an optimistic future and offer insight from ancient indigenous stories.

  • A roller-coaster of emotion—Borderline Personality Disorder

    Oct 06 2019

    Gabby was on an emotional roller-coaster, feeling empty and needy. After lashing out in anger, she’d regret it and say sorry over and over again. Her partner, Eliza, felt like she was walking on eggshells, always fearful of arousing Gabby’s intense emotions. Gabby was diagnosed with the highly stigmatised Borderline Personality Disorder. They share their journey together to a calmer and happier life. ** Trigger warning: please note that this interview contains references to self-harm, abuse, an...more

  • Autism and superheroes

    Sep 29 2019

    When Tim was 11 years old he created his own superhero. Laser Beak Man now appears in colourful artworks showing Tim’s unique sense of humour connected to his literal understanding of language. And when Oakley was 5 years old he drew a pirate, inspiring his mother to write a kids’ book to raise understanding about autism and difference.

  • A memoir on drugs and addiction

    Sep 22 2019

    Meet an Australian philosopher and cultural analyst who spent 20 years of his life addicted to just about every drug you could imagine. His best work was done when he was enveloped in haze of cannabis smoke, he prowled local pharmacies to score large doses of codeine, and drank until he lost consciousness. Amazingly he lives to eloquently share his insights into the thought processes of an addict.

  • Anxiety—and the 'worry bully'

    Sep 15 2019

    Anxiety is an essential human emotion—it kicks in to protect us from threats—but sometimes those threats are only perceived. When worries start to become overwhelming, approximately 25 per cent of us experience clinical anxiety. But it is highly treatable. A ten-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man share their anxious thoughts and their strategies to manage them.

  • Inside talking therapy

    Sep 08 2019

    The art of talking and listening in therapy can be powerful and transformative. The talking cure has changed since Freudian psychoanalysis, but evidence is building that the therapeutic relationship can have deep and lasting benefits. Two leading psychotherapists reveal the common dynamics that can interrupt our sense of well-being, through characters based on real-life case studies.

  • Indigenous language and perception

    Sep 01 2019

    Our perception of the world is significantly affected by the language we speak. Indigenous languages from around Australia pose a vastly different perspective of the world than that of English. We explore how these languages influence perceptions of self, kinship and the natural world.

  • Your attention, please!

    Aug 25 2019

    Are you paying attention? It’s not as simple as it sounds because our focus is constantly being pulled in different directions. Good attention skills are crucial for the development of other cognitive abilities, but a concerning number of children have difficulties to a clinical level, such as those seen in ADHD and autism. The common treatment is medication but there are training interventions which are proving effective.

  • Creativity and the A-ha moment

    Aug 18 2019

    Watson and Crick saw the structure of DNA in a spiral staircase, and Newton understood gravity in the falling of an apple—but all human beings regularly experience flashes of inspiration, seemingly out of nowhere. Insight researchers want to know more about the nature of the so-called ‘a-ha moment’, so they are setting us a citizen science challenge. Find out what they know already, and how you can contribute to the science of creativity. And we hear from a neuroscientist whose recent research s...more

  • Telomeres, trauma, and mindfulness

    Aug 11 2019

    The connection between our minds and bodies determines our health and well-being, and the rate at which our cells age and die can be influenced by lifestyle choices. We hear about keeping our genes in good order by protecting our telomeres—a buffer zone at each end of our chromosomes. We'll also hear about a mindfulness-based intervention which could really help millions of extremely traumatised displaced people around the world.

  • Tripping for depression

    Aug 04 2019

    In 1966, as a reaction to disturbing reports of people having bad trips, the psychedelic drug LSD was banned in the U.S. Now some scientists are seeing promising results from studies into the therapeutic benefits of using psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness.

  • Turn on, tune in

    Jul 28 2019

    Turn on, tune in, and drop out … that was the catchcry of U.S. psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960s. By 1966 psychedelics were demonised and banned, but now—in controlled scientific settings—there's a psychedelic 'renaissance' in mental health therapy. Early research on the use of ecstasy in the treatment of stress disorders looks promising.

  • On happiness—notes from prison

    Jul 21 2019

    Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness. Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language

  • Getting in touch with our haptic sense

    Jul 14 2019

    Do you prefer ‘vibrate on’ or ‘vibrate off’? Well, either way—heads up, as we explore the world of haptics. To get the best information from whatever you choose to touch, haptic sensing involves a lot of neural effort. We'll hear about how this sensing has been examined in the past, as well as some speculation on where haptics might go in the future.

  • Justice for Juvies

    Jul 07 2019

    Criminal lawyer Sarah Hopkins' novel The Subjects is about the overcriminalisation and overmedicalisation of young people—and her innovative ideas for youth justice. The protagonist, Daniel, is 16-years-old and has just arrived at a Juvie delinquent centre—but there’s no medication and he doesn’t have to stay. Then he gets the eerie sense that he’s part of an experiment.

  • Look up and connect

    Jun 30 2019

    When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly.

  • Psychiatry for the future

    Jun 23 2019

    It could be that the profession of psychiatry needs a revolution. A UK medical doctor with experience in mental health feels that we’re still trying to understand and come to terms with mental health issues—and how best to provide treatment. He talks with two psychiatrists, a historian, and a service user. They all can imagine a different future for psychiatry.

  • Adventures in sleep

    Jun 16 2019

    At night our brain can have adventures. Even if they're fully asleep, some people end up sleep walking or even sleep driving! The neuroscience of nightmares and dreaming—and what they can tell us about the workings of our brain.

  • The power of social norms—rules to make or break?

    Jun 09 2019

    What ultimately drives human behaviour? A leading professor of psychology, Michele Gelfand, suggests that culture is one of the last uncharted frontiers. From her pioneering research into cultural and social norms she’s found an important distinction between tight and loose cultures, and their tendency to make or break rules. These social norms or informal rules of conduct determine whether we co-operate or come into conflict, at both the collective and individual levels.

  • Mental health in Indonesia

    Jun 02 2019

    Mental health is a major and highly stigmatised problem in Indonesia. Some villages still practise ‘pasung’ where the mentally ill are kept in cages separate from the family home—because of a taboo. Indonesian PhD candidate Sandy Onie had his own lived experience of mental illness, and so did his father—but psychological help was hard to come by. Now Sandy is determined to make a change.

  • The silence around schizophrenia

    May 26 2019

    What’s the scariest word in the English language? Still highly stigmatised, schizophrenia is the illness that we dare not speak about openly, and this silence may get in the way of recovery.

  • Why smart people do stupid things

    May 19 2019

    Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else—they may even be more susceptible to them. This idea has been dubbed the Intelligence Trap. It explains the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and how the decisions of even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire.

  • Disasters and children's mental health

    May 12 2019

    Traumatic events such as mass shootings and natural disasters can cause high proportion of children to suffer mental health problems. We hear how to equip adults to minimise the impact of trauma on children.

  • Loving Lucy

    May 05 2019

    Parenting can be tough—even when your child is considered so-called ‘normal’. Nine-year-old Lucy looks like a curly haired angel, but she's often strangely manipulative and physically violent. Her mum and dad are still searching for a diagnosis which could make sense of her extreme behaviour. But their patience and love for Lucy is extraordinary.

  • Dementia, sleep and daydreaming

    Apr 28 2019

    Dementia affects around 450,000 Australians, and it comes in hundreds of forms. New research reveals that one form of dementia takes away the ability to daydream, and this has implications for improved care. Sleep disruption in middle age also emerges as another risk factor. And we hear how, after diagnosis, one person found a meaningful role in breaking down the stigma of dementia.

  • A highly superior memory

    Apr 21 2019

    If you were given a date from the last five years could you say what day of the week it was? One young woman in Australia can remember every single day of her life since she was born. We hear about her life and the research she’s involved with—as a single participant.

  • The changing face of eating disorders

    Apr 14 2019

    In a world fixated on how we look and what we eat, it’s not surprising that body dissatisfaction represents an increasing mental health issue—and it affects all body types, genders, and ages. Whilst anorexia nervosa is still a significant condition for girls and young women, some boys can experience a condition called muscle dysmorphia.

  • Loneliness—a social pain

    Apr 07 2019

    Loneliness is a growing issue around the world, and a recent national survey reveals that 1 in 4 Australians are lonely. Research also shows that loneliness can have a profound impact not just on our mental health but on our physical health as well. In fact, it could be as bad for our bodies as smoking. What’s causing this social pain and how can we reconnect with each other?

  • All In The Mind presents ... The Parenting Spectrum

    Apr 01 2019

    We would like to share with you an excerpt from a new ABC podcast called The Parenting Spectrum. A show about autism and family life—hosted by Fiona Churchman, Travis Saunders, and their son Patch.They explore issues like safety, lack of sleep, finding the right school, and how to help your child embrace their identity and prepare for adulthood.

  • Autism and musicals

    Mar 31 2019

    Sophie and Ryan are both on the autism spectrum, and they call themselves ‘Aspies’ even though Asperger’s is no longer an official diagnosis. They also share a passion—even an obsession—for musical theatre, so they’ve teamed up to create a cabaret called ‘The Aspie Hour’. It’s irreverent and funny and it breaks down commonly held misconceptions about autism.

  • Facing fears and phobias

    Mar 24 2019

    Would you be comfortable with a Huntsman spider crawling on your arm, or a python slithering over your shoulder? Not many of us would, but when this discomfort causes you so much anxiety that it interferes with your daily life – it’s become a phobia. Many people never seek help for them, but treatment can be effective. Whether it’s a fear of birds, dogs, heights, or having injections, exposure and virtual reality can assist.

  • The power of compassion

    Mar 17 2019

    Imagine somebody being critical of you, putting you down every day. That can be depressing. What’s more, if you do it to yourself over a long period it can cause changes in your brain, your body, and your feelings. Some psychologists say that a focus on compassion can soothe your inner critic and make a real difference. It’s known as Compassion Focussed Therapy.

  • The post-natal mind

    Mar 10 2019

    After the birth of her first child Nicola Redhouse experienced unrelenting post-natal anxiety. She’d grown up in a household steeped in psychoanalytic thought and had expected to gain insight from the Freudian concept of the unconscious mind. Instead she went on to discover neuropsychoanalysis—a field which investigates where the brain ends and the mind begins.

  • Health in body and mind

    Mar 03 2019

    Conditions such as depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and gut problems are common in Australia. British TV presenter Dr. Michael Mosley, who’s known for his Fast diet and exercise programs, says there are effective preventive measures which highlight the crucial connection between body and mind. He shares knowledge from experts and those with lived experience on how to reset your health.

  • Psychedelics, addiction, and mental health

    Feb 24 2019

    Psychedelic drugs were banned in the US in the late 1960s, which ended the flourishing research into their potential for treating mental illness. Now a leading professor from Imperial College London is re-visiting the field. He’s convinced that psychedelic therapy offers a new paradigm for mental health. His other passion is treatment for addiction, and to discover why some of us are more vulnerable than others.

  • The autism project

    Feb 17 2019

    Socially awkward Professor Don Tillman was the protagonist in the best-selling novel The Rosie Project, a book which built awareness of and helped to reduce the stigma around autism. The final book in author Graeme Simsion's Rosie trilogy has Don and his wife Rosie raising their 11-year-old son, who may have autism.

  • The mystery of the inflamed brain

    Feb 10 2019

    The Netflix drama ‘Brain on Fire is the story of a young woman in the U.S. who suddenly develops severe psychiatric symptoms. Some clever detective work reveals that she has a rare and mysterious condition causing brain inflammation. We hear from an Australian teenager who’s been through the same ordeal—but once treated has survived and thrived.

  • Getting sexy with robots

    Feb 03 2019

    Sex robots are here to stay and the technology is developing fast. From the ancient Greeks to the latest science fiction, robots in human form have captured our imagination, but is it possible to form intimate relationships with these inanimate objects? Do we want to? And what about the many ethical concerns sex robots raise?

  • Shame: the ups and downs

    Jan 27 2019

    Embarrassment, guilt, or remorse are difficult emotions and most of us avoid. These excruciating shameful feelings are often masked by addiction, self-loathing or narcissism, but shame can also help uphold societal values, and even help build our self-esteem

  • Creativity and your brain

    Jan 20 2019

    We humans have ‘creative software’ in our brains—so says neuroscientist and author David Eagleman. We're driven to invent and innovate, yet at the same time we’re attracted to the familiar—and our creativity lives in that tension.

  • Mothering and mental illness

    Jan 13 2019

    Having children can be wonderful but there’s no doubt that parenting can be challenging, especially for women with mental illness. We hear about the lives of mothers diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder—it’s a disorder defined by extreme emotional instability and is surrounded by stigma. The treatment can make a real difference to the wellbeing of families.

  • Synesthesia: seeing sounds, hearing colours

    Jan 06 2019

    For some people the number six is red and music evokes a range of colours and shapes. Seeing sounds and hearing colours is one type of synesthesia—where the senses are crossed.  Meet an 11-year-old girl who was surprised to find out that not everyone sees colourful auras around people, and who feels that numbers have colours and personalities.

  • Carrots, sticks ... and other ways to motivate

    Dec 30 2018

    What does it take to drag yourself off the couch and get motivated on a fitness regime? In all areas of life, to be well motivated we need to feel autonomous and find our own internal rewards. We hear from a renowned motivational psychologist and a personal trainer about what works.

  • On being a dog

    Dec 23 2018

    If you love your pet dog, do they love you? This question intrigued Professor of Neuroscience Gregory Berns. He wanted to know what it’s really like to be a dog—if they feel the same emotions and have similar thoughts to us. So he persuaded his own dog to get into an MRI machine for a brain scan. He’s now trained 100 dogs to go into the scanner and they think it’s a fun game.

  • The art of neurodiversity

    Dec 16 2018

    Neurodiversity is a radical social movement challenging the notion of what’s normal and what’s a disorder. What better place to explore neurodiversity than in the arts and theatre—we hear from actors on the autism spectrum and a synesthete using her perceptions of colour and music to create art.

  • Neuroscience, consciousness, and leadership

    Dec 09 2018

    The recent revolution in technology allows us to peer into the mind as never before—says Dr. Hannah Critchlow. She’s explored what neuroscience can tell us about consciousness, free will, and fate. she’s also investigated the neuroscience leadership to build a more ethical, altruistic work environment.

  • A mother's story of madness, murder, and love

    Dec 02 2018

    One Sunday afternoon Mary Pershall received a devastating call from the police that her daughter Anna had murdered someone. Anna had struggled throughout her life with mental illness and drug addiction, and the tragic event lead Mary to ask how society can protect a child in crisis.

  • Podcast extra: Layne Beachley talks surf therapy

    Nov 25 2018

    Seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley discusses the mental health challenges she's faced in her life, how the ocean and surfing have been emotionally healing for her, and the benefits of surf therapy for mental wellbeing.

  • The stoke of surf therapy

    Nov 25 2018

    You might have seen Australian surfers decked out in fluro gear raising awareness for mental health. The OneWave community is all about increasing the visibility of mental illness — and it's part of a growing international community exploring the therapeutic benefits of surfing. What is it about being in the ocean that can benefit your mental health? All In The Mind heads to Bondi Beach.

  • The extremes of love

    Nov 18 2018

    From old fashioned 'lovesickness' to sex addiction, obsession, and jealousy — how does society decide what's normal in love? Drawing on the latest scientific research into the mechanisms underlying love and romantic attachment, a leading psychotherapist explores the extremes of love.

  • Transitioning to motherhood: Perinatal mental health

    Nov 11 2018

    Pregnancy and early parenthood is an exciting and rewarding time — but for many families, it brings about unexpected challenges. In Australia, one in five expecting or new mums will experience anxiety or depression, some experience both. What's being done to support women as they transition to motherhood?

  • The Australian Mental Health Prize winners

    Nov 04 2018

    Janne McMahon has drawn on her own lived experience of mental illness to advocate for patient-centred care. Professor Gavin Andrews introduced cognitive behaviour therapy to Australia. Meet the dual winners of the 2018 Australian Mental Health Prize.

  • The mind's eye

    Oct 28 2018

    Picture an apple. Now picture your favourite character from a novel. And now a loved one's face. Can you see those images in your mind's eye? Some people can't because they have a condition called aphantasia which disrupts their ability to create a mental image.

  • First impressions: the face bias

    Oct 21 2018

    The science behind our judgement of faces for their trustworthiness, competency, and character.

  • Ways to stay alive

    Oct 14 2018

    When you're overwhelmed by distressing feelings and big emotions, it can feel lonely, particularly if you can't find the help you need in the mental health system. Alternative grassroots approaches to staying alive are now being explored, which focus on connecting with others in a similar space.

  • Preventing suicide

    Oct 07 2018

    Each year, around 3,000 people in Australia die at their own hand. More young people die by suicide than in car accidents, and Indigenous Australians are more than twice as likely to take their own lives. Hear some of the latest thinking in prevention.

  • The enigma of time

    Sep 30 2018

    When we’re bored time drags, and wouldn’t you swear that time seems to speed up as you get older? Drawing on the latest insights from psychology and neuroscience we explore the mystery of time perception, it’s connection to our sense of self and how we could be the architect of our own perception of time.

  • Ethics and the brave new brain

    Sep 23 2018

    Advances in neuroscience and AI could revolutionise medicine but they also pose significant ethical and social challenges. If a brain computer interface can allow a blind person to see, or restore speech to those who’ve lost the ability to communicate, what does this mean for a person’s sense of self, personal responsibility, or privacy?

  • Psychedelic plants, culture, and rituals Podcast Extra

    Sep 16 2018

    Kathleen Harrison is an ethnobotanist studying the relationship between plants, people, and culture. She's worked throughout Latin America since the 1960s and informed by long relationships with indigenous healers, naturalists, and her own decades of psychedelic curiosity. She co-founded the organisation Botanical Dimensions with Terence McKenna in 1985.

  • Tripping for depression

    Sep 16 2018

    In 1966, as a reaction to disturbing reports of people having bad trips, the Psychedelic drug LSD was banned in the U.S. But now some scientists are seeing promising results from studies into the therapeutic benefits of using psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness.

  • Psychedelic research in Australia podcast extra

    Sep 10 2018

    The not-for-profit association Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine Incorporated (PRISM) was set up over 7 years ago to initiate and progress psychedelic medical research in Australia. PRISM is currently collaborating with the USA-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

  • MDMA—its potential therapeutic use podcast extra

    Sep 10 2018

    Some exciting news was published earlier this year in the Psychiatric Journal JAMA, about the potential mental health benefits of psychedelic drug research. It’s likely that within the next 5 years researchers will know whether the psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy—methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or MDMA—can be used to treat psychiatric disorders.

  • Turn on, tune in

    Sep 09 2018

    Turn on, tune in and drop out … that was the catch cry of U.S. psychologist Timothy Leary in the 1960s. By 1966 psychedelics were demonised and banned, but now—in controlled scientific settings—there's a psychedelic 'renaissance' in mental health therapy. Early research on the use of ecstasy in the treatment of stress disorders looks promising.

  • Mothering and mental illness

    Sep 02 2018

    Having children can be wonderful but there’s no doubt that parenting can be challenging, especially for women with mental illness. We hear about the lives of mothers diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder—it’s a disorder defined by extreme emotional instability and is surrounded by stigma. The treatment can make a real difference to the wellbeing of families.

  • The art of empathy

    Aug 26 2018

    Empathy is the power of understanding other people, which in turn allows societies to co-operate and function. But a leading British media executive is concerned that it’s lacking in today’s society, and that the arts and popular culture can bridge the gap.

  • Memory loss and identity

    Aug 19 2018

    Our memories form the basis of our sense of self. When a brain disorder damages memory, it’s not clear what remains of the person when some of those memories are missing. A neurologist from the UK explores memory and identity through the moving stories of her patients.

  • Carrots, sticks ... and other ways to motivate

    Aug 12 2018

    What does it take to drag yourself off the couch and get motivated on a fitness regime? In all areas of life, to be well motivated we need to feel autonomous and find our own internal rewards. We hear from a renowned motivational psychologist and a personal trainer about what works.

  • The mental health of refugees

    Aug 05 2018

    When refugees first arrive in Australia they’re understandably relieved to be relatively safe. But significant trauma—from their past as well as the daily stresses of their lives here—can cause real disruption to their wellbeing. Top 5 scientist in residence Belinda Liddell teams up with us to discuss her research into the refugee experience and its impact on mental health and the brain.

  • Depression and your sense of self

    Jul 29 2018

    If you’ve ever been depressed you may have wondered—is this the real me? And if anti-depressants work for you, do they get you back in touch with who you really are or make you feel more inauthentic? The findings from a University of Cambridge study suggest that how authentic you feel when being treated for depression may be relevant to your recovery.

  • Leadership in mind

    Jul 22 2018

    We're so bombarded by our mobile devices that our ability to pay attention is declining—and extensive research on leadership shows a crisis of engagement in the workforce. Leaders are not satisfying their employees’ needs to find engagement in what they do. Hear about the three most important qualities a leader needs to help solve the crisis.

  • On being a dog

    Jul 15 2018

    If you love your pet dog, do they love you? This question intrigued Professor of Neuroscience Gregory Berns. He wanted to know what it’s really like to be a dog—if they feel the same emotions and have similar thoughts to us. So he persuaded his own dog to get into an MRI machine for a brain scan. He’s now trained 100 dogs to go into the scanner and they think it’s a fun game.

  • Tics, twitches, and Tourette's

    Jul 08 2018

    Adam Ladell was delighted to be runner-up in The Voice on Australian TV a few years ago. He’s a talented and confident singer—but offstage it’s a slightly different story. He caused a stir at school with his involuntary repetitive movements and loud, inappropriate vocal twitches which are part of his Tourette syndrome. Adam talks to us about working with Tourette’s and developing his performance skills.

  • Optimism and hope—with Martin Seligman

    Jul 01 2018

    Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Optimism may protect you from depression. But pessimism could be roughly equivalent to smoking more than 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Known as The Father of Positive Psychology, Professor Martin Seligman continues his talk to an Australian audience about how to promote human flourishing, and positive education.

  • Positive psychology—with Martin Seligman

    Jun 24 2018

    During the 1960s the field of psychology focussed on the science of how past trauma creates present symptoms, and how to reduce people’s misery. Professor Martin Seligman wanted to change that focus. He’s become known as the Father of Positive Psychology, and he’s had a profound influence worldwide. In Part 1 of our 2 programs with Martin Seligman, hear him address an exclusive audience in Australia on happiness and human flourishing.

  • Synesthesia and art

    Jun 17 2018

    Throughout art history we see a culture of expanded perceptions from artists like Kandinsky, to musicians like Duke Ellington. Artist Nina Norden sees colours and shapes in association with just about everything she experiences. In fact, she can’t imagine how things can exist without a colour and a shape—she has synaesthesia and it forms the basis of her art.

  • Synesthesia: seeing sounds, hearing colours

    Jun 10 2018

    For some people the number six is red and music evokes a range of colours and shapes. Seeing sounds and hearing colours is one type of synesthesia—where the senses are crossed.  Meet an 11-year-old girl who was surprised to find out that not everyone sees colourful auras around people, and who feels that numbers have colours and personalities.

  • Strange brains and rare perceptions

    Jun 03 2018

    We take it for granted that we have a common understanding of the world. But there are some rare and strange brain disorders which offer a very different insight into our very existence. Their experiences and the latest research illustrate how the brain can shape our lives in unexpected and sometimes brilliant or alarming ways.

  • Epilepsy and seizure prediction

    May 27 2018

    If you’ve ever witnessed someone having an epileptic seizure you’ll know how frightening it is. And if you have epilepsy you’ll know that the unpredictability of seizures severely impacts your life. It’s like an ‘electrical problem’ in your brain. Researchers are now using AI technology to develop a wearable seizure forecaster.

  • Creativity and your brain

    May 20 2018

    We humans have ‘creative software’ in our brains—so says neuroscientist and author David Eagleman. We're driven to invent and innovate, yet at the same time we’re attracted to the familiar—and our creativity lives in that tension.