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.


  • Machiavellianism, and the 'dark triad' of personality

    Sep 18 2021

    Do you consider yourself a shrewd manipulator? Are you cynical about the nature of human beings? If so, you might rank highly in Machiavellianism - a personality trait that's based on the writing and views of Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Italian political philosopher. We look at what makes a Machiavellian personality, and how it fits into the so called ‘dark triad’ of traits.

  • Forget dad bod ... what about dad brain?

    Sep 11 2021

    During pregnancy and then in childbirth, new mums experience some dramatic hormonal changes. But while these changes in women are relatively well studied … there’s a growing body of evidence finding that biological changes - shifts in hormones and brain activity - happen in men, too. And these shifts are just one part of the picture. Men can also experience mental health issues when they become a new dad, like postnatal depression. On All in the Mind this week, the psychological and biologic...more

  • COVID and the brain

    Sep 04 2021

    As the pandemic continues, the long-term effects of COVID-19 are a growing concern. Much is still unknown, but one major study suggests up to a third of people who get COVID-19 will go on to develop a psychiatric or neurological condition. Then there's the anxiety, depression and stigma that come with a diagnosis of the disease. On All in the Mind this week, how COVID can affect the brain.

  • Electroconvulsive therapy — they still do that?

    Aug 28 2021

    ECT has a chequered history, but its modern iteration is nothing like the scenes depicted in films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Used to treat severe depression and psychosis, ECT's side effects include some degree of memory loss. We delve into the discussion around benefits vs side effects, and speak to three patients about their varying degrees of success with the treatment.

  • Neuromarketing — how brands target your brain

    Aug 21 2021

    Would you be able to tell the difference between a bargain bin red and a top drop? Or how about what separates a duck paté … from one made of dog food? Perception is everything when it comes to marketing, and decades of neuroscience and psychology research have given businesses ever greater insights into how we can make decisions and how they can subtly shape our expectations so that yes – even dog food paté can become appealing. But the ramifications of this power may be pushing companies int...more

  • The 'benevolent' brand of sexism

    Aug 14 2021

    You’re no doubt familiar with 'hostile sexism' – blatantly negative or restrictive attitudes towards women. But there's another type of sexism it co-exists with - ‘benevolent sexism’ - which is sometimes harder to detect. Benevolent sexism can be well-meaning and positive – describing women as natural nurturers or brilliant carers. It's linked to notions of chivalry and romance - research suggests some women even find benevolent sexism attractive. But these attitudes can still cause major ha...more

  • The 'hidden histories' of autistic adults

    Aug 07 2021

    Over the past two decades, our cultural understanding of autism and what it means to be autistic has grown - though we have a long way to go. But there are entire generations of people who grew up when the popular conception of autism was a far cry from how it’s now understood. It meant a whole host of people who grew up feeling like they didn’t fit in, but never quite knowing why. They were autistic, but undiagnosed. And when a diagnosis did come as an adult – it was often revelatory and life...more

  • Hacking humans: social engineering and the power of influence

    Jul 31 2021

    Chris Hadnagy’s job involves breaking into banks. But he’s not after money, gold or jewels. He’s searching for weaknesses – in systems, in security, and in people.  And he doesn’t use weapons or threats of violence to get past guards and into vaults. He uses a smile - and a few tricks from his toolbox of psychology and social engineering techniques. Chris is the founder and CEO of Social Engineer LLC and lectures about social engineering around the globe. On All in the Mind this week, the psy...more

  • Delirium in the ICU

    Jul 24 2021

    It’s a condition which affects some patients who end up in intensive care …  and can continue after they’re released from hospital. People often experience paranoia and fear, sometimes believing doctors are trying to kill them or that ghostly figures have visited during the night. Disrupted sleep, bright lights, the endless beeping of alarms — all are thought to play a role in bringing on the condition. On All in the Mind this week, delirium in the ICU – and how our hospital system might be r...more

  • Why being a beginner is good for you

    Jul 17 2021

    Tom Vanderbilt didn’t know how to play chess. That fact had never bothered him – until his four-year-old daughter decided she wanted to have a go. Within a couple of months, they’d recruited a teacher and both Tom and his daughter combo were battling it out over 64 squares. Tom found the experience of being an adult beginner so challenging and interesting he thought he'd give it a proper go - with a range of different skills and hobbies. Over the next year he embarked on learning multiple ne...more

  • On becoming a mother in a pandemic

    Jul 10 2021

    More than a year after the novel coronavirus pushed much of the world into lockdown, a generation of new mothers are still coming to terms with having been pregnant - and giving birth - in a pandemic. And if you consider the uncertainty of the past year, the stress, the isolation - there are lots of reasons to be concerned about the impact that might have had on new mums, as well as their babies. On All in the Mind this week, we delve into new research on the impact of the pandemic on new moth...more

  • Antidepressants and young people

    Jul 03 2021

    From 2008 to 2018, the prescription of antidepressants in young people grew by 66 per cent. There’s data to suggest that last year, among the lockdowns and anxiety of the pandemic, that figure ticked even higher. In last week’s episode we looked at how the mental health of teenagers fared through the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. This week, another big issue among teenagers and young people - antidepressant medications. We hear from young people themselves about their mental health j...more

  • Are the teens alright?

    Jun 26 2021

    Your teenage years can be tumultuous, but did you know that half of all mental conditions in adulthood emerge by the age of 14? And on top of regular stressors like school and relationships, teens today have social media to contend with – and a little something called the global coronavirus pandemic. On All in the Mind this week, we speak to experts – and teens – about how young people fared last year.

  • When your eyeballs become audible

    Jun 19 2021

    There's a condition so bizarre and rare that most doctors haven't even heard of it. It causes people to hear their own blood moving, bones creaking, lungs breathing -  even eyeballs moving. Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome can have a profound impact on a person's life and mental health... so can it be fixed? We go into a hospital operating room to learn about this little-known condition. Warning: this episode contains a description of a surgical operation. This episode first aired on 29 M...more

  • Does self-help ... help? The problem with pop psychology

    Jun 12 2021

    Have you ever tried a self-help book? Did it… well, help? On All in the Mind this week, why self-help sometimes falls short ... and the problem with pop psychology more generally.

  • The guru playbook

    Jun 05 2021

    On All in the Mind this week, the guru playbook and why we should get smart to their tactics.

  • The making of a magnificent memory

    May 29 2021

    Anastasia Woolmer explains the techniques memory athletes use to recall names, facts and figures, and how you can apply them to everyday life.

  • Super-voice-recognisers

    May 22 2021

    Are you good at recognising voices?

  • Screaming fans and overzealous stans — the psychology of fandom

    May 15 2021

    From the Beatles to the Backstreet Boys, Taylor Swift to BTS – music changes, but screaming fans never seem to fade.

  • The damage done by emotionally immature parents (and how to heal)

    May 08 2021

    How would you describe your parents? Nobody's perfect, but some parents leave more of a mark than others.

  • Phobias, paranoia – and how VR can help

    May 01 2021

    Virtual reality technology is increasingly being used as a form of therapy – treating everything from the depressive symptoms of dementia to the paranoia people develop as part of psychosis.

  • Post-partum psychosis

    Apr 24 2021

    Having a baby is supposed to be a joyous time, despite the sleep deprivation and constant crying. But for many women, it's an extremely vulnerable period.

  • The mind of a murderer

    Apr 17 2021

    Dr Richard Taylor is a forensic psychiatrist — and he’s assessed well over a hundred accused killers in his career.

  • The dark side of daydreams

    Apr 11 2021

    For two decades of Hannah Byford’s life, she kept a secret. When things at home got too much to bear, she’d retreat to an imagined life, inside her head — an elaborate daydream.

  • 'I'm going to cook my baby'

    Apr 04 2021

    A few years back, Dr Toni Sturdivant was looking for a preschool for her three-year-old daughter. After considering a few schools around their Texas suburb, she thought she’d found the perfect place.

  • Mood and the magic ion

    Mar 28 2021

    It’s the lightest metal on the periodic table. Its origins lie in the very beginnings of our universe. And it's taken, in the form of a pill, by thousands of Australians every day.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 06 | Now Is The Time For Cake

    Mar 21 2021

    Graham doesn't think I am broken, but I still suspect I might be.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 05 | Emotionally Deluxe

    Mar 14 2021

    How to collect your tears, the existential angst of the shampoo aisle, and the boy returns.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 04 | 60,000 Thoughts

    Mar 07 2021

    We have 60,000 thoughts each day. I will try to track every single one of them.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 03 | A Good Patient

    Feb 28 2021

    There are no good snack options in psych hospital. And it’s really hard to not look crazy.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 02 | The Vast Wasteland

    Feb 21 2021

    Hunting for a psychiatrist is a lot like hunting for 'The One'. Only much more expensive and with a tiny dating pool.

  • No Feeling Is Final — 01 | The Voice

    Feb 14 2021

    We all have that voice in our head. The one that is brutally honest. It’s a good thing, right? Except when it really isn’t.

  • Lived experience, trauma and the 'missing middle': Victoria's mental health royal commission

    Feb 07 2021

    On All in the Mind, we look at the problems in Victoria's mental health system and what needs to change going forward.

  • Music of memory

    Jan 31 2021

    Our relationship with music begins at birth, if not before, and plays a role in the formation of our identity when we are young. Now a heart-warming movement called Music & Memory is creating personalised music playlists for residents with dementia in nursing homes—who use their mobile device to hear it.

  • The mysterious corpus callosum: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 24 2021

    The corpus callosum links one side of our brain to the other. It’s not essential for survival, but in some people it’s missing or malformed, causing quite mild to extreme disabilities. The good news is that research is now revealing that it holds intriguing secrets about brain plasticity. This program was first broadcast in May 2016.

  • Girls and Autism: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 17 2021

    Most people tend to think of autism as a male disorder, and the character in the film Rain Man often comes to mind. But emerging research shows that girls often have different symptoms which cause them to slip through the net. This program was originally broadcast in June 2015,

  • Dissociation and coping with trauma: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 10 2021

    Warning: some listeners may find aspects of this program confronting. The compelling account of a woman who lived with dissociative identity disorder—and how she eventually became integrated.

  • A highly superior memory: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Jan 03 2021

    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.

  • Turn on, tune in: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 27 2020

    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.

  • Parenting with a mental illness: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 20 2020

    Being a parent can be very rewarding, but if you are managing your own mental health you may not be able to be the parent you’d like to be. It can be sad and confusing for kids too—and they often take on a caring role.

  • Synesthesia—seeing sounds, hearing colours: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite programs

    Dec 13 2020

    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.

  • Anxiety, and the 'worry bully': One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Dec 06 2020

    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.

  • Locked in: One of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Nov 29 2020

    At the age of 12 Martin Pistorius developed a mysterious neurological illness. He fell into a coma and was unable to move or communicate. It was assumed he had no awareness but a couple of years later he began to wake up—yet no-one knew. He was trapped inside his body for almost 10 years until he found a way to communicate. Using computer-generated voice technology he tells us about how he coped with this terrifying ordeal, and how he found the love of his life.

  • Science of self: In a series of Lynne Malcolm's favourite All in the Mind programs

    Nov 22 2020

    Scientists and philosophers have been perplexed by our sense of the self for millennia. Now, by investigating neurological conditions which disrupt the self—such as body identity disorder, schizophrenia, and the doppelganger effect—neuroscience is finding new clues.

  • Podcast extra: Jana Pittman extended interview

    Nov 15 2020

    As part of our program about Resilience, Lynne spoke with former Olympian - and now medical doctor - Jana Pittman. We thought you'd like to hear the full interview.

  • Resilience: What's the buzz?

    Nov 15 2020

    As Lynne Malcolm gets ready for life outside the ABC, she’s been thinking about how all of us cope with changes and challenges, and how our sense of ourselves is influenced by our surroundings. This has become even more relevant for us as we get through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Podcast extra: The question of brain bias

    Nov 08 2020

    What happens in our brain when we make assumptions about people who don’t seem to be like us – when they may look, speak, or behave differently. And can brain science help us to override our potential prejudices? I explore some research on this topic, which specifically looks at how we perceive other people, animals, and things outside ourselves - such as technology.

  • Preventing Indigenous suicide

    Nov 08 2020

    The rate of suicide in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is double that of non-Indigenous people in Australia, and it’s reached a crisis point – particularly amongst the young.  In this NAIDOC week 2020 we hear from researchers and practitioners, and those with lived experience about the best strategies to stem the tide of indigenous suicide

  • Playing hard to get

    Nov 01 2020

    Folk wisdom suggests that playing ‘hard to get’ can help you attract a potential partner. But many psychologists have been skeptical about whether it does have an effect in dating. Over the past few years several new studies on the effect have aimed to pin down the rare circumstances where it might actually be effective.

  • Podcast extra: Timothy Carey extended interview

    Oct 25 2020

    Lynne Malcolm's extended interview with Timothy Carey about how he applies his perspective on control to address inequality in Rwandan society.

  • Controlling behaviour

    Oct 25 2020

    We all have a natural need for a sense of control in our lives – but the over-controlling kind can get out of hand. People with a psychopathic personality disorder are highly skilled in manipulative techniques – which can wreak havoc if you’re on the receiving end. But every-day controlling behaviour may be getting an unfair bad rap – and may be essential for our wellbeing.

  • WEIRD psychology

    Oct 18 2020

    Claims about human psychology and behaviour in top international journals are largely based on the WEIRDest people in the world. People from Western Educated Industrialised Rich Democratic - or WEIRD - societies are widely used as research subjects, but the assumption that they represent a universal human population may be vastly wrong, and skew psychological research. More cultural psychology could be the answer.

  • The predictive mind

    Oct 11 2020

    The mind contains everything we think and feel – our experiences are created by the brain, mostly without our awareness. This makes it pretty much impossible to fully know the mind of others. Research shows that, to ensure our survival, the brain constantly attempts to predict what will happen next.

  • A love letter to smell

    Oct 04 2020

    When you're near coriander or parmesan cheese, do you smell fresh sweetness or vomit and soap?

  • Podcast Extra: Dr Alex Korb offers more techniques out of depression, anxiety

    Sep 27 2020

    Can you rewire your brain to recover from depression?

  • How to stay mentally healthy

    Sep 27 2020

    What small changes can we make in our daily lives to improve our mental health?

  • Trusting Strangers - Who Do We Trust and Why?

    Sep 20 2020

    When two strangers meet, how do they figure out whether to trust one another?

  • Facing The Dark to See The Light

    Sep 13 2020

    Tara Lal was engulfed by grief after the loss of her mother and brother, but found in her brother's diaries her reason to keep going.

  • Introducing... Patient Zero

    Sep 08 2020

    Even big diseases start small... PATIENT ZERO is a new podcast that tells the stories of disease outbreaks: where they begin, why they happen and how we found ourselves in the middle of a really big one. Over four episodes the team follow the aftermath of a natural disaster, reset the timeline of one of Australia's most devastating epidemics, get to the bottom of a shocking medical mystery, and do their best to keep pace with the new normal. PATIENT ZERO is a co-production of ABC Science and...more

  • Sharing dreams and social visions

    Sep 06 2020

    If you’re having particularly vivid dreams during this CoVID pandemic then you’re not alone. But your dreams may collectively say something about broader society. Across the globe from Italy to Australia, social dreamers have been meeting in Zoom matrices, to share dreams and gain insights. It’s like a megaphone from the unconscious..

  • The bizarre dreaming of COVID-19

    Aug 30 2020

    Many of us have had more vivid dreams and nightmares during this global pandemic. A multinational study is set to find out how COVID-19 is affecting our dreams, and whether changes to our inner consciousness could affect our mental health. Along the way researchers will investigate the mysteries of why we dream, why they are often so bizarre, and whether there’s really a difference between dreams during sleep and mind wandering.

  • Reflections on shame

    Aug 23 2020

    Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation caused by bad or foolish behaviour and can affect our mental health. This is seen particularly in the rise of anxiety and of self-harm. But public shame - especially in our digital age - can be a strong tool to regulate our social behaviour.

  • Podcast extra: Sam Bloom

    Aug 16 2020

    An extra to our recent episode about spinal cord injury research where we heard from surfer Sam Bloom. Sam's beautiful and lively personality made us want to share the whole interview.

  • Spinal cord injury: research and resilience

    Aug 16 2020

    Around 350 Australians are affected by spinal cord injury each year. Sam leant against a balcony railing and fell six meters; James had a rare injury while learning to surf. Both were left paraplegic. But cutting-edge research may bring back sensation, and even assist people like them walk again.  A baby magpie and a commitment to investigation help to bring hope.

  • Podcast extra: Culture Dose views Flowers and Fruit

    Aug 09 2020

    As mentioned in yesterday's program, here’s a taste of one of the Culture Dose sessions called 'Joy in everyday life'. Head to our program webapge for a brief meditative exercise with Katherine Boydell from the Black Dog Institute, then Access Programs Producer at the Art Gallery of NSW, Danielle Gullotta, guides the viewer through the painting.

  • Prescribing art for mental health

    Aug 09 2020

    In this time of social isolation, many of us have turned to getting creative...baking bread, picking up a paintbrush, or checking out online theatre performances and virtual gallery tours. Now there’s research on whether prescribing art could help with mental health conditions, such as depression. Take a dose of culture for your wellbeing.

  • Seeing when you're blind

    Aug 02 2020

    Charles Bonnet Syndrome is sometimes called the ‘plaything of the brain’ for the blind and visually impaired. The syndrome isn’t associated with mental illness or dementia, yet people with it are able to ‘see’ things — like little wriggling children in pink and white pyjamas, or a goat riding on a bike through their lounge room.

  • Kindness, and Longevity

    Jul 26 2020

    We could never have guessed the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic would have on us. We’re all affected in different ways but the need to stay physically distant from one another has highlighted the importance of human connection, empathy, and kindness. We hear about the research showing that strong social networks will keep us living longer than any fitness tracker or superfood. And one man’s determination to promote kindness throughout the world after a family tragedy.

  • Electricity and the brain

    Jul 19 2020

    Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) has a chequered history, but its modern iteration is nothing like the scenes depicted in films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Used to treat severe depression and psychosis, ECT's side effects include some degree of memory loss. We delve into the discussion around benefits vs side effects, and speak to three patients about their varying degrees of success with the treatment.

  • The anxious type’s guide to 2020

    Jul 12 2020

    It’s hard to know how to look after your mental health at a time like this. But what happens if that’s something you were already struggling with, before the pandemic hit?

  • The 'Grandma Benches' of Zimbabwe

    Jul 05 2020

    In Zimbabwe mental health has become a very big challenge, yet there are fewer than 20 psychiatrists in a population of over 14 million people. To help create accessible and effective care, psychiatrist Dr Dixon Chibanda began a talk-based cognitive behavioural therapy called Friendship Benches: training grandmothers to become health workers for their communities. Presenter Kim Chakanetsa hears the grandmothers are having astounding results, and recent clinical trials found they are more effecti...more

  • The psychology of nostalgia

    Jun 28 2020

    If recently you’ve been poring over old photos and reminiscing, then you’re not alone. Take heart in learning that nostalgic reminiscing may be an effective strategy to cope with isolation, and perhaps to combat anxiety. But it’s a paradoxical emotion because it can be both sad and uplifting.

  • (Repeat) Adventures in sleep

    Jun 21 2020

    At night our brain can have adventures. Even if they're fully asleep, some people end up sleep walking or sleep driving! The neuroscience of nightmares and dreaming—and what they can tell us about the workings of our brain. This program was originally broadcast in June 2019.

  • Machiavellianism, and the 'dark triad' of personality

    Jun 14 2020

    Do you consider yourself a shrewd manipulator? Are you cynical about the nature of human beings? If so, you might rank highly in Machiavellianism - a personality trait that's based on the writing and views of Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Italian political philosopher. We look at what makes a Machiavellian personality, and how it fits into the so called ‘dark triad’ of traits.

  • The anxious shrink

    Jun 07 2020

    Dr Mark Cross understands anxiety viscerally. Not only is he a psychiatrist, he’s also lived with the condition nearly all his life. And he’s made the decision to be open about his struggle – a rare move for a doctor. His latest book is called ‘Anxiety: Expert Advice from a Neurotic Shrink Who’s Lived With Anxiety All His Life’'.

  • We love Nature Track: A podcast extra

    Jun 02 2020

    All in the Mind has become a big fan of the new ABC audio series Nature Track. It's been made by ABC producer Ann Jones - who, as well as making the Radio National program Off Track, has been collecting wildlife and nature recordings from all over Australia and the world. And now you can hear these pristine sounds wherever you are ... anywhere. Nature Track comprises five soundscapes of varying durations, five chances to give yourself the space you need. No music, no voice, just nature. Sana t...more

  • Healing the trauma of the Stolen Generations

    May 31 2020

    In Australia there are an estimated 17,000 Stolen Generations survivors, and a lack of culturally relevant mental health services is a major barrier to healing for many of them. Now programs led by Indigenous communities themselves are helping people to confront and move past their trauma. We talk with Stolen Generations survivor Aunty Lorraine Peeters, whose life experience led to a pioneering healing program, and became part of a groundswell of Indigenous-led solutions to address trauma. And I...more

  • Can boredom ever be good? Part 2

    May 24 2020

    Last week we heard about the different shades of boredom that people can experience in a dull moment. Although it’s considered a broadly negative emotion, believe it or not, it seems boredom can sometimes be beneficial - especially when it lets us daydream. Some research suggests it can even promote our creativity. But do people differ in how they experience boredom? Are some more likely to be able to benefit from getting bored?

  • Can boredom ever be good? Part 1

    May 17 2020

    Many Australians have reported a higher level of boredom during the long stretch of isolation brought about by COVID-19. So, if you have felt some boredom, was it good or bad? Psychologists believe they’ve classified several different shades of the beast and not all are bad. So we check out ways to embrace the better versions.

  • (Repeat) The power of social norms—rules to make or break

    May 10 2020

    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. This program was first...more

  • The brain in isolation

    May 03 2020

    Over the past few weeks many of us have been living more isolated lives than we’re used to. We might not be in government-mandated quarantine but there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has upended our social lives. Yet isolation can be deeply troubling for humans because we’re social animals; and that’s just as true in our current circumstances as it is in very extreme forms of isolation.

  • Podcast extra: The pineapple project

    Apr 27 2020

    Sharing with you one of the ABC's other great podcasts. Join Jan Fran and friends as they take life’s prickly bits and make them sweeter and easier to deal with.

  • Seeking help for the first time in a crisis

    Apr 26 2020

    If you’ve noticed a change in your mental well-being over the past few weeks you’re not alone.  As the effects of the pandemic and the conditions of isolation begin to be take hold, many Australians are searching for support for the first time in their lives. So if you choose to ask for help, how do you take the first steps.

  • Mental health on the Covid frontline

    Apr 19 2020

    The uncertainty, isolation, and danger posed by the Coronavirus pandemic affects the mental health of many people - but for those on the frontline, all of those feelings can be heightened. We talk to health professionals who have been managing their own panic attacks and anxiety.

  • The ageing brain: it ain't all downhill

    Apr 12 2020

    Growing older is something we only get to do if we’re lucky, so why are so many of us unenthusiastic about the prospect of ageing? We speak to neuroscientist and author Dan Levitin about his new book The Changing Mind, which looks at the ways the brain actually improves as we age, and how we can help it.

  • A riff on creativity, design, and toys

    Apr 05 2020

    Design and creativity really can work together. We talk with a design critic and a product design educator who both have an interest in toys - their history, and how they’re created and assessed in the real world. Get your blocks ready to play along.

  • When your eyeballs become audible

    Mar 29 2020

    There's a condition so bizarre and rare that most doctors haven't even heard of it - it's called Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome and it causes people to hear their blood moving, bones creaking, lungs breathing and even eyeballs moving. It can have a profound impact on a person's life and mental health. So can it be fixed? We go into a hospital operating room to learn about this little-known condition. Warning: this episode contains a description of a surgical operation.

  • Brains old, new, and augmented

    Mar 22 2020

    Believe it or not … a Formula 1 car can be driven by someone just using their brain. We consider the neurogeneration: people who in the future are likely to be using some kind of brain-powered technology to do their job or to extend their knowledge. But we don’t leave the past behind, there’s also a peek into the brain collection of Cornell University.

  • Contagious behaviour

    Mar 15 2020

    We all know that certain diseases are contagious, but sometimes behaviour is contagious as well. We take a look at some historical examples—such as the Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962, and the 1518 case of uncontrollable dancing—and we consider what might drive copycat crimes. There's also the possibility of suicide contagion. Trigger warning: this episode touches on the subject of suicide, please take care while listening.

  • Habits, and making them stick

    Mar 08 2020

    Habits are notoriously hard to change—exercising more often, practising calmness, getting healthy—it all takes time and effort. So perhaps you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a way to get habits into your routine. We talk with Bernard Balleine, Director of the Decision Neuroscience Lab at UNSW; and with B J Fogg, founder of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University about his new book Tiny Habits.

  • The mind's musical ear

    Mar 01 2020

    How good are you at imagining or hearing music in your head? Can you think of the tune to ‘Happy Birthday’ and bring the notes to mind without actually singing? We consider the mind’s musical ear and what it reveals about us. And ... earworms—those pesky songs stuck in your head—where they come from and persuading them to leave.

  • 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