All in the Mind

All in the Mind

By BBC Radio 4

The show on how we think, feel and behave. Claudia Hammond delves into the evidence on mental health, psychology and neuroscience.


Toxic positivity

In the last two years, online searches for ‘toxic positivity’ have spiked. In this discussion from the Cheltenham Science Festival, we find out what toxic positivity is, and how it can hurt you and people around you. In front of a live audience, Claudia Hammond is joined by psychologist Dr Linda Blair, GP and educator Dr Anisha Patel, and wellbeing consultant and content creator Benjy Kusi. Linda has been interested in the rise in the use of the term ‘toxic positivity’ and has noticed how it is having an impact on our wellbeing. She reveals why it is important for us not to suppress ‘negative’ feelings and emotions. Anisha was diagnosed with bowel cancer when she was 39. She authored the book Everything You Hoped You’d Never Need To Know About Bowel Cancer, where she speaks about her diagnosis and treatment journey. She experienced first-hand the harm that toxic positivity can do. Benjy works with many different companies to help improve their inclusion and wellbeing practices. He is the author of the book Hope This Helps and posts frequent videos about lots of tricky issues on TikTok and Instagram.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Alice Lipscombe-Southwell Production Coordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth Editor: Holly Squire
18/06/2427m 55s

Tetris as therapy; internet addiction and teens; the psychology of secrets

You probably know the video game Tetris, perhaps you’ve even played it, but have you ever thought about it as therapy? Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Emily Holmes from Uppsala University, about her work using Tetris as a psychological intervention for unwanted memories. During the pandemic many ICU workers found they were experiencing intrusive memories about the traumatic events they had experienced. Prof Holmes and her colleague, consultant clinical psychologist Dr Julie Highfield, ran a trial offering Tetris therapy to ICU workers and showed they could reduce intrusive memories significantly.Next, you may have seen headlines this week suggesting that teenage brains could be worryingly and irrevocably changed by excessive internet use. It is the latest in a recent surge of concern about teenagers' relationship to technology. Claudia and studio guest, Sarah king from Sussex University, dig into the research and discover that the evidence isn’t as worrying as the headlines make it sound.And do you have a secret? Apparently most of us do and we can't resist thinking about them even though that rumination can impact our wellbeing. Claudia discusses the psychology of secrets with Dr Michael Slepian from Columbia University in New York. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lorna Stewart Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Studio Manager: Emma Harth Content Editor: Holly SquireICU workers testimony clips taken from
11/06/2430m 28s

Languishing and the search for meaning in the modern world

If you’re feeling demotivated and aimless, but you’re not depressed, you might be languishing. But what exactly is languishing, and what can you do about it? Claudia Hammond talks to the sociologist Dr Corey Keyes, who coined the term. He has some solutions that could help you move from languishing to flourishing, as well as poetic descriptions of how nature inspires his work and hopeful tales about the search for meaning in the modern world.We hope that the many children currently going through exams across the country are flourishing, but exam success is far from the only influence on their futures. A new study shows that children who perceive greater household chaos at the age of 16 are more likely to have poor mental health by the age of 23. The most fascinating aspect of the research is that it involved twins living in the same household, and their perceptions of chaos were often wildly different. So what can parents do improve their children’s perception of chaos? Professor Daryl O’Connor from the School of Psychology at the University of Leeds joins Claudia in the studio to look at the evidence.We also have the story of a survivor of child sexual abuse, who fell apart when a weekend away triggered memories of what had happened to him. He went to the police, and eventually his abuser was sent to prison. But the process of doing that destroyed his coping mechanism – to lock it away and ignore it. He tells us how the Salford-based charity We Are Survivors helped him put his life back together. He now encourages abuse survivors to seek help. Details of other organisations that can provide support are available at do you have an old friend you’ve lost touch with? Why don’t you get back in touch? New research shows that we’re often reluctant to do so. Claudia and Daryl dig into the detail and wonder whether it could even help us stop languishing.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Ben Motley Content Editor: Holly Squire Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire
04/06/2427m 40s

Grief, summer seasonal affective disorder, and anxiety in older people

In this episode, Claudia Hammond goes to the Chelsea Flower Show to speak to garden designer Katherine Holland. She credits gardening with helping to ease her grief following the death of her mother. Her Grief Kind garden features a meeting space with three chairs set around a coffee table, to encourage conversations about grief and will include a rotating display of personal objects symbolising loved ones who have died. Professor Catherine Loveday, a psychologist and neuroscientist from the University of Westminster, joins Claudia in the studio to discuss how objects can help us form links in our brains and remember our loved ones. Many of us breathe a sigh of relief when the weather warms up and the sun pops out, but one listener actually finds their mood worsens during the summer. Catherine and Claudia discuss the little-known condition of summer seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Finally, we hear from Professor Andrew Steptoe, a psychologist and epidemiologist from University College London. He heads up the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, which has been running for 20 years. He has found that older people's anxiety levels have remained high following the pandemic. Claudia and Catherine unpick a few of the issues and stereotypes that some people may face. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Alice Lipscombe-Southwell Studio Manager: Neva Missirian Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
28/05/2427m 57s

Why is exercise good for your mental health?

As part of the BBC’s mental well-being season, All in the Mind takes a deep dive into the evidence on the relationship between exercise and mental health. Not just whether getting moving can make a difference, but why. Claudia Hammond laces up her running shoes and goes for a jog on the seafront in Eastbourne with a group of people who are running for their mental health. Claudia meets the founder of 'Run Talk Run', Jess Robson, and talks to other members of the group about why they find exercise to be helpful.Back in the studio, Claudia speaks to Jonathan Roiser, Professor of Neuroscience and Mental Health at University College London. He’s about to embark on a major piece of research that should help us understand a lot more about what exercise does for people with depression. As well as explaining what they’re hoping to discover, he tells her about the latest research into exercise and mental health. Why does it work for some people and not others, and what’s the best exercise for your brain?Then there’s the commonly held belief that exercise is good for your mood because it ‘gets the endorphins going’, but we know that endorphins are not able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Claudia talks to Dr Hilary Marusak from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit about one of the possible alternatives – the endocannabinoid system. Throughout the programme Claudia is joined by Dr Peter Olusoga, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University. Together they discuss the many barriers people face to improving their physical activity, including the fact that poor mental health itself can stop you wanting to exercise in the first place.And if getting more exercise really does sound like the worst idea you can think of, it turns out that watching sport on TV might also be good for you.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Ben Motley Content Editor: Holly Squire Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire
21/05/2428m 4s

Dishonesty researcher accused of fraud; hypocrisy; suicide prevention; awe

First today, a story of alleged academic fraud. The allegations against Professor Francesca Gino might seem unremarkable at first sight. After all, we’ve covered allegations of fraud in psychology on All in the Mind before and the field has been doing all sorts to try to fix the problems. But what is unusual about this eminent Harvard researcher is that her research topic is dishonesty. Yes, a dishonesty researcher accused of the doing the very thing she studies. Cathleen O’Grady reports on a tale of data sleuths and multi-million dollar law suits.Of course there’s no reason why a dishonesty researcher should be any more honest than anyone else. But somehow we feel as though you should have extra high standards if this is the topic you study, otherwise you could be accused of hypocrisy. Which got us wondering what it is about hypocrisy that interests, and sometimes infuriates, us so much? Professor Catherine Loveday, from the University of Westminster, is in the studio with Claudia to take a look at the evidence.And we hear from Professor Rory O’Connor, at the University of Glasgow, about a generation of men whose suicide risk appears to have followed them through life. We talk about what that generation can tell us, as well as about the latest suicide statistics for England, and about what you can do to help someone in your life who you think might be having suicidal thoughts. And if you are suffering distress or despair, details of help and support are available at finally, were you lucky ones enough to see the Northern Lights this weekend? Claudia and Catherine Loveday unpack the psychology of awe.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lorna Stewart Content Editor: Holly Squire Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire
14/05/2427m 34s

The psychology of hope

In this episode of All in the Mind, we’re at the 2024 Northern Ireland Science Festival where we’re discussing the psychology of hope. With a live audience in Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre, Claudia Hammond is joined by a panel of experts well-versed in the topic of hope: Dr Karen Kirby, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Ulster; Dr Kevin Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin; and author Sinéad Moriarty. We take a look at the role of hope in medical scenarios, if we can learn to be hopeful, and how we can hold onto hope in the modern world. And we take questions from our audience – including whether or not we should all just lower our expectations.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producers: Lucy Taylor and Sophie Ormiston Audio supervisors: Andrew Saunderson and Bill Maul Production coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
27/03/2427m 36s

Seasonality, learning to hope, and the gender citation gap

Are you looking forward to the lighter evenings of summer? Perhaps you're already feeling different as the seasons change and the green shoots of spring arrive? This week on All in the Mind we're taking a look at how the seasons affect our moods, thoughts and behaviours. Claudia Hammond speaks to Michael Varnum from Arizona State University about what the research says. Cognitive neuroscientist Sophie Scott, joins Claudia in the studio to ask what it means for the science of psychology if the seasons have such a profound effect.And we hear from a project in Northern Ireland that teaches people to have hope. Marie Dunne was inspired to set up the project, called Resilio, after witnessing the success of a programme designed to teach hope in schools. Based on that programme Resilio developed their own hope courses for adults. We hear from people who have benefitted from those courses, and from people who run them, about how to find hope. Finally, Sophie Scott discusses a new study which found that male psychology scholars were less likely to think of female scholars when asked to name eminent researchers in that field. Could it explain the gender cap in citation rates?Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producers: Lorna Stewart & Lucy Taylor Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
20/03/2428m 59s

How nightmares link to real-life fears, and new research tackling post-cardiac arrest PTSD

If you've been cured of a phobia, say of spiders, and finally made your peace with the hairy-legged beasties in real life - why might you then start having vivid nightmares about them? Following an email plea for an explanation of this mystery Claudia Hammond enlists Dr Lampros Perogamvros, a psychiatrist from the University of Geneva who’s done extensive research around dreams and nightmares, to help answer listener Lesley's query. Meanwhile a new study by researchers at the USA's Columbia University is looking into the benefits of treating post-cardiac arrest PTSD with mindfulness. Claudia speaks to research scientist Dr Maja Bergman about how she was motivated to start the project by her own experience of a sudden cardiac arrest, in her thirties. We also hear from survivors via the support group Sudden Cardiac Arrest UK, about their experiences and recoveries. Joining Claudia in the studio to discuss these stories and more is Dr Peter Olusoga, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University - who also has thoughts to share on new research into athletes shouting at umpires, and what affects our levels of impatience.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lucy Taylor Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
12/03/2431m 0s

The science behind screentime, the effect of live music, and can you imagine sounds in your head?

These days we see a lot of negative stories related to screen time – how we’re addicted to our phones and social media is damaging our mental health. But is our panic about screens justified? Pete Etchells, professor of psychology and science communication at Bath Spa University, talks Claudia Hammond through the latest evidence in this field – and it turns out it’s all a lot more complicated than we think.Many of us will often get catchy tunes stuck in our head, or have an inner monologue narrating our experiences. But this isn’t the case for everyone – some people have what they describe as a silent inner world. This inability to hear sounds in your head has been named anauralia, which PhD student Sang Hyun Kim experiences, and he describes his inner life to Claudia. We also hear from Professor of Psychology Tony Lambert, who has been running studies into anauralia at the University of Auckland. And Claudia is joined in the studio by Catherine Loveday, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster, who has also recently published a study on anauralia – and puts Claudia’s auditory imagery skills to the test. And Catherine also talks us through a new study on how live music can amplify emotional responses in the brain.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Sophie Ormiston Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
05/03/2427m 50s

What's going on with girls' mental health?

When it comes to mental health, what's going on with young people - particularly, teenage girls?There's been a lot of coverage in the media recently regarding mental health difficulties facing boys, not least around the struggle to get to grips with 'modern masculinity'; undoubtedly, it's a tough time to be a young man. But looking at figures for mental health problems in children and teens, there's clearly something going on with girls too. For some years now, research has shown that more girls are experiencing problems than boys, with a troubling spike in difficulties showing up in the late teens. In some years, twice as many girls as boys have what the research calls “probable mental health disorders” - with rates of eating disorders charting four times higher and rates of self-harm up to seven times higher in girls than in boys. All sorts of factors can affect those figures, from whether people are prepared to discuss how they feel, to how those feelings are labelled. But these don’t explain why statistics over recent years continue to show a disparity between boys and girls. On today's programme, Claudia explores the issue with help from a variety of guests, visiting King's College London's (KCL) Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience to speak to Gemma Knowles, a lecturer in epidemiology and youth mental health; Craig Morgan, professor of social epidemiology and co-director of ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health; and Valeria Mondelli, a clinical professor of psychoneuroimmunology - about their work with young people in the UK and beyond, trying to uncover the deeper causes and to find new solutions.She also hears from some of the young people involved in a major study into mental health, conducted by the team at KCL and spanning nearly a decade.Claudia is joined by Dr Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist, who brings her own professional experience to bear discussing the trends and challenges of youth mental health. Organisations offering information and support relating to mental health can be found at BBC Action Line: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lucy Taylor Studio Manager: Emma Harth Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
27/02/2429m 55s

Eating to improve memory, and a new play about mental health services

Does what we eat have an impact on our mood and memory? And should we be thinking about brain health when we make diet choices? Claudia Hammond speaks to Dr Ellen Smith from Northumbria University about the latest food supplement taking TikTok by storm; Lion's Mane mushrooms. We are used to foods being promoted for their physical health benefits, but this one is being claimed to reduce brain fog, improve memory and fend off Alzheimer's disease. Claudia asks what the science says and discusses with studio guest Dr Sarah King from the University of Sussex whether and what we should be eating to boost our cognition. And Claudia's off to see a new play; This Might Not Be It is currently on at the Bush Theatre, London. It tells the story of two administrators in an NHS mental health clinic and addresses the challenge of staying optimistic in a system that is struggling. Claudia is accompanied by mental health campaigner James Downs, and speaks to the writer of the play, Sophia Chetin-Leuner. Studio guest Sarah King discusses why drama is so powerful in helping us connect with people's stories. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lorna Stewart Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Editor: Holly Squire
20/02/2427m 59s

What Mastermind can tell us about blinking, how music shapes memory and why anger can be a useful emotion

How stressed out do you get by TV quiz shows? And would that change if you were a contestant yourself? Cognitive researchers at the University of Arizona have studied back-episodes of Mastermind to find out how people react in high-stress situations - particularly how much they blink. Their findings offer insight into how blinking changes in stressful and mentally challenging situations – but also what it can tell us about cognitive processes. Claudia Hammond hears from BBC presenter and Celebrity Mastermind "Champion of Champions" 2019, Samira Ahmed, and speaks to Bob Wilson, associate professor in cognitive science and psychology at the University of Arizona, about the research. Have you ever walked into a room and completely forgotten what you came in for? Studies show that changing your physical location can "bookend" thoughts and shape how our memories compartmentalise information. Now a new study has been looking at whether shifts in our moods can do the same. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, used music to elicit specific emotions in subjects, so they could assess how changes in emotional states might affect how memories are formed. Claudia hears from assistant professor of psychology, David Clewett, one of the paper’s authors.And this week's studio guest Catherine Loveday, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster, explains why anger can on occasion be a rather useful emotion.Organisations offering information and support relating to some of the issues covered in this series of All In The Mind can be found at Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lucy Taylor Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
19/12/2328m 6s

The impact of bad news, compassion fatigue, and the psychology of whistleblowing

Increasing numbers of people are avoiding the news, and a recent update to Ipsos’s Global Trends 2023 report has found that the current state of the world is causing people to focus on their own lives, rather than broader, global problems. Mike Clemence, associate director of trends & futures at Ipsos, talks Claudia Hammond through the findings and the "polycrisis" we find ourselves in. Coverage of these crises can have a psychological impact, Roxane Cohen Silver, distinguished professor of psychological science, medicine, and public health at the University of California Irvine, tells Claudia how media exposure to traumatic events can cause acute symptoms of stress, and what we can do to protect ourselves.Whistleblowers do the important job of calling out wrongdoing in an organisation. So why are so many treated badly, even though they’ve done the right thing? And how can people be encouraged to raise concerns at work? Claudia speaks to Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership and management at the Harvard Business School, about "psychological safety" – the belief that you won’t be punished for speaking up.And Claudia is joined in the studio by Daryl O’Connor, professor of psychology at the University of Leeds, to take us through some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology. We discuss whether compassion is a limited resource and if the emotional words we use can affect our heart health. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Sophie Ormiston Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
12/12/2327m 59s

Rowing the Atlantic in the name of science, psychologists tackling poverty, and the scent of fear makes us more observant.

Have you ever considered rowing across the Atlantic? How about making it even more challenging by doing it whilst wearing an ECG monitor and filling in psychological questionnaires? Claudia Hammond speaks to the first Austrian woman to row the Atlantic, Ciara Burns, who collected data throughout her 42 day crossing. And to the professor who studied the data, Eugenijus Kaniusas from the Vienna University of Technology, about the three big dips in mood along the way. Ciara talks about the emotional highs and lows of rowing to America, about the night skies, meeting whales, and how it feels when the Atlantic comes crashing down on you. Sports psychologist Peter Olusoga from Sheffield Hallam University, discusses mental preparation for an adventure like Ciara's and how being in the middle of the Atlantic, with the astronauts on the international space station as your nearest other humans, can provide a lasting perspective change. Peter also describes a new piece of research showing that smelling other people's sweat, collected whilst they watched scary films, can help us to be more observant and overcome a well-established psychological effect known as inattentional blindness. And Claudia talks to Tiago Pereira, a Portuguese psychologist who is calling for psychologists to put a full stop to poverty. He says that psychologists are uniquely placed to communicate the causes and consequences of poverty, and to use that information to demand governmental policy changes. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lorna Stewart Studio Manager: Donald MacDonald Production Co-ordination: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
05/12/2329m 17s

ADHD medication shortage, life after being a carer and the benefits of keeping positive secrets

This Autumn, the UK has seen a shortage of life-altering medication for people living with ADHD. Many have found themselves completely out of pills and are now having to deal with symptoms which made life so tough prior to their diagnosis. Claudia Hammond hears about this challenging situation from Steph, who was only diagnosed with ADHD in August but experienced life-altering benefits after taking medication. Now having run out, she's struggling, and worries that even if she gets her prescription soon, this might happen again. Claudia hears what's caused this shortage from Martin Sawer, executive director of the UK Healthcare Distribution Association, and what people living with ADHD can do in the meantime from psychiatrist, Uthish Sreedaran. Caring for a relative in the final months of their life can be challenging and all consuming. And once they pass away, the carer can be left not only feeling bereaved but without a purpose. Nick contacted to explain how he struggled when he lost his wife following years of caring for her, and how - after a period of complete darkness - a new purpose emerged in his life. Catherine Loveday, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster, joins Claudia in the studio to discuss how different people assume distinct roles when caring for a relative with dementia, why keeping positive news a secret might bring us benefits and your experiences of forgetting 2021... Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Julia Ravey Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Editor: Holly Squire Production Co-ordinator: Siobhan Maguire
29/11/2327m 51s

Belief in conspiracy theories, exercising before work, and living with OCD

It’s not hard to find headlines about conspiracy theories these days, and on social media, they appear everywhere. It would be easy to think that more people are falling victim to conspiracies than ever before, but is there any evidence that this is the case? Claudia Hammond talks to Joe Uscinski, professor of political science at the University of Miami, whose work polling the public on their belief in conspiracy theories has revealed some surprising findings.The term ‘OCD’ is often thrown around without any knowledge of what it really means to live with obsessive compulsive disorder: a condition that, for some, can be debilitating and disabling. Meg, who has lived with OCD for over 30 years, tells Claudia how her OCD affects all aspects of her life, how the pandemic worsened the condition, and who in her life helps her manage the symptoms.And Claudia is joined in the studio by Daryl O’Connor, professor of psychology at the University of Leeds. Daryl takes us through some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, including the best interventions to change cortisol levels, the benefits of exercising before work, and the association between private renting and biological ageing. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Sophie Ormiston Studio Manager: Jackie Margerum Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
21/11/2327m 59s

New psychosis drug, why its hard to recall 2021, and counselling in later life

A new medication for psychosis is on the horizon. It's called KarXT and it could mean fewer side effects as well as finally some relief from difficulties with attention, concentration and memory - these are the symptoms patients often report as having the greatest impact on their lives but which current antipsychotics do not help with. KarXT has been through both phase 2 and 3 trials and now awaits approval by the FDA. Dr Thomas Kabir, a researcher from the University of Oxford who lives with psychosis and takes antipsychotics, talks to Claudia Hammond about the trial he is about to run with KarXT and the hopes he has for it, both professionally and personally.And is your memory of 2021 a little shaky? If so, you wouldn't be the only one. Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster discusses a new study which asked people to date public and cultural events from the last six years and found that events from 2021 are unusually hard to pin down. Finally, a look at counselling for people in their 70s and 80s. Counsellor Helen Kewell talks to Claudia about her new book reporting from the frontline of counselling people in later life. She tells us about the difference between a counsellor and a befriender, why we should talk more about our own death and how she handled it when one client fell asleep in their session.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Lorna Stewart Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Co-ordination: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
15/11/2327m 54s

Grieving when estranged, musical hallucinations and the benefits of snoozing your alarm

Losing a parent is extremely difficult, but for adult children who are estranged, this loss can create a mixture of grief, sadness, guilt or relief. Claudia Hammond talks to broadcaster and author, Professor Alice Roberts, about her experience of losing her mother after being estranged for 5 years. A group of estranged adult children were interviewed to learn more about these feelings and how they’ve dealt with them. Claudia discusses the findings with Professor Karl Pillemer, sociologist at Cornell University and author of ‘Fault Lines: Fractured Families and How to Mend Them’. Hearing music when nothing is playing is more common than you might think. For people with hearing loss, many ‘hear’ music as if it real. From choral versions of ‘Ferry across the Mersey’ to random notes on an organ, listeners Peter and Elizabeth share what it is like living with a constant juke box in their heads. Claudia chats about this phenomenon with Professor of cognitive neurology at Newcastle University, Tim Griffiths, and learns what might be happening in the brain to cause it. Peter Olusoga, senior lecturer in psychology at Sheffield Hallam University, joins Claudia in the studio to discuss how zoom backgrounds influence first impressions, the benefits of micro-breaks and when snoozing your alarm might be good for you... Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Julia Ravey Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Coordinator: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
08/11/2328m 2s

Increasing humility, suppressing negative thoughts and talking about mental health at work

Humility is a quality often associated with self-deprecation. But by championing our achievements while also acknowledging our weaknesses, we could see benefits in many areas of our lives – and even increase our attractiveness. Claudia Hammond hears about this research from Daryl Van Tongeren, associate professor at Hope College in the US and author of ‘Humble: The Quiet Power of an Ancient Virtue’, who explores what a humbler world might look like. Mental health is top of the agenda in many companies, though discussions about wellbeing might not be common practice amongst colleagues. But at Grundon Waste Management in Oxfordshire, these conversations are happening - from the tearoom to the workshops - thanks to a course designed by operational training manager, Tex. Claudia takes a trip to the facility to talk to Tex and his colleague Paul about how creating an open culture around mental health has improved their working environment. Claudia is joined in the studio by Daryl O’Connor, professor of psychology at the University of Leeds. He shares some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, including how expressing gratitude could help parental wellbeing, why suppressing negative thoughts might be a useful therapeutic technique and a look at how people can communicate while they're asleep using just their facial expressions. Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Julia Ravey Studio Manager: Tim Heffer Production Co-ordination: Siobhan Maguire Editor: Holly Squire
31/10/2328m 2s

All in the Mind Awards Ceremony

Last November All in the Mind listeners were asked to nominate the group, professional or individual who had made a positive impact on their mental health and the winners are announced in this programme. All in the Mind is produced in association with the Open University.Producers: Geraldine Fitzgerald, Lorna Stewart, Julia Ravey and Paula McGrath Content Editor: Erika Wright Awards Coordinators: Caroline Dey and Siobhan Maguire
27/06/2333m 42s

Male friendship

The author and screenwriter Max Dickins was preparing to propose to his girlfriend when he came to a realisation: he didn’t have anyone he felt he could ask to be his best man. It prompted him to write the book ‘Billy No-Mates’, looking at why he didn’t have any close male friends any more, and asking if men, in general, have a friendship problem.In a special discussion in front of a live audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival, Claudia Hammond speaks to Max about his journey alongside Professor Robin Dunbar and Dr Radha Modgil.Robin Dunbar is a Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford University who’s spent decades researching friendships in humans and other primates. He’s also known for having Dunbar’s Number named after him, which suggests most of us have a limit to our social circles of around 150 people.Radha Modgil is a practicing GP and wellbeing expert whose book ‘Know Your Own Power’ looks at what advice there is for people facing difficulties as they go through life.The panel look at what psychology can teach us about friendships between men, the difference these relationships can make to our mental health, and the best way of both maintaining the friendships we have and finding ways to make new friends.Produced in partnership with the Open University. Producer: Dan Welsh
20/06/2327m 44s

The perfection trap: do you feel 'good enough'?

It's not only the headliners at Glastonbury and winners at Wimbledon who strive for perfection in their lives. Psychologist Dr Tom Curran says people in all walks of life are prone to believing they're not quite "good enough". The pressure to be perfect can come from inside ourselves or from society, via social media as well as our friends and family. He says perfectionism isn't about doing things faultlessly - it's about feeling that you are never good enough even if you get a gold medal. Tom Curran is a perfectionist himself and experienced burnout because of pressure from unachievable goals. Our studio guest Dr Peter Olusoga who's a sports psychologist says burnt-out athletes can end up withdrawing from their sport and resenting their coach if too much emphasis is placed on winning, instead of a more holistic approach. He also talks about how a study of teenagers at specialist "talent" schools in Norway might help to identify when students are under too much pressure as they try to balance practice with academic work and friendships. The last All in the Mind Awards finalist is Trinia - a community psychiatric nurse who supported Rae even when she was rude to her. Trinia's persistence paid off - helping Rae to get an allotment and start painting has made her feel like life is worth living again.
13/06/2329m 3s

Can we fix mental health care?

Whilst we have been hearing about some amazing acts of mental health support in the All in the Mind Awards, many of you have reached out to express the difficulties you've had finding the care you need. Two of the most influential leaders in the mental health space - Dr Shubulade Smith, head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Sarah Hughes, chief executive officer of the charity MIND – talk to Claudia Hammond to discuss what is causing some of these service problems and what can be done to help. They emphasise the importance of defining mental health from mental illness, and what ambitions they both have for the future of mental healthcare in Britain. Side by Side is a pilot initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society in Bristol, pairing up volunteers with people living with dementia based on common interests. This is how Simon met David. After learning he had Alzheimer’s disease during the isolation of lockdown, Simon struggled to come to terms with his diagnosis, and his wife Ruth, who was balancing so many responsibilities, felt the impact on her mental health. They didn’t realise how much these weights would lift when they signed up for Side by Side. Every Monday, David – an Alzheimer’s Society volunteer – picks Simon up and the two venture out. Whether walking Clifton Down’s or hunting for Bristol’s best brownie, they talk for hours, sharing their love of local history, and Simon comes home invigorated. For Ruth, this precious free time gives her respite from spinning her many plates, and these huge mental health improvements are why the judges made Side by Side an All in the Mind Award finalist. Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Leeds, Daryl O’Connor, gives an update on some of the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, including differences in depression depending on socioeconomic status and how intelligent brains make complex decisions. Plus, research reveals the impact your first name may have on where you live and what you do. Produced in partnership with the Open University. Producer: Julia Ravey
06/06/2332m 8s

Stories of Loss and Hope

This week we have two more finalists in the All in the Mind Awards. When Hollie met the love of her life Pete she felt she belonged for the first time. But then her new husband's cancer returned and this time it was terminal. Soon after he passed away, her dad and her cat died too. Having experienced so much loss, she attempted to take her own life. Then she found the charity the New Normal - which Ben formed with Jack when both their fathers died. The safe space of the online meetings helped her to keep going - and now the charity has members across the world. So what makes them so special? When Aura took up her job working in a busy specialist GP practice for homeless people she had already experienced loss after her brother died because of addiction. When her alcoholic father died she got the emotional support she needed from her boss Dr Paul O'Reilly - who also helped her to grow in confidence in her role as an independent nurse prescriber.Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster uncovers new research about how a lack of gender equality can change structures in the brain and how warmth and competence in a therapist could help convince sceptical clients that talking therapy might make a difference.
30/05/2327m 58s

Supporting a son with schizophrenia

Hamish Barclay was a teenager when he was given steroids to treat kidney problems and experienced a rare side effect of psychosis. Now 29, he's lived with a diagnosis of schizophrenia for ten years and thanks to support from his mother Josephine he's been able to return to making music. His sister Maudie helped him to nominate their mum for an All in the Mind Awards - and she's now reached the finals. The family talk candidly to Claudia Hammond about the stigma around schizophrenia - they sometimes avoid using the word because they know it can put people off playing music with him in bands. Maudie says their mum shows incredible patience and love by driving him to London from Somerset and sitting in his classes, so he can study music and play his beloved guitar. The voices - or auditory hallucinations - which Hamish hears make it hard for him to write songs - but the medication he takes is helping to push them into the background. We hear some of Hamish's compositions he's recorded with other students at his college - and about how much difference writing music has made to his mental health and wellbeing.
25/05/2327m 48s

How much empathy should doctors have?

A good bedside manner is a wanted quality in healthcare professionals. But as is performing procedures that can be painful or uncomfortable. As medical students train to become doctors, they can experience changes in their levels of empathy; the ability to resonate with how others feel. Learning long lists of diagnoses and pathologies, the human body starts to resemble more of a machine. But how detrimental is this? Claudia Hammond asks Jeremy Howick, director of the Stoneygate Centre for empathic healthcare at the University of Leicester, who is training healthcare professionals to express more patient empathy to improve health outcomes and reduce burnout. Lasana Harris, professor of social neuroscience at UCL, describes how too much empathy might be a cause of burnout, and medics should toggle empathy on and off depending on context. Medical students from the University of Bristol express how they feel empathy should come into their future roles. The finalists of the All in the Mind Awards continue to be announced. This week, we hear from Terri, who went through a huge period of loss at the same time as her foster child. During this time, foster care consultant Pam knew just want to say. She could help Terri see how her child was expressing her grief and also gave her permission to acknowledge the good job she was doing. Catherine Loveday, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Westminster, joins Claudia and describes how nostalgia can help with route remembering and how easy it is to implant childhood memories. Produced in partnership with the Open University. Producer: Julia Ravey Content producer: Dan Welsh
19/05/2327m 53s

Do lonely brains see the world differently?

Ground-breaking discoveries in neuroscience, psychology and mental health are shared in scientific journals. And this gives them a stamp of approval. Before publication, articles go through rigorous checks by other experts in the field to assess if methods are watertight and the science stacks up. But sometimes, that might not be the case... Claudia Hammond investigates an unsuspecting vehicle for misinformation: articles that look just like those used to share new discoveries but instead contain content which might not be up to scratch. In fact, some have previously been shown to accept complete fiction. Bradley Allf, PhD candidate at North Caroline State University, explained how he tested the boundaries for getting fabricated data published online, and science journalist, Ruairi Mackenzie, recounts his experience attending a scientific conference which seemed a bit bizarre. We hear from one of the groups who have reached the final of the All in the Mind Awards 2023. After losing her son Finn to miscarriage in late 2021, Anna hid. She felt like no one would understand the grief she was feeling, which was exacerbated by PTSD. But one grey morning, she left the house for the first time to go to her local park and meet Chelsie from Matilda’s Mission. This charity, set up in 2022, aims to help individuals who have experience baby or child loss by organising a range of events for parents, grandparents and siblings. Chelsie experienced the loss of her first daughter Matilda in 2019, and wanted to bring people together with similar lived experience in the Lancaster area. Could brains of people who feel lonely see the world in a different way? That is the question a new study tried to answer. Daryl O’Connor, professor of health psychology at the university of Leeds, gives an insight into how this processing might increase loneliness risk and also describes how mindfulness and compassion focused therapy may help refugees with symptoms of PTSD and depression. Produced in partnership with the Open University.Producer: Julia Ravey
09/05/2327m 51s


This week's finalist in the All in the Mind Awards is Sian who's been nominated by her mother Myra who cannot believe how much support she has given her during a manic episode and her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Even when Myra threatened to bite Sian, she still kept calm and understood that it was her illness which was affecting her behaviour. When she let her mum look after her beloved granddaughters, it helped Myra's confidence to grow. One of the Awards judges Maddie Leslay - who plays Chelsea in the Archers - found Myra and Sian's story really inspiring and full of unconditional love. Losing language and communication skills after a stroke can be isolating - and some patients are told that there is a "window" when rehabilitation therapy needs to happen for it to work. Prof Alex Leff from the UCL Institute of Neurology says the brain's plasticity doesn't disappear completely as we age - and some of the participants in his studies saw big improvements many years after their strokes. Prof Jenny Crinnion explains how speech therapists prompt people experiencing "tip of the tongue" difficulties with finding words during the intensive speech and language therapy. Studio guest Mathijs Lucassen from the Open University samples crisps from red, white and blue bowls to see which are the tastiest and most salty, replicating a study which hopes to help expand the food choices of picky eaters. Produced in partnership with The Open University
02/05/2332m 2s

Feeling an unseen presence

All in the Mind returns for our 72nd series.An experience hard to put into words but felt by many is the phenomenon of 'presence'. Claudia Hammond hears an account of a fearful-turned-friendly presence from Luke Robertson, an adventurer whose prolonged period of isolation whilst trekking across Antarctica led to continual run-ins with a non-existent figure. The potential neuroscientific and psychological theories behind these sensations are explained by Ben Alderson-Day, associate professor at Durham University and author of "Presence: The Strange Science and True Stories of the Unseen Other".The All in the Mind Awards are back and this year, we received almost a thousand entries. Over the upcoming series, we will be hearing from our nine finalists who share their stories of how they have been helped in their hardest times. This week we hear from Vicki, who had a psychotic episode after juggling incredibly stressful events. After pausing her studies to care for her father with terminal lung cancer, the pandemic broke her normal confidence in being able to predict how the world worked. At this point, Vicki met Nikki, her care co-ordinator, who helped show Vicki that her situation was normal given all her stresses, and helped her confidence return.Professor Catherine Loveday from University of Westminster joins Claudia to discuss whether there is a simple way to spot a liar and if botox injections can impact how the brain processes emotions. Produced in partnership with The Open University.Producer: Julia Ravey and Clare Salisbury
25/04/2328m 20s

Can you knit away your worries?

Many people say that knitting or crochet helped ease their anxiety during the Covid-19 lockdowns - but what is it about these repetitive, absorbing and creative hobbies that soothe the mind? Claire Anketell set up free Yarn for Mental Health courses in Northern Ireland a year ago and Gemma was one of the first to attend. She says crochet has helped to reduce her stress levels and she's graduated to making blankets. Esther Rutter's book This Golden Fleece: A Journey through Britain's Knitted History aims to unpick what textiles mean to us - including how they became part of the treatment for mental health problems. Learning a skill by following a pattern, connecting with other people and being distracted from everyday worries tick some of the boxes which we associate with wellbeing. But it's hard to pin down exactly which elements can boost our mood. Dr Sarah McKay author of The Woman's Brain Book: the Neuroscience of Health, Hormones and Happiness assesses whether we need hard evidence to carry on casting on. The charity Fine Cell Work has been teaching prisoners embroidery, needlepoint and quilting for 25 years. CEO Victoria Gillies says the idea is to rehabilitate prisoners and ex-prisoners as they sew high-quality elaborate cushions and footstools. We hear about the difference it's made to stitchers like Ben and how crafting can cut the reoffending rates of ex-prisoners who work in their Hub in London.
27/12/2227m 55s

Fergal Keane and PTSD

Fergal Keane describes living with PTSD. For thirty years, Fergal covered some of the most brutal wars for the BBC, including Rwanda, Iraq and Ukraine.Despite having PTSD, he kept going, taking more and more risks until witnessing a massacre in Sudan, he realised he couldn't do it anymore, that for him going to war had become an addiction. He talks to Claudia about his ongoing work, recovering from PTSD.Professor Daryl O'Connor's new research finds that people who got Covid-19 early in the pandemic were twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms than those who didn't.And Dr Gillian Sandstrom on why men ask 2.4 more questions than women at conferences.
20/12/2231m 52s

The sudden rise in teenagers developing tics during the pandemic

A new study highlights the increase in the number of teenagers - especially girls - developing involuntary physical and vocal tics during the pandemic. Neurologist Professor Jon Stone from the University of Edinburgh explains how they differ from those seen in patients with Tourette's - which come on very gradually are most often seen in eight to ten year old boys. One of his patients Beth first had tics four years ago, starting with spasms in her abdomen which pulled her upper body forwards. Prof Stone says that functional tics are caused by the brain not working properly and that it's an oversimplification to say they are the result of young people watching too many Tiktok videos. Professor Tamara Pringsheim is a neurologist in Calgary, Canada, who's just published a study showing how widespread they are across the world. She says that almost overnight her clinic was filled with teenage girls - after years of only seeing younger boys with Tourette's. She says the outlook for teenagers with tics is good - they usually get better, often within 6 months. Treatment can include cognitive behavioural therapy and it's also useful to involve the whole family - relatives should be discouraged from using humour to diffuse tension when a teenager tics, as it can make them last longer. Beth has just started university and is learning to live with her tics - and finds important social support from online communities of others who have tics. Professor of health psychology at the University of Leeds, Daryl O'Connor shares Professor Stone's scepticism about the role of Tiktok in rise in the number of tics. He also explains how a study where girls were encouraged to pretend they were scientists resulted in them playing a science game for longer. Dr Carolin Schuster from Leuphana University in Germany has published a study showing that encouraging messages to HR professionals can help to cut the gender pay gap - but it's yet to be seen if the intervention would work in real-life not just the lab.
13/12/2228m 4s

Can Mental Health Awareness have unintended consequences?

Mental health awareness campaigns have reduced stigma and changed attitudes to mental illness, but has the messaging also led to unintended consequences? With the help of a panel consisting of mental health campaigner James Downs, the former director of Time to Change England Sue Baker, psychologist and author Lucy Foulkes and Katja Pavlovna of the Lives not Labels (sorry my mental illness isn't sexy enough for you) website, bring their own experiences of mental health problems and expertise in their fields to debate with Claudia the nuanced implications around increasing awareness and what they would like to see in the future.
06/12/2232m 33s

Devices to aid our memories and safe music for driving

With busy lifestyles many turn to devices for aide memoires. Claudia discusses new findings with Dr Sam Gilbert who studies so called ‘offloading’ and gives tips on how best to remember the important things. And a visit to Manchester’s Turn it Up exhibition reveals what psychological research can tell us about the safest music to drive to; while guest Professor Catherine Loveday unpicks this year's trend, 'Dopamine Gifting'.
29/11/2228m 9s

Diagnosing bipolar disorder and the launch of the 2023 All in the Mind Awards

Claudia launches the 2023 All in the Mind Awards with mental health campaigner Marion Janner and actor Maddie Leslay, Chelsea from Radio 4's "The Archers" and a 2018 awards finalist. We ask why it takes nine and a half years to get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder following a recent report and joining Claudia in the studio is Professor Catherine Loveday whose recent paper tells us about the benefits of swearing.
22/11/2228m 9s

Negotiating a crisis

Claudia meets Professor Elizabeth Stokoe author of 'Crisis Talks' whose research shows when preventing a suicide, that words really do matter and can save lives during a crisis. Through analysing real time recordings of actual conversations between people in crisis and police negotiators, new findings highlight what can work and what doesn't. And are you good with faces? Dr James Dunn from the University of New South Wales explains his new research on the top 2% who are so called 'super recognisers'. Plus Science writer David Robson reports on the big neuroscience conference from San Diego with news of sleeping spiders and seeing faces in clouds.Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Erika Wright
15/11/2228m 3s

Steven Pinker

Claudia Hammond meets cognitive scientist and author Steven Pinker. He describes the times we are living in as a pandemic of poppycock and has advice on how to be more rational.
08/11/2228m 3s

Urban rewilding for wellbeing, oxytocin and kindness, false alarm crowd panic

What amount of biodiversity in our cities is enough to benefit our wellbeing? Good evidence can be hard to come by. Andrea Mechelli, professor of Early Intervention in Mental Health at Kings College London, together with landscape architect Joanna Gibbons discuss their pioneering Urban Mind citizen science project which adopts a smartphone app to work out how much trees, birdsong and access to water have a significant effect on an individual’s mood.How does kindness breed kindness? Daniel Martins reveals his new research into the so called 'cuddle hormone' oxytocin which helps to uncover the biological mechanism into how well our brains learn the impact of a task when we’re doing it to benefit someone else.Are crowd stampedes to a false alarm a genuine overreaction? Claudia hears from Dermot Barr whose team have been analysing the dynamics of crowd flights from around the world in the hope of preventing them from happening.Claudia’s guest is Professor Catherine Loveday from University of Westminster.Made in partnership with the Open University Producer: Adrian Washbourne
28/06/2227m 52s

One mother's story of the psychological impact on her children of her ex husband's sexual offences

They call it "the knock" - when the police are at the door and demand to take away laptops and phones to search for evidence of images of child sexual abuse. Our reporter Jo Morris talks to "Emma" (not her real name) about the moment her life was turned upside down when her then husband was accused of looking at indecent images of children. She felt isolated and wasn't given any support to explain to her children about what was happening, once social services had made sure that the children hadn't been directly harmed by their father. She told her younger children that their father's computer had been taken away because it was broken - and was more open with the older children about what he'd done. The family moved house and changed their name once vigilantes became aware of the case and her oldest child had suicidal thoughts and was hospitalised. Emma eventually got support from the charity Children Heard and Seen, which offers face-to-face support to children in Oxford and Birmingham and online support to families across the country. Sarah Burrows and James Otley explain how their online groups and mentoring help to support families like Emma's. The Ministry of Justice say that there is help for children who are victims of crime, but a victim is defined as someone who is directly affected by a criminal offence, so families of offenders are not deemed to be victims of crime. There are no plans to change this as it could result in victims of crime receiving less support. Robin Dunbar examines the psychology of religion in his new book How Religion Evolved and Why It Endures. The Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford believes that the number 150 which he popularised as the "optimum" number for successful social groups also plays a significant role in religious gatherings. He explains how the bonds created by religion offer benefits to individuals and communities. Our studio guest Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster offers ideas on how to avoid doomscrolling, when the news feels overwhelming and whether professional or amateur musicians are more at risk of developing anxiety and depression.Producer: Paula McGrathMade in partnership with the Open University
21/06/2227m 49s

The Psychology of Regret

Claudia Hammond explores the psychology of regret with an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival. What role do rueful thoughts on "what might have been" play in our lives? Is regret a wasted emotion or does it have some hidden benefits?Joining Claudia on stage : Teresa McCormack - Professor of Cognitive Development at the School of Psychology, Queen's University Belfast who researches how regret in childhood can shape our decisions; novelist and essayist Sophie White - whose latest novel The Snag List examines the opportunity to go back in life and follow the road not taken; Fuschia Sirois - Professor of social and health psychology at Durham University whose research examines the impact of those "what if" thoughts on our health and wellbeing.Producer Adrian WashbourneMade in partnership with the Open University
14/06/2239m 49s

Breastfeeding Trauma and the Psychology of Awkwardness

When breastfeeding goes wrong some women feel guilty that they have failed to do what should come naturally. But Professor Amy Brown from Swansea University says those with the most severe physical and emotional impact could be experiencing trauma, similar to the effects of a traumatic birth. We hear from Linzi Blakey who had problems with breastfeeding when she gave birth to her daughter and son and had to give up before she wanted to. A specialist therapist has helped her to realise that she did the best she could - despite a lack of the right kind of support when she was feeling vulnerable. Awkwardness can result when we do something embarrassing - and science writer Melissa Dahl set out to write a book on how to overcome those feelings of embarrassment. Cringeworthy: How To Make The Most Out of Uncomfortable Situations is the result of her discussions with scientists. She challenges herself to feats such as performing a stand-up routine, going to see a professional cuddler and reading out her teenage diaries to an audience at the Brooklyn show, Mortified. She now feels awkwardness is part of being human- and encourages us all to show more empathy to each other. Claudia's studio guest Catherine Loveday, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Westminster shares her own cringeworthy stories plus news of a spat in the world of psychedelic drugs research and how hallucinations seem to be a lot more common than we thought.Producer: Paula McGrath Made in Partnership with The Open University
07/06/2228m 55s

Post-pandemic mental health; navigation ability; conversations with strangers

Back in 2020 at height of pandemic lockdown the “ Social Study” a longitudinal study began looking at the psychological and social impact of the pandemic involving over 95,000 UK adults. What started as a 12 week study has now been running for 2 years. So now, as we’re emerging from restrictions of the pandemic, epidemiologist Daisy Fancourt of University College London discusses the post -pandemic’s impact on our mental health.Do you find yourself keep getting lost? Many factors influence our ability to navigate but the environment we grow up in is often overlooked. Could living in the city compared to the countryside help or hinder our sense of direction? Claudia hears from Professor Hugo Spiers whose major new study across 40 countries reveals people who grew up in rural or suburban areas have better spatial navigation skills than those raised in cities, particularly cities with grid-pattern streets. Good conversation can be one of life’s most enjoyable experiences, but we are surprisingly bad at judging how well conversations could go with a stranger. Mike Kardas of North Western university has attempted to examine the time course of enjoyment after getting 1000 participants to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Surprisingly we don’t run out of things to say. but how deep can a conversation go?Claudia Hammond’s studio guest is Professor of health psychology Daryl O’Connor from the University of LeedsProducer Adrian Washbourne Made in Partnership with The Open University
31/05/2227m 56s

Gardening and mental health

Claudia Hammond reports on a trend which has emerged from the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show this year - a growing number of gardens designed with mental health in mind. So what is it about gardens and nature which makes us feel better? The Mothers for Mothers "This Too Shall Pass" garden is designed by Polly Wilkinson - a former counsellor who's worked with adolescents and new mothers with anxiety and depression. The charity's CEO Maria Viner wanted to reflect the joys and pain of motherhood - so Polly constructed a pathway with a crack in it - which narrows and is almost "fixed", echoing the impact that peer support can bring. The lifting of low mood is also seen as muted green and blue flowers give way to apricots and pinks. Sue Stuart- Smith is a psychiatrist, psychologist and now author of the bestselling book The Well Gardened Mind. She says it's hard to untangle the factors which might be contributing to the impact of nature on us. Dr Stuart-Smith explains how a study in the British Medical Journal found 8,000 studies on the impact of nature - but just 8 were randomised controlled trials. where people are randomly allocated gardening or another activity - so more research is needed. The mental health charity Mind has its first ever garden at Chelsea this year which will be relocated in Barrow-in-Furness once the show is over. We hear from Alice - who had an eating disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder from an early age - and Faris, who has post-traumatic stress disorder, and sought asylum in the UK after he was orphaned in the conflict in Sudan. They say that growing vegetables and caring for bonsai plants has helped to relieve their symptoms. The Place2Be garden will also be relocated at the end of the flower show - to Viking School in Northolt, west London. For the last 15 years the children there have been able to get support from the charity's school-based counsellor Miss Angela. CEO Catherine Roche says the garden will provide a safe space so the pupils relax during a busy day. The children helped to design the garden's oak benches with gardener Jamie Butterworth. He says having a mum who's a teacher and a dad who's a mental health nurse made the Place2Be the perfect match for him.Made in Partnership with The Open University
24/05/2228m 0s

Manifestation; Overconfidence; Radio drama changing attitudes

Instagram is awash with people sharing dream homes, holidays, partners and jobs which they claim to have 'manifested' into being. Proponants of manifestation say that thinking positive thoughts attracts tangible positive things into your life. They believe that 'asking the universe' for what you want via journaling, mood boards, and mantras can have a powerful real-world impact. Hayley Sparkes is a successful TV presenter and model but when the pandemic started she found herself with no work or income and turned to manifestation to try to improve her situation. Now she credits manifestation with bringing her a dream partner, home, and job, and all in under a year. Claudia Hammond and her studio guest David Robson ask whether there is any research evidence that manifestation really can change your life.Last week a passenger in Florida landed a place safely after the pilot become unresponsive. Do you think you could do the same thing in an emergency? Researchers in New Zealand found that people are surprisingly confident about their ability to fly a plane with no training. Claudia talks to one of the researchers, Kayla Jordan from the University of Waikato.Finally, new research showing a radio soap opera in Burkina Faso changed attitudes towards violent insurgency. Psychologist Rezarta Bilali from New York University talks to Claudia about the power of radio to change minds.Producer: Lorna StewartAir Traffic Control Source:
17/05/2227m 56s

Treating refugee mental health; Improving personal growth; Dreamachine

What role can psychologist play in supporting the mental health of displaced Ukrainians? Millions of people have had to flee either abroad or to other parts of the country and the implications for mental health are huge – not only in terms of trauma but for those who’ve escaped, the constant anxiety of watching what’s happening back home and worrying about loved ones. Claudia talks to Emily Holmes, Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at Uppsala University, and Clinical Psychologist Professor Marit Sijbrandij of Vue University Amsterdam who have been working to ensure the interventions with the best evidence behind them get used.And we pay a visit to the Dreamachine, an immersive sound and light installation that uses the power of flickering white light to create psychedelic experiences. Will it open a new window into how our brains make sense of the world? We hear from two scientists behind the project - Anil Seth Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, University of Sussex and Fiona MacPherson Professor of Philosophy, University of GlasgowClaudia Hammond’s studio guest is Professor of Health Psychology Daryl O’Connor of Leeds University, armed with new research into how deliberately seeking out discomfort can help drive our personal growthProducer Adrian Washbourne
10/05/2227m 47s

Dreams and dreaming; brain scans for personality traits; extrovert listening

Many of us tend to dismiss dreams as merely the churning of the brain— but for much of human history, dreams were taken very seriously. Claudia Hammond speaks to Brazilian neuroscientist Sidarta Ribeiro who in his new wide ranging book The Oracle of Night wants to recapture that seriousness of dreams and the science of dreaming, drawing upon on his extensive career researching everything from sleep and memory to psychedelic drugs.As brain scans have become more detailed in recent decades, MRI or magnetic resonance imaging - has revealed correlations between brain anatomy or function and illness, that have suggested new ways to diagnose and treat psychiatric, psychological and neurological conditions. But why has the promise been so slow to turn into reality? Claudia Hammond is joined by Sophie Scott, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and also by neuroscientist Scott Marek of Washington University in St Louis. His new research offers some insights into why. Good listening is truly hearing what the other person has to say without putting your own layer of experience on top of it. But who’s best at it – extroverts or introverts? Today’s studio guest, Prof.Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster weighs up the latest evidence.Producer Adrian Washbourne
03/05/2228m 49s

How to cope when your child can't

When a child is suffering from mental health problems it feels natural for a parent to feel sad and anxious. But when Ursula Saunders' son refused to go to secondary school her life was turned upside down: his problems dominated family life, she gave up work and couldn't stop crying. She searched online for support but it all seemed to be directed at children, with nothing on offer for parents. So she sought advice from two psychologist friends Professor Roz Shafran and Dr Alice Welham. After speaking to dozens of other parents about what helped them, they co-wrote How To Cope When Your Child Can't - a collection of experiences and information from psychological research. We hear from Ursula and Roz about their top tips for parents like problem solving, self-compassion and creating boundaries. Roz Shafran offers advice to families waiting for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, which have been under particular strain during the Covid pandemic. We also hear from Lily who got support from youth worker Jo at Rise Youth Empowerment in south London when she was struggling with overwhelming anxiety. Lily had already had contact with mental health services but she found that the less formal approach from Rise helped to build up trust and gave her the confidence to make her way back into education. She’s now in the second year of a degree course, has her own flat and is engaged. Jo says that they want to help young people to become resilient – encouraging them to make calls themselves to housing or healthcare professionals rather than doing it for them. Lily says she now feels able to gives back to Rise by presenting workshops for other young people. And there’s news of a study in a German school – where surprisingly few pupils opted for a later start to their day, offered to see if it helped to boost the amount of sleep they got.
26/04/2227m 51s

The Anatomy of Kindness

In the final part of the Anatomy of Kindness, Claudia Hammond and guests ask 'Can Bosses be Kind'? Using evidence from the Kindness Test, the world's largest psychological study into kindness, Claudia starts her quest with Thom Elliot Co-founder of Pizza Pilgrims, who deliberately set out to foster a kind culture in a sector not exactly known for its benevolence. They're joined for pizza by Prof Robin Banerjee, architect of the Kindness Test to discuss the findings and examine whether kindness in business really does result in success. Joe Folkman is the perfect person to ask. He runs an evidence based leadership development firm and produced a fascinating study "I'm a boss why should I care if you like me"? It turns out there's a strong correlation between being likeable and effectiveness. Such concepts are backed up by a relatively new field of research called 'ethical leadership' pioneered by Professor Mike Brown. But 60,000 people who took part in the Kindness Test revealed time pressures as one of the barriers to being kind, so how easy is it to be a kind leader on a day to day basis? Claudia meets former head teacher Ros McMullen who tells some home truths about leadership in a culture of relentless pressure and accountability. Plus Lisa Smosarski, editor in Chief of Stylist magazine shares shocking office stories of the 'Devil Wears Prada' era and discusses wider societal shifts that may be contributing to a kinder culture in her industry. And Claudia's fellow science presenters, Robin Ince, Hannah Fry and Marnie Chesterton recall some old bad boss stories of their own.Producer, Erika Wright
30/03/2234m 13s

The Anatomy of Kindness

In the Anatomy of Kindness Claudia Hammond asks who we are kind to. Professor Nichola Raihani from University College London says there are circles of connections, so family and friends, work colleagues, neighbours continuing out to everyone on the planet. Different people will put their boundaries in different places. One of the mechanisms we have to move these boundaries is empathy says Sara Konrath associate professor at the Lily Family School of Philanthropy. And being able to elicit empathy in strangers is an important part of raising awareness of challenging issues according to Lyndall Stein who has raised money for HIV, refugees and the homeless. But how do we expand who us is, (whatever that means)? Sunder Katwaler of the think tank British Future says that in part its about making connections, which is something Gillian Sandstrom from the University of Sussex studies would agree with. She studies talking to strangers and why that is beneficial.Presenter Claudia Hammond Producer Geraldine Fitzgerald Sound Engineer Sarah Hockley Sound Designer Eleni Hassabis
23/03/2228m 7s

The Anatomy of Kindness

In the Anatomy of Kindness, a three part documentary series, broadcaster, author and psychologist Claudia Hammond interrogates what it means to be kind, who we are kind to and the benefits of being a kind boss.For the first of the three programmes Claudia examines our motivations and decision making around kindness. She meets a super altruist who risked his life for a stranger, his motivation, he says, is to make the world a better place. A car accident left neuroscientist Professor Abigail Moore stranded on the outside lane of an American freeway facing the oncoming traffic. In a split second a stranger made the decision to run into the oncoming traffic and save her, without thinking of the danger. This act of heroism shaped Abigail’s research. She looks at such extreme altruists and her work explores the relationship between psychopathy and extraordinary altruism.Professor of Philanthropy Sara Konrath was surprised to discover that narcissists are just as likely to give to charity as very empathic people, but a remarkable act of empathy was her inspiration to research this topic and we discover what she owes to a very kind person who entered her life at a pivotal time.But what about the everyday acts of kindness? Can we ever say we do something for someone else without expecting something in return? Psychologist Jo Cutler says that we weigh up the effort to do something for someone else every time we act, even when it’s as simple as holding the door open. Nichola Raihani, Professor of Evolution and Behaviour and author of "The Social Instinct, how cooperation saved the world" thinks we've evolved to be altruistic, it’s the reason why we have been so successful as a species and altruism brings reputational and status benefits. But how cynically do we act when we are kind?Claudia examines the evidence and decides whether you can ever carry out an act of pure kindness.
16/03/2228m 50s

The Anatomy of Kindness Results

Claudia Hammond and guests announce the results of the biggest ever public science project on Kindness. With over sixty thousand participants from across the world this unique work helps to fill some of the research gaps and learn more about how kindness is viewed within society at large. Led by a team of researchers based at the University of Sussex, in partnership with BBC Radio 4, Claudia is joined on stage at the BBC Radio Theatre by Professor Robin Bannerjee who has been crunching the data. Together with poet Raymond Antrobus, Stylist magazine editor in chief Lisa Smosarski , comedian Elvis McGonagall and clinical ethicist Professor Deborah Bowman they unpick what the results tell us about how experiences of kindness might relate to health, well-being, and other social and psychological aspects integral to human nature. 2Status:
09/03/2256m 29s

Looking inside the minds of our pets - and our relationships with them

Delving into animals' minds - and our relationships with them - Claudia Hammond wonders whether our pets care if we get hurt. Would a dog - or even a cat - give a monkey's if their owner fell over? Researchers like Dr Karen Hiestand are keen to explore the differences between canine and feline reactions. At the University of Sussex she works in the field of anthrozoology - analysing the relationship between humans and other animals. In one study she asked dog and cat owners to feign injury, setting up small cameras in their homes to monitor reactions, hoping to find out if the pet have empathy. We hear about the initial findings. For years our understanding of animals was limited by attitudes like that of Descartes who thought they were merely machines made of flesh. Charles Darwin famously wrote in The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals that animal minds only differed from our own by degree, not in kind. Today some of the methods scientists use to measure animal responses are adapted from studies on children who've not yet learned to talk. Mental health campaigner and All in the Mind Awards judge Marion Janner used to take her support dog Buddy wherever she was went, whether it was onto mental health wards or into the BBC studios. Marion says she helped to keep her safe during crises related to her borderline personality disorder because she knew she couldn't do anything which prevented her from looking after Buddy. Last year when Buddy died Marion gained comfort from her other dogs and an aquarium filled with fish. On a walk in the park, we hear how Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy Polly has similarly helped her owner Sam to come to terms with the death of her previous dog Margo. The whole family was devastated by the loss and put a large plant where Margo's bed used to be because the room felt so empty. The Blue Cross for Pets charity offers support to anyone who's lost a pet - on the phone and online. We hear from their Bereavement and Loss Support Service manager Diane James about it can affect people as profoundly as human loss. Cats have had a bit of an image problem - as the recent headline "How to Tell if Your Cat is a Psychopath" shows. Karen Hiestand says their apparent aloofness and accusations of laziness arise because we forget that they are solitary creatures, descended from wildcats who hunt and then sleep it off. She hopes the explosion in cat research will help us to understand our feline friends better.
28/12/2127m 50s

Fish Oils for depression, Pain pleasure and a good life, Kindness, Comedy memory

Fish oil supplements are often touted as good for your heart health, but a new study finds they may also help fight depression. Alessandra Borsini of King’s College London has been examining the impact of these omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the lab and has followed up with a promising trial on severely depressed patients. She discusses how and why this might prove useful for those for whom current antidepressants don’t make a difference.Does a good life involve more than just pleasure? Could suffering be essential too? The psychologist and author Paul Bloom argues in a new book called The Sweet Spot that the activities that provide the most satisfaction are often the ones that involve the greatest sacrifice or suffering and how embracing a balance between the two is the key to a life well lived.Claudia’s guest is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Catherine Loveday of University of Westminster, who launches a new study on our memory for comedy - investigating whether various types of comedy could be applied in a way that music is increasingly being used in therapy. Producer Adrian Washbourne Produced in association with the Open University
21/12/2127m 33s

The power of expectation, Buildings and neurodiversity, Music therapy for Parkinson's

The Expectation Effect. Claudia talks to science journalist David Robson about how our reality can be changed by our beliefs, from being able to see more clearly in bright sun if we believe we are wearing good quality sunglasses to getting long lasting pain relief from a placebo labelled exactly as that. Claudia talks about new guidelines from the British Standards Institute on buildings and neurodiversity. Called 'Design for the Mind', Jill Hewitt from Buro Happold and Jilly Corbyn from the National Development Team for Inclusion discuss the impact design features like lighting and sound can have on neurodivergent people and the best ways to design buildings so they are a relaxing environment for everyone. Also in the programme, how scientists are showing how the fine motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease like writing or cutting are benefitting from musical therapy. Claudia discusses the research with Isabelle Buard from University of Colorado School of Medicine.
14/12/2127m 58s

Earworms in sleep, body sensations and image, Louis Wain exhibition

Many people listen to music for hours every day, and often near bedtime in the hope of a good night’s sleep. But if you can’t get the tune out of your head could this be counter-productive? In new research, neuropsychologist Michael Scullin of Baylor University has looked at the rarely studied effect of these so called earworms, offering new insights into the way music is processed in our brain during sleep and effect music has on both sleep quality and quantity.There’s growing evidence that signals sent from our internal organs to the brain play a major role in regulating emotions and fending off anxiety and depression. Claudia meets Dr Jane Aspell of Anglia Ruskin University who’s found that the strength of the connection between our brain and internal organs is linked to how we feel about our appearance – and could in future act as a biomarker to help identify, or even predict, negative body image and its related conditions.And Claudia visits a new exhibition examining the work of the hugely popular Edwardian illustrator Louis Wain. His playful, sometimes even psychedelic pictures helped to transform the public's perception of cats As a patient at the Bethlem Psychiatric Hospital he continued to produce many drawings of gleeful and often outlandish creatures, and his body of work demonstrated the therapeutic and restorative effect that closeness with animals can have on a person’s mental health.Claudia’s studio guest is Professor Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster Producer: Adrian Washbourne
07/12/2128m 3s

Stomach pains and eating disorders and post-Olympic blues.

The risk of a teenager developing an eating disorder appears to increase if they had tummy pains in childhood, according to new research from the University of Oxford. Data from families in the Bristol area who took part in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children helped to identify children who had abdominal pains as well as teenagers who went on to fast to lose weight aged 16. In the International Journal of Eating Disorders, Dr Kate Stein says there is an association between tummy pains aged 7 and 9 and an increased risk of developing anorexia. The paediatric psychiatrist believes that stomach pains or even normal gut sensations can lead a child to fear food, sometimes avoiding it altogether. Researchers in Sweden have created an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy programme which Dr Stein hopes could be adapted and brought to the UK to help children who would otherwise have to wait a long time for support. Athletes coming back from competing can experience the slump that’s been called the post-Olympic Blues. Even gold medallists aren’t immune to feeling lost or depressed after they return home and some have been known to try to deal with their feelings by partying hard instead of seeking psychological support. New research carried out by bronze medal winning pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw has shown that athletes would rather talk to former-Olympians than sports psychologists about any difficulties they’ve been having. Co-author Karen Howells, a Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Cardiff Metropolitan University, was surprised that the athletes preferred to open up to a former Olympian – but says that experts like her could provide training and support to those mentors. Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the Open University Mathijs Lucassen who's a co-author on the post-Olympic blues study likens the aftermath of a Games to the period after a wedding, following months of planning, emotional and financial investment. Mathijs also discusses with Claudia a study which looked at the impact that ready-prepared food kits can have on family meals in Australia and how sweet snacks might reduce our enjoyment of music.
30/11/2128m 0s

Depersonalisation disorder; Air pollution and mental health; Counter-messaging

Depersonalisation disorder involves feeling completely disconnected from yourself or from reality. It’s among the most common yet under-recognised psychiatric conditions and as such is hard to diagnose. Joe Perkins whose new book Life on Autopilot charts his 14 year experience with the disorder, discusses his long journey on the road to formal diagnosis, the need for innovative treatments, and why this disorder is so little understood or discussed.City-wide air pollution has adverse effects on our heart and lungs, but there is now increasing evidence that air pollution isn’t great for our brain either. Recent research shows that adults exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollution are more likely to experience anxiety and mild depression. But could it also contribute to the course and severity after the onset of more serious mental illness? Claudia Hammond meets Ioannis Bakolis of Kings College London who in the first study of its kind, has examined the extent to which air pollution exposure leads to a more severe course of illness in people experiencing first episodes of psychotic disorders.And Claudia’s studio guest Professor Daryl O’ Connor discusses a new study into an effective way to counter the way disinformation spreads unchecked, and how inserting a counter-message, just once, into a close replica of a deceptive rival’s message can undercut its persuasive effects.Producer Adrian WashbourneProduced in association with the Open University
23/11/2127m 49s

Persecutory delusions, engine idling and taxi driver brains

Claudia Hammond talks to Daniel Freeman, a clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford about a trial into a new talking treatment for people experiencing persecutory delusions. Called the Feeling Safe programme, the trial has had positive results and has transformed the lives for many of those receiving it, including Joe, one of the trial participants. Claudia talks to Professor Catherine Loveday about the lives and work of psychiatrists Aaron T Beck and Professor Sir Michael Rutter who have both died. She also talks to social psychologist, Fanny Lalot about how different signs at a railway level crossing in Canterbury might influence drivers to turn their engines off while they're waiting for the barriers to lift. Also in the programme, Professor Catherine Loveday talks about a new study looking at how taxi drivers brains help us understand and improve navigational skills. Producer Pamela Rutherford
16/11/2127m 57s

Does working in the office boost well-being?

Many people who were able to work from home have abandoned the office since the start of the pandemic, attending online meetings via social platforms while they balance their home and work lives. We hear from business psychologist Professor Binna Kandola about how his research revealed that although everyone's wellbeing has been affected by the pandemic, women have felt its negative effects most. He believes that this may be because being seen in their homes on Zoom meetings might have reinforced the stereotypical image of women as homemakers, eroding their role as breadwinners. We hear from Lizzie who started a new job at the beginning of lockdown. She's now met some of her colleagues and is enjoying the return to the office rather than working at her kitchen table. Catherine Steele who's an associate professor of psychology at the University of Leicester believes that meeting online falls short of "real-life" experiences - missing a lot of the informal communication which happens naturally in the office or coffee queue, where trust can be built. She says the return to work needs to be managed according to individual needs to get the best out of people. Glenn Dutcher is an experimental economist at the University of Ohio in the United States and his most recent work revealed that people working alone had more ideas than those working in teams of two - though fewer of their ideas were original. Christine Grant from the University of Coventry was studying homeworking long before the Covid pandemic when it was difficult to find people to take part in her research. She found that as well as upsides such as flexibility there were also downsides like working longer hours. As agile or hybrid working becomes more common she advises people to be aware of boundaries and take proper breaks from their office to avoid a "hybrid hangover". And Joe Devlin from University College London has done some research for the rail industry during lockdown on people's attitudes towards commuting. Surprisingly many enjoy the daily journey into the office which provides a "buffer" between home and work - especially if they strike up a conversation with strangers.
09/11/2128m 6s

The Kindness Test

When was the last time you did something really kind for someone or someone else did something really kind for you?In the Kindness Test Claudia Hammond and guests are looking at the place of kindness in today’s world, asking what it really means, what happens in our brains when we act kindly and whether there can ever be a role for it in the cut-throat worlds of business and politics.And with many aspects of kindness remaining under-researched, with your help Claudia will be asking you to fill in the gaps by taking part in the Kindness Test.www.thekindnesstest.orgTo launch this major new public science project, Claudia is joined by her guests: Robin Bannerjee, Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex and principal investigator for the Kindness Test Dan Campbell-Meiklejohn, Lecturer in Psychology and Director of the Social Decision Lab at the University of Sussex Pinky Lilani, Founder and Chairman of the Women of the Future Programmes that unlocks a culture of kindness among leaders Jennifer Nadel, co-director of Compassion in PoliticsProducer: Erika Wright
31/08/2142m 10s

All in the Mind Awards ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in London

Claudia Hammond hosts the All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from Wellcome Collection in London and meets all the finalists.Back in November we asked you to nominate the person, professional or group who had made a difference to your mental health. Throughout the current series we've been hearing the individual stories of the nine finalists, and this edition offers the chance to recap the people and organisations who've made a huge difference to other people's lives - and to hear comments from the judges and winners from each of the three categories.The event is hosted by Claudia Hammond.Judges are BBC sports presenter and commentator Colin Jackson; mental health activist and researcher James Downs; mental health campaigner Marion Janner; Director of Mental Health at the Wellcome Trust Miranda Wolpert; former NHS mental health director Mandy StevensProduced by Adrian Washbourne, Pam Rutherford and Paula McGrath
29/06/2135m 25s

The psychology of courage and bravery

Claudia Hammond explores the psychology of courage and bravery with an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Why is it that some people are able to keep calm in an emergency and do all the right things whilst others panic or freeze, not knowing what to do? Claudia discusses this question with her guests. The adventurer and ultra-runner Alex Staniforth,talks about his survival on Everest following the devastating Nepalese earthquake in 2015. Rachel Manning from Buckingham University considers why we do or don’t intervene in risky situations and in everyday life. And Patrick Tissington from Warwick University draws on the stories behind those awarded the Victoria or George Cross for bravery to suggest some of the best ways to manage our fear in allowing us to be more courageous.Producer Adrian Washbourne Produced in association with the Open University
22/06/2127m 45s

Learning and taking breaks, the awards: Spectrum People, financial strain and pain

Claudia is joined by Professor Kavita Vedhara from the University of Nottingham to discuss new research looking at what happens to the brain when it takes a break while learning a new task. They also discuss why the balance between receiving and giving practical support can affect when you die. Dawn nominates the charity Spectrum People for the support they gave her in Lockdown. 27 year old ex-basketball player Dale nominates 77 year old Mike for the friendship they formed after Dale retired from sport and ended up feeling depressed with low self esteem. Also why experiencing financial difficulties in early adulthood can cause pain decades later.
15/06/2128m 4s

Autobiographical memory in lockdown; awards; psychosis and nightmares; Dean Burnett

How well are our memory systems functioning after lockdown? Cognitive neuroscientist Prof. Catherine Loveday discusses her new preliminary research into recalling individual memories of things we did during 2020. What insights can we gain from their richness?There have been more than 1100 entries for the All in the Mind Awards, and in the Professionals category, Zaynab who is recovering from psychosis, nominates her psychiatrist Dr Claire Purcell who went out of her way to help Zaynab reintegrate back into the community after years of institutionalisation. Fewer than 1 in 10 of the general population have regular problems with nightmares, but for people suffering from psychosis they can be frequent (50%) and their impact more intense. Nightmares have been a relatively unresearched area and treatment to alleviate their impact on sufferers is rarely directly addressed. We hear of a unique trial trying to change all that, led by Bryony Sheaves, research clinical psychologist at Oxford University. What is it about modern life that seems to cause such difficulty for so many? It’s this question that neuroscientist and stand up comedian Dean Burnett has been exploring in his new book Psycho-Logical. Drawing on his two decades working in the neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry field, Dean is attempting to find a different way of demystifying mental health.Producer: Adrian WashbourneProduced in association with the Open University
08/06/2127m 50s

Connecting older people to cut loneliness. Are moods contagious? Can gratitude change young people's lives? Awards finalist

New research using weekly video or phone calls to help older people to identify which activities boost their moods does help to reduce loneliness and depression. Our studio guest Professor Daryl O'Connor from the University of Leeds is impressed by the pilot study which used a form of talking therapy - behavioural activation - to help people with long-term health conditions during lockdown.Can we "catch" moods from our friends? We hear from the researcher who has studied teenage choirs and orchestras to see if bad or good moods can be passed on. The latest finalist in the All in the Mind Awards 2021 and we hear from listeners about the noises which irritate them and their families, following our recent feature on misophonia. And how ten minutes of expressing gratitude every week can help to improve students' grades and wellbeing.
01/06/2127m 52s

Entitlement and bad luck; Awards finalist; intermittent fasting and memory

Why do some people feel they deserve good fortune - and what happens to them if they expect everything to go their way and then encounter bad luck? Emily Zitek, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cornell University, discusses her new insights into entitlement.There have been more than 1100 entries for the All in the Mind Awards and in the Professionals category, Joanna, who suffered from depression, nominates her occupational therapist, Richa Baretto. They’re now finalists and they tell Claudia about their special therapist-patient relationship.Could occasional fasting improve some important aspects of our memory? In what’s thought to be the first human study, Sandrine Thuret, head of the neurogenesis and mental health lab at Kings College London, showed that by restricting the number of calories you eat on 2 days a week, the ability to differentiate between very similar or overlapping memories can increase. Does this have the potential to be used as an intervention to prevent or boost cognitive decline. Claudia Hammond's guest is Mathijs Lucassen, Senior Lecturer in mental health at the Open University.Producer Adrian WashbourneProduced in association with the Open University
25/05/2128m 1s

Voices & personality; Awards; canine jealousy; misophonia - noises that cause anger & anxiety, pink drinks make you run faster

What can you learn about personality from someone's voice? Professor Kavita Vedhara talks about some new research. Claudia hears from Poppy who nominated her head of year at sixth form college, Sophie, who helped her through a severe depression. Also while dog owners may know their pets can show jealous behaviour, a new experiment reveals how complex that emotion might be in our canine friends. For some people certain sounds, often related to breathing and eating but also repetitive sounds like tapping or a clock ticking, can fill people with instant panic or intense rage. Claudia talks to Professor Julia Simner about her search for people with misophonia for some new research being done at the University of Sussex. And can pink drinks make you run faster? Apparently they might and it's all down to the placebo effect.
18/05/2128m 0s

Psychology of soap operas like the Archers; Awards Finalist

Checking in with a long-running soap opera can help us psychologically. Claudia Hammond grew up overhearing the Archers as her parents listened - and wants to know what fans get out of the drama. Life-long Archers fans Helen and Marjorie grew up listening to the world's oldest soap opera. Jane is the first in her family to listen and Callum got into it because of his nan. Sadly she now has dementia and can only remember characters and events from the 1960s. But Callum still feels close to her when he listens with his partner who's expecting their first baby this summer. He's been shocked by Alice's problems with alcohol but hopes that she can get the support she needs, now that her secret is out. Jane and Helen both had difficult relationships with alcohol in the past - and can relate to what Alice is going through. Jane explains that alcoholism is a life-long illness and not a moral choice. She believes that her past issues have helped to shape who she is today and is open about it to try to reduce some of the stigma surrounding alcoholism. Marjorie believes that Chris is out of his depth and needs to take advice on how to support Alice - information she has found invaluable in her own family. Professor of neuroscience at the University of Westminster Catherine Loveday is an enthusiastic part-time Archers fan. She tells us about new research on post-natal depression. We hear from Dr Dara Greenwood, who's associate professor of psychology at Vassar College in the United States and studies what we get psychologically out of soap operas. She's says our brains are hard-wired to be drawn to people's stories, whether they are fictional or from real life. She also recognises that the escapism has drawn people in during the pandemic.Producer: Paula McGrath
11/05/2127m 41s

Pen or keyboard - what's best for notetaking; All in the Mind Awards; USA racist killings and mental health of black Americans

The pen is mightier than the laptop when it comes to notetaking. Or so we used to think. Daryl O’Connor, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leeds, breaks the news to Claudia Hammond that one of her favourite studies showing writing notes rather than typing them is best, hasn’t been replicated. Apparently it’s how much you write – on a computer or on paper – that predicts success. There have been more than 1100 entries for the All in the Mind Awards and in the Professionals category, 30 year old Libby, who has an eating disorder, nominates her GP, Dr Celia Belk. They’re now finalists and they tell Claudia about their special doctor-patient relationship.It’s two weeks since the former Minneapolis police officer, a white man, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd, who was black. Millions around the world saw the distressing film of his killing but researchers in Utah in the US decided to measure, using big data, how much hearing about racist killings like this, affect the mental health of black Americans.Dr David Curtis tells Claudia that his team selected 49 high profile cases of either police killing black people, a failure to indict officers accused of such killings, or white supremacist murders. And the results show worsening mental health for black, not white, Americans in weeks where there are two or more of these high profile cases. And Daryl O’Connor also reports on another American study, this one from the emerging area of research into micro-aggressions – denigrating somebody because of their ethnicity by micro assaults, micro insults and micro invalidations. This research shows exposure to microaggressions is linked to worse PTSD symptoms.Produced in association with The Open UniversityProducer: Fiona Hill
04/05/2127m 51s

Memory under lockdown; Awards finalist StrongMen; Lockdown resilience

Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Catherine Loveday of Westminster University about her new research on our memories during lockdown. Have our memories really got worse during the pandemic? And Claudia meets the first of the finalists in the All in the Mind Mental Health Awards 2021: we hear about StrongMen - a group set up to support men who have been bereaved. It was nominated by Adam Lee who suffered severe mental health issues following the unexpectedly loss of his daughter. The awards recognise the people and organisations that have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help you with your mental health. Radio 4 listeners nominated the unsung heroes and after a process of sifting through the entries, a judging panel of people with extensive experience of mental health has selected nine finalists, three from each category. And how come some people have found lockdown to be a positive experience. Is there anything those of us who've found it harder can learn from them?Producer: Adrian WashbourneProduced in association with The Open University
27/04/2128m 6s

Rapport; Brain health in later life; Changing optimism through lifespan

What is the best way of getting on with people at home and at work? Psychologists Emily and Laurence Alison have spent their careers working with the police as they build rapport with suspects, sometimes terrorism suspects or perpetrators of domestic violence. And their conclusions about how best to do it have lessons for the rest of us too. They discuss their new book, "Rapport: the four ways to read people". Claudia catches up with Helen who nominated a finalist in the group category of the 2018 All in the Mind Awards to find out what she’s been up to in the last two years.What can you do in middle age to protect your brain later on? Everyone’s brain changes as they get older, but some people maintain their cognitive health and others don’t. Rik Henson, Deputy Director of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge, has brought together studies using brain scans with research where people in their 80s are asked to look back on their lives to try to work out the impact middle age activity can have on preserving your faculties.Do we have everything to look forward to in our teens and then realise later what life can throw at us? Bill Chopik Assistant Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, carried out the largest study of its kind to discover when optimism peaks, with surprising results.Claudia's studio guest is Catherine Loveday, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.Producer Adrian Washbourne
22/12/2028m 4s

Racism, awards and hypermobility

Claudia Hammond asks why there is little research in the UK into whether childhood racism can cause mental health problems in the future. She is joined by BBC Broadcaster, Rajan Datar, psychiatrist Kam Bhui and Professor Craig Morgan to discuss the importance of investigating racism and its effects and how recent findings are pointing towards the kinds of changes that need to be made in the future. Claudia catches up with Hannah who nominated the winner in the group category of the 2018 All in the Mind Awards to find out what she’s been up to in the last two years. Also Madeleine Finlay reports on why being double-jointed means you might be more likely to be prone to anxiety.Producer: Pam Rutherford
15/12/2030m 39s

Wellcome Trust Mental health initiative; teenage sleep; choices children make

What really works when it comes to preventing and dealing with mental health difficulties? Can a world exist in which no one is held back by mental health problems.? That’s the vision of Professor Miranda Wolpert Head of the Mental Health Priority Area at the Wellcome Trust. With £200million to spend over five years, Miranda Wolpert and her team are taking a radical new approach to addressing anxiety and depression in 14- to 24-year-olds. Claudia hears about her new vision in addressing mental health problems in young peopleSleep problems are common in adolescence, and often related to anxiety and depression. But one factor which might be affecting mental health in people in their twenties is how they slept as teenagers, according to new research from Faith Orchard - lecturer at the University of Sussex. She disentangles exactly what is going on and teases apart the specific sleeping difficulties involved in the complex relationship between sleep, anxiety and depression.We use various mental shortcuts to save our brains effort. One of those is that when we’ve made a choice in the past and rejected one option, we carry on rejecting that option and downgrade the thing we didn’t choose and actively avoid it if we are offered it again. And until now what wasn’t realised was that infants who of course have far less sophisticated thinking processes, do it too. Does this mean it’s intuitive, rather than something we learn to do? Alex Silver from the University of Pittsburgh dissects the evidenceProducer Adrian Washbourne
08/12/2031m 25s

Ambiguous Loss; All in the Mind Awards; Pandemic impact on memory; Corpus Callosum

Have you ever lost a loved one who was still a part of your life in some way? Did it leave you feeling confused or frozen about how to continue with life? Claudia Hammond examines the distressing phenomenon known as ambiguous loss – the enormous challenge of dealing with a loss when you aren’t sure what’s happened, leaving you searching for answers, unable to move on. The All in the Mind 2021 mental health awards have just been launched, where you can nominate the person or group who has a made a difference to your mental health. Claudia catches up with some of the finalists from the past to see what’s happened to them since, and what the awards have meant for them.What has the pandemic done to our memories? Anecdotally many report they keep forgetting things they’re sure they would have remembered before. Claudia’s studio guest, Professor Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster examines the new emerging evidence behind this phenomenon.Our brains are in two halves and they are linked by a structure known as the corpus callosum. But some babies are born without a corpus callosum linking the brain's two sides. A quarter of these babies grow up with serious developmental difficulties, while others have no difficulties at all, suggesting that somehow the brain is compensating,. A researcher at the University of Geneva. Dr Vanessa Sifreddi, has scanned the brains of children aged between 8 and 17 and has found that for some children the two halves of their brains succeed in communicating.Producer Adrian Washbourne
01/12/2028m 6s

Claudia Hammond launches the 2021 All in the Mind Awards

Claudia Hammond launches the 2021 All in the Mind Awards – a chance for anyone who has received help for a mental health problem to recognise the people and organisations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.1 in 3 of us will experience problems with our mental health at some time in our lives. Help and support from people around us can make all the difference in how we cope day to day and set us on the road to recovery. Between now and the end of January 2021 the Radio 4 All in the Mind Awards are seeking listeners’ experiences of brilliant mental health care and will recognise the people – the unsung heroes - who helped make the difference. There are 3 categories for the awards, the individual, professional or project: Individual Award : An individual family member, friend, boss or colleague who offered significant support. Professional Award: A mental health professional whose dedication, help and support made a really significant difference to you. This could be a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, nurse, volunteer or other professional. Project Award: A mental health project or group you took part in, either in person or online, which made a big difference to your recovery or the way you cope. The winners of the awards will be announced during a ceremony to be held in London in June 2021.Have you ever wondered what therapists are thinking while people sit opposite them telling them their innermost thoughts? Psychotherapist Philippa Perry discusses her graphic novel Couch Fiction which describes what actually happens during therapy. This can help many of us to understand the therapeutic process better.And we hear of a really simple way of raising achievement levels in teenagers in disadvantaged groups – by giving them three short writing exercises, taking just 15 minutes each. It might sound a little too simple. But preliminary research by Ian Hadden at the University of Sussex suggests it could have a profound effect.Producer Adrian Washbourne
24/11/2031m 33s

Recovery stories, personality change, Covid

Can one person’s story of their struggle with, and recovery from, mental health difficulties help other people with their own mental health difficulties? Claudia Hammond talks to Mike Slade from Nottingham University who is running the Neon trial into recovery stories to find out. Are you more open, less conscientious or more neurotic than you used to be? It used to be thought that personality was fixed in adulthood but it can and does change. Psychologist Eileen Graham has studied data from thousands of people and explains how and which traits are likely to increase or decrease. Also, why are people who’ve had a Covid-19 diagnosis more likely to get anxiety or depression in the three months that follow their diagnosis? Paul Harrison, psychiatrist at Oxford University who led the research, explains.Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster is Claudia's studio guest. Producer: Pam Rutherford
17/11/2028m 3s

Spotting Fake News; Humour Seriously; Green Prescriptions a Joy or Chore?

Fake news can travel faster and lodge itself deeper in the mind than the truth. Fact-checking comes too late and lies have already spread like a virus. Claudia Hammond investigates a new approach to pre-bunking misinformation via social media by inoculating the mind through exposing people to a mild dose of the methods used to disseminate fake news.How underrated is humour? According to Stanford Business School researchers Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, authors of Humour Seriously, the frequency at which we laugh or smile drops rapidly from the age of 23 and the workplace is to blame. But as a tool for resilience and success at work, humour has some surprisingly powerful effects on the mind that we should all embrace.People with anxiety or depression are increasingly being prescribed spending a certain amount of time in nature. But are so called Green Prescriptions right for everyone? Mathew White of Exeter University discusses his new research that reviews 166 studies which suggest that for some, a walk in nature may be more of a chore than a joy. Could the strong psychological beneficial effects be achieved with a dose of virtual reality instead?Claudia Hammond’s guest is Daryl O’Connor, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leeds.Producer Adrian Washbourne
10/11/2028m 11s

What's happened to our mental health in 2020; tools to get through the winter

More than two-thirds of adults in the UK have reported feeling somewhat or very worried about the effect Covid-19 is having on their life. The most common issues affecting well-being are worry about the future, feeling stressed or anxious and feeling bored. So what does the data say about what has really happened to the nation’s mental health during the pandemic? Claudia Hammond hears about the short and potential long-term impacts, possible ways to address the effects, and examines the psychological tools to get through an uncertain winter from so called Awe-Walks to the technique of Decentering.With contributions from: Tim Dalgleish, Professor of Clinical Psychology University of Cambridge Til Wykes, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation at King's College London. Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Psychobiology & Epidemiology University College London Virginia Sturm, UCSF Centre for Psychophysiology and Behaviour James Downs, mental health and eating disorders activistProducer Adrian Washbourne
03/11/2028m 9s

Anatomy of Touch: Digital Touch

Can touch be replicated digitally? What devices exist already and how likely are we to use them? Michael Banissy co-creator of the Touch Test, neuroscientist David Eagleman and researcher Carey Jewitt look at the possibilities for touch technologies in the future. David has developed a wristband that translates sound into touch for deaf people, Carey looks at the ethics of digital touch and Michael reveals the attitudes from the Touch Test towards digital technologies and if we could replicate the feeling of holding a loved ones hand in hospital would it really be the same?
09/10/2014m 9s

Anatomy of Touch: Health and Touch

Left isolating in London during lock down, flatmates B and Z came up with a plan to stay healthy with a 6 0’clock hug. Hugging releases a mix of anti-stress chemicals that can lower the blood pressure, decrease anxiety and help sleep. Researchers Michael Banissy, Tiffany Field and Merle Fairhurst look at the evidence for the health benefits of touch and Claudia asks whether 25 seconds is long enough?
08/10/2013m 58s

Anatomy of Touch: Culture

At the Pink Diamond Martial Arts Club Hasina teaches Luton women from all cultures to defend themselves physically. This form of touch helped Hasina overcome the bullying of her childhood. But how do early experiences and cultural influences shape how you feel about touch? Stereotypes abound for different nationalities, for example, the reserved British person complete with a stiff upper lip or the ebullient Italian. Michael Banissy from Goldsmiths University of London, writer of the Touchstone Tales, Sudha Bhuchar and Juulia Suvilehto from Linkoping University in Sweden look at the results of the Touch Test and ask if attitudes to touch are more nuanced than outdated stereotypes.
07/10/2014m 4s

Anatomy of Touch: Don't Touch

Campaigner and activist Amy Kavanagh is partially sighted and on her daily trip to work receives much unwanted touch. Some touch from strangers is well meaning but without her consent, while she is also subject to abusive and violent touch. In Anatomy of Touch Dr Natalie Bowling from Greenwich University and co-creator of the BBC Touch Test looks at what the results tell us about touch between strangers. Where do people find it acceptable for strangers to touch them, what are the differences between men and women, how would most people like to be greeted by their boss and is it OK for your boss to kiss you at a party?The study looked at attitudes around consent and Joanna Bourke Professor of History at Birkbeck University looks at issues of consent and entitlement. And while it might seem that social distancing would prevent unwanted touch, evidence suggests that there is a transfer of the abuse online. Meanwhile for Amy she isn’t travelling to work anymore because Covid means she can’t see who is around her and the risk of catching Covid is too high. But she does have a campaign ready for when she can travel again which is #JustAskDon’tGrab.
06/10/2014m 1s

Anatomy of Touch: Hunger

In Anatomy of Touch Claudia Hammond asks whether people have enough touch in their lives and what has been the impact of Covid-19. Covid-19 and social distancing have changed how most people feel about touch but even before Covid-19 there was a concern about the decrease of touch in society. Michael Bannissy of Goldsmiths University of London discusses the results of the BBC Touch test and leading researchers reveal their findings about the lack of touch.Claudia meets John, who, growing up during the Second World War, endured a lack of touch in his childhood and discovers how in adult life he overcame this absence of touch and why touch remains so important to him. And we discover solutions to touch hunger and simple ways to compensate for the lack of touch.
05/10/2014m 7s

Blue Health; Talking to the dying; Diet or exercise to halt memory decline

Blue Health and well-being: During lockdown many people have said how they value getting out in nature more than ever. But is there something extra special about getting out into places where there is water? This doesn’t just have to mean the seaside. Could a river, canal or even a fountain in a park make us feel better? Dr Mathew White, senior lecturer in social and environmental psychology at Exeter University, is part of a large research project across eighteen countries called Blue Health. Dr Jo Garrett is a researcher in coastal environments and human health, and they discuss their latest research into pinning down the benefits of aquatic environments on our well-being.Discussing dying: It’s never going to be an easy conversation, but one that a lot of us will face, whatever illness our relatives or friends might be dying from. What should you say and how can avoiding regrets afterwards about what you didn’t say? We hear from Janie Brown, who spent more than thirty years nursing and counselling people dying from cancer and recounts some of her experiences in her book Radical Acts of Love, and writer Audrey Nieswandt. Diet or exercise to starve off memory decline? Even as we get older we carry on making new brain cells. The bad news is that the process slows down which can lead to problems with memory. But as Dr Sandrine Thuret and Dr Chiara De Lucia from Kings College London have found, our genetic makeup can influence this process. They’ve found that changing diet might make more of a difference to some, whilst exercise might make more of a difference to others.Claudia Hammond's guest is Prof. Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.
30/06/2035m 34s


People living with bipolar disorder can experience episodes of depression and mania which last for weeks - and following these episodes many say they have cognitive deficits - difficulties with memory, concentrating and doing even simple tasks. Rosie Phillips who has bipolar and works as a Peer Support Services Manager for the charity Bipolar UK experienced such difficulties after an episode of mania. She describes the impact as like going head-first through a car windscreen, needing a long period of recovery. Professor Allan Young of Kings College, London, wants to see if a treatment called Cognitive Remediation Therapy can help. Originally used to improve the thinking skills of people with schizophrenia, the therapy involves working with a therapist on a computer for 3 months. Although the work has been affected by lockdown so far the results look promising. Getting up early comes naturally to some people who are like larks whereas their late-night counterparts, the owls thrive on staying up late. New research carried out at Brunel University has revealed that the grey matter in one area of the brain called the precuneus is larger in owls than larks. But it's not such good news for owls. Previous studies have already shown that lower volumes of grey matter in this region are associated with how empathetic and pro-social someone is, traits which are associated with being an early riser.When you use certain apps on your phone or computer a tell-tale blue or green dot or tick lets people know if you are online. But do you want everyone to know when you are available? New research suggests that many people don't realise just how much information that online status indicators reveal to other people.
23/06/2028m 14s

Lockdown easing and mental health; early life stress and catching cold; new lockdown jobs

Emerging from lockdown might not be as easy on our mental health as it sounds. After weeks spent adjusting to lockdown and working out how to cope, how easy is it to re-adjust to old routines? And is it even possible to predict how we’ll feel about things in a few weeks’ time? Daisy Fancourt, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science and Health at University College London discusses the latest results from the Covid-19 Social study, exploring how people’s feelings have changed during the course of the pandemic. Claudia Hammond is also joined by Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics, and James Downs, a campaigner on mental health and eating disorders.Claudia Hammond’s guest is psychologist Prof Daryl O’Connor from University of Leeds with news of new research on the striking impact a supportive family environment can have on your susceptibility to the common cold in later life.We are hearing a lot about the possibility of job losses in the future as a result of the pandemic. But there are some people starting new jobs under lockdown – with the prospect of not meeting their colleagues in person. So how will people manage? We hear from two experts who are just embarking – or about to embark, on new jobs: Andrew Clements a senior lecturer in Organisational Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire and Gail Kinman, Visiting Professor of Occupational Health Psychology at Birkbeck University. Producer Adrian WashbourneProduced in association with the Open University
16/06/2028m 4s

Space travel's impact on the brain; Viktor Frankl's search for meaning; Contagious stress

The success of the recent SpaceX launch to the ISS has reignited talk of return manned missions to the moon and onwards to Mars. But beyond well know physiological effects of space travel on our bodies, what do effects of immobility and microgravity have on our brains? A new study offers a detailed insight from 12 fit astronauts subjected to a battery of tests in a microgravity simulator capturing changes in brain images, disrupted sleep rhythms and mood changes and cognition. As Ivana Rosenzweig, Head of the Sleep and Brain Plasticity Centre at Kings College London explains, her work has important implications for understanding astronaut behaviour and capabilities – and more immediately – the long term effects on the brains of Covid 19 patients supported on ventilators. Viktor E. Frankl, was one of the last of the great Viennese psychotherapists, who used his experiences as a prisoner in German concentration camps in World War II to write ''Man's Search for Meaning,'' an enduring work of survival literature.. A collection of his lectures, Life in Spite of Everything, is now published in English. His writings, lectures and teaching were an important force in forming the modern concept that many factors may be implicated in mental illness - opening the door to a wide variety of psychotherapies. Frankl’s grandson, Alex Vesely, together with the Viennese psychotherapist and former colleague Alfred Lengle, reveal how this newly translated collection of his lectures underpin his ideas about hope, resilience and ways to confront personal suffering, which continues to have great relevance to us in today’s uncertain world. When parents try to hide their stress, can they still pass on these feelings to their children? Sara Waters at Washington State University has been measuring the extent to which children “catch” their parents’ stress during interaction. The more out of control parents feel - and during a global pandemic that feeling is likely exacerbated- the stronger they have an impulse to reassure their kids that everything is OK. But it may be more comforting for kids to have their feelings discussed than just be told “it's going to be fine”.Claudia Hammond’s guest is Catherine Loveday Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.Producer: Adrian Washbourne
09/06/2029m 17s

How children think about maths and time

Claudia Hammond explores how children think with two psychologists; Dr Victoria Simms from Ulster University who researches how children’s understanding of maths develops and Professor Teresa McCormack from Queens University Belfast who researches how children understand time. The discussion was recorded in front of an audience at the Northern Ireland Science Festival in February 2020. Producer: Caroline Steel
02/06/2027m 56s

The Touch Test

The Touch Test. When did someone last touch you? Maybe they kissed you goodbye this morning or someone touched you on the arm on the bus because you’d dropped something. The Touch Test explores touch in its many forms and launches a major piece of research in which we want as many people as possible to take part.Commissioned by Wellcome Collection to conduct The Touch Test in collaboration with BBC Radio 4 is Michael Banissy Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London. Also in the studio are Deborah Bowman, Professor of Medical Ethics at St Georges University, and Laura Bates from the Everyday Sexism campaign. Exploring the future of touch is Hannah Limerick from Ultraleap, demonstrating how touch sensations will be used in the near future.Professor Roger Kneebone and lace maker Fleur Oakes explain how medical students can learn to touch, and Claudia visits Dr Sarah Wilkes at the Institute of Making and encounters some extraordinary tactile materials including the lightest material ever made. We hear a preliminary taster from the drama company 20 Stories High from their show Touchy, and paper engineer Helen Friel creates an artwork in the studio with a revealing message.
21/01/2041m 56s

Are bucket lists a good thing?

Are bucket lists always a good thing? Many people choose to write a bucket list to fill their life with exciting and new experiences. Blogger Annette White tells Claudia Hammond about how her bucket list has helped her overcome anxiety. But clinical psychologist Linda Blair is not convinced that they really help people’s well-being.A new paper found that people tend to worry more about the actions of significant others in their lives than their own actions or the actions of people they are not that close to. Surprisingly, people also worry more about moderate friends than they do about themselves. Annie Hickox is a consultant clinical neuropsychologist with 35 years experience of helping clients with their mental health. One day she got a call from her daughter Jane and discovered that her own daughter had depression. Jane and Annie share their story of navigating depression.A new paper shows that people who engage in altruistic behaviours may experience an instantaneous buffer to physical pain. Producer: Caroline Steel
14/01/2032m 41s

Allergies and anxiety; imposter syndrome; recognising dog expressions

There’s a growing number of children with severe allergies to peanuts and other foods. Parents and children themselves have to learn not only to cope with the physical risks but mental health issues that severe food allergies can bring. Rebecca Knibb, Associate Professor of Psychology from Aston University discusses how the psychological impacts are being addressed which until now have been slow to be recognised.Imposter syndrome is the feeling that you shouldn’t really be allowed to do what you’re doing and that eventually everyone else will realise that. And new research shows that it’s more widespread than we thought. Claudia Hammond discusses fraudulent feelings with Professor Richard Gardner from the University of Nevada, who’s done this new research and Dr Steve Nimmo, Editor of the Journal Occupational Medicine.How good at humans at recognising their dog’s emotions? Is it something we can all do or something you have to learn? Federica Amici from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has published new research on this little studied area, that could help reduce problems when human-hound encounters go wrong.Producer Adrian Washbourne
07/01/2028m 50s

The importance of play in childhood

Psychologists’ advice is that play is beneficial for children developmentally and socially. In this Christmas episode of All in the Mind Claudia visits the Play Well exhibition at Wellcome Collection which looks at the significance of play in childhood and across society as a way of learning, expressing emotions and building empathy. Claudia’s joined at the exhibition by play experts Maia and Rachel.Children in the UK have written letters to Father Christmas since Victorian times and Dr Sian Pooley at the University of Oxford shows how they reveal the history of play.LEGO Professor of Play Paul Ramchandani at the University of Cambridge researches the developmental benefits for children and looks at how fathers play with their children.And how do you get children off the computer and playing outside? Helen Dodd, Professor of Child Psychology at Reading Univesity, and Dr Pete Etchells, Reader in Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa University, look at the evidence and ask if a balance can be achieved.
24/12/1928m 1s

Pain and the brain

Pain has long been recognised as something of an enigma by scientists and clinicians. It's both a measurable physiological process, as well as deeply personal and subjective. Claudia Hammond meets scientists attending the British Neuroscience Association's Christmas symposium on pain and the brain. She talks to the so-called "queen of pain", Professor Irene Tracey of Oxford University, about how research into acute and chronic pain is being addressed. We hear from Professor Ulrike Bingel about the positive and negative effects of expectation and anxiety on painful symptoms, and how this could be harnessed to enhance the power of drug treatments and reduce side effects. Professor Tamar Makin of University College London reveals some of the latest insights into the mysterious pain associated with missing limbs and wonders if we've been getting the thinking on phantom limb pain all wrong.And why are some kinds of pain - after exercising say, almost enjoyable? Professor Siri Leknes of Oslo University discusses the curious relationship between pain and pleasure.
17/12/1927m 44s

Lawyers' wellbeing; sociable brains; young peoples' mental health advisory group

A recent poll of junior lawyers suggested that 93% of participants experienced distress in the last month and 19% had felt unable to cope. Those across the legal profession are experiencing higher than average levels of stress, anxiety and alcohol abuse. Can the profession adapt to openly accommodate wellbeing to balance the demands of the job? Claudia Hammond talks to Emma Jones, Senior Lecturer in Law at the Open University who is now conducting research with the charity LawCare on mental health in the legal profession, and Alex McBride, who’s a criminal barrister turned author. We all know that some of us are more sociable than others, depending on our personalities, experiences and the situations we find ourselves in. But could the microbes in our gut also play a part? John Cryan of the APG Microbiome Centre in Cork discusses his latest observations across species and in humans.Three quarters of mental health problems first occur before we reach our mid-20s. Yet much of the research is done with adults. Dame Til Wykes, Professor of Clinical Psychology & Rehabilitation at Kings College London, discusses a new initiative - the young people mental health advisory group - to ensure the best possible research is being carried out through liaison with a group of teenagers who have experienced mental health difficulties themselves.Producer Adrian Washbourne
10/12/1928m 47s

Magic and gender bias

The Wounded Healer, also known as Dr Ahmed Hankir, Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry at Kings College London, tours the world talking about his experience of mental ill health and attacking stigma. But how does his lived experience impact his clinical practice? Joining Claudia and Ahmed in the studio to discuss the issues is Dr Sri Kalidindi,, consultant rehabilitation psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. While traditionally magicians have been men, there are more and more successful women entering the male dominated industry. But do they have to work harder to impress? Gustav Kuhn from Goldsmiths University of London and colleagues carried out a study revealing a very strong gender bias but this was erased comparatively simply by asking people to work out how the magic tricks worked.Technology companies are developing artificial intelligence that can detect your mood. They are doing this by reading facial expressions but is this too simplistic an approach? Lisa Feldman Barrett at North Eastern University in the US questions whether the psychological research is being interpreted in the right way. Gary McKeown, a psychologist from Queens University Belfast, joins the discussion.Studio guest is Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster.
03/12/1927m 56s

Acceptance and commitment therapy; Million Minds tour; Personality traits and spending behaviour

Acceptance and commitment therapy is an evolving talking therapy that is being used to address anxiety and depression. Rather than challenging negative thoughts, patients are trained to embrace them, Claudia Hammond hears how it's now being trialled for the psychological challenges that come with a number of physical conditions from muscular dystrophy to cancer.We're at the culmination of the Million Minds tour - an attempt to reclaim the world record for the largest mental health lesson, which draws together psychologists, top performers and school children, aiming to break the teenage stigma surrounding mental health issues.And with more financial transactions taking place online that ever before, can our digital footprint accurately reveal traits of our personality?Claudia Hammond's guest is psychologist Prof Daryl O'Connor from Leeds UniversityProducer: Adrian Washbourne
26/11/1927m 39s

Tackling Mental Health Myths

The National Gallery is launching a new tour with the help of young people from the McPinn Foundation challenging stereotypes in mental health. The tour focuses on works of art which confront commonly held myths. Claudia meets Lucy who was diagnosed with anorexia at 13 and Helen Fisher from the Institute of Psychiatry , Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, Kings College, to see their favourite exhibits including “An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump” by Joseph Wright 'of Derby' and “The Vision of the Blessed Gabriele” by Carlo Crivelli. A magnificent domed room which hosted daily piano concerts during the Second World War and survived the bombing demonstrates the resilience often felt by people recovering from mental ill health. The tour is available for free until 10th April 2020 via smartphones. ( guest Mathijs Lucassen of the Open University discusses his latest research on LGBT teenagers and mental health.Plus, most people are used to the idea that as we get older there is a diminishing of our abilities, but Professor Roger Kreutz of Memphis University in his book “Changing Minds” demonstrates that language is one skill that can just get better. And with the aim of improving brain health Dr Alastair Noyce and colleagues recently launched a European report which says “Time Matters”.
19/11/1928m 9s

The need for possessions, predicting effective use of CBT, talking to strangers

Why do we have a strong desire to own things? Psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, author of a new book Possessed, and artist Hannah Scott, whose installation All this Stuff is Killing Me addresses our desire to acquire, discuss why we want more than we need and the extent to which we are controlled by our possessions.Cognitive behavioural therapy is one of the most effective treatments for depression but it only works for 45% of patients, so success is not guaranteed. Claudia hears from Filippo Queirazza of Glasgow University who's been using brain imaging techniques to predict an individual's likely success with the therapy. This could dramatically increase the odds of correct treatment for a patient.Talking to strangers is something many feel anxious about or reluctant to do but could it be good for your state of mind? Social psychologist Gillian Sandstrom of Essex University discusses her latest research: seemingly inconsequential conversations with strangers can have a surprisingly beneficial effect on mood and well being.Producer: Adrian Washbourne
12/11/1928m 26s

Stress at work

Stress at work. Adam Kay, an ex junior doctor turned author and stand up performer, published the diary of his time of working in the NHS. It struck a chord and sold over a million copies in the UK. It's a story of working under duress, long hours and limited resources which many people can identify with and he delivered over 1200 babies in those circumstances. Gail Kinman is Professor of Occupational Health Psychology at the University of Bedfordshire. Gail's worked with doctors, nurses, prison officers and social workers. Together with presenter Claudia Hammond and an audience they look at what stress is, how people burn out as well as how to spot the warning signs. What can individuals do to protect themselves and what are the responsibilities of the organisations they work for?
05/11/1928m 21s

Preventing anxiety, CALMTown, Air pollution and psychosis

Claudia finds out about a new approach to childhood anxiety - an intervention for anxious parents to help them manage their own fears and how they impact their parenting. She meets parents on the course run by Sussex Partnership NHS Trust and talks to Professor Sam Cartwright-Hatton from Sussex University who explains what can be done to help prevent mums and dads transmit their own fears to their children. Pamela Qualter from Manchester University discusses new findings on what predicts mental well-being in children. After several suicides in St Ives in Cambridgeshire, residents decided to prioritise mental health and make it a place where people are encouraged to open up about their feelings in the pub, barbers and even at Pilates. Olivia Crellin reports. Also in the programme, research has found that people who live in areas of high air pollution experience more psychosis. But why and what might be the mechanism? Pamela Qualter discusses.
25/06/1928m 32s

The science of meetings, Helping those with dementia sleep, Estimating body size

Claudia talks to Professor Steven Rogelberg about the science of meetings. Should we get rid of them altogether? Or what can we do to improve them? Also, how can we help those with dementia sleep better? Professor Susan McCurry and Dr Alpar Lazar discuss the latest research on sleep-regulation for people with dementia. And how good are we at estimating the size of our bodies? Claudia visits Birkbeck, University of London where Renata Sadibolova and Professor Matthew Longo conduct an experiment to see how good Claudia is at estimating her body size.
19/06/1931m 28s

The psychology of motivation and procrastination

Claudia Hammond explores the psychology of motivation and procrastination with an audience at the Cheltenham Science Festival. Is willpower a good source of motivation? And why being a chronic procrastinator is bad for your health but there are ways to stop. Claudia is joined by guests: BBC presenter and Team GB triathlete, Louise Minchin, who talks about her route from journalist to representing team GB in triathlon world championships; Fuschia Sirois from Sheffield University, who discusses procrastination, why we do it and how we can stop; and Ian Taylor from Loughborough University, who discusses some of the best ways to motivate ourselves to achieve our goals.
11/06/1927m 51s

New approach to spider phobia, Putting yourself in someone else's shoes, Empathic cars

Claudia undergoes a novel treatment for her spider phobia. She meets Professor Sarah Garfinkel at her Sussex lab who has trialled a new technique which involves tuning in to the beat of the heart and finding a quicker way to dampen down and reduce arachnophobia. Does it work for Claudia and does the method allow her to get closer to Terry the tarantula? Also why stepping into someone else's shoes doesn't mean you'll see their point of view and can even mean you can become more entrenched in your own, original views. And are empathic cars the vehicles of the future?
04/06/1934m 6s

NDAs, The Listening Place

New research shows that we are more envious of someone else's covetable experience before it happens than after it has passed. Non-Disclosure Agreements can be used to prevent employees discussing allegations of misbehaviour in the workplace with friends, family and even a therapist. But what is the impact of this silence? Claudia Hammond talks to psychologist Nina Burrowes about the effect of not talking about abusive behaviour and Zelda Perkins shares her experience of signing an NDA and the impact it had on her mental health. Leonardo da Vinci produced some masterpieces but historical accounts show he struggled to complete his works - did da Vinci have ADHD? Claudia visits The Listening Place – a small charity that provides support for anyone who, for whatever reason feels that life is no longer worth living. Visitors are able to speak to the same trained volunteer for an hour every fortnight. Claudia talks to Jon who first visited the charity 18 months ago when he was in desperate need of support. She meets volunteer Lucy who supported Jon during his time at The Listening Place. Also, new research that suggests that even those whose lives don't revolve around logic and numbers can have an appreciation for mathematical "beauty".The studio guest is Professor Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster. Producer: Caroline Steel
28/05/1936m 54s

Trigger warnings, Myths about Van Gogh's mental health

Universities globally are increasingly being asked by students for trigger warnings on course material that could cause distress and the universities are responding. But what is the evidence they work? All in the Mind talks to Mevagh Sanson, one of the psychologists who has done the first empirical research to find out. The conclusion is – they don’t. She talks to Claudia about the research and its implications. Also, there are many myths about Vincent van Gogh and his mental health. His creative genius has been linked to his struggles with his mental health but as curator at Tate Britain, Carol Jacobi explains he only experienced episodes of mental illness in the last 18 months of his life and far from being a symptom of his illness, he painted in order to stay well. Claudia and Carol discuss why some of the myths about Vincent Van Gogh, his incredible genius and his mental health still persist today. Mathijs Lucassen from the Open University joins Claudia to discuss the government's select committee enquiry into reality TV.
21/05/1928m 13s

Café Conversations, The light triad, Conveying anxiety through cartoon pigeons, Listener feedback

Claudia visits Café Conversations – a weekly meet up in West London for people who are feeling lonely. The café group was organised by Louise Kay who felt lonely after her husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and wants to help people in the same position. The dark triad, a term coined by psychology researchers, is a group of three personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. Claudia speaks to Professor Scott Kauffman from Columbia University; he has decided enough focus has been given to dark personality traits so he created a light triad: faith in humanity, treating people as ends unto themselves and humanism. He explains how we all have light and dark traits within us and also how to find out how light or dark your own personality might be. Artist Chuck Mullin explains how and why she conveys her anxiety and depression through drawing cartoon pigeons. Also, listeners who have shared their experiences of aphantasia and spatial navigation.Producer: Caroline Steel
14/05/1930m 39s

Our visual experience: perception of colour and eye contact

Remember that dress? In All in the mind recorded in front of an audience at the Free Thinking Festival at Sage Gateshead, Claudia Hammond delves into the psychology and neuroscience of our visual experience. How do we know we all see the same colours? And why do adults look away from other people’s faces when they’re trying to concentrate? We hear from the visual neuroscientist trying to work out exactly what we all see when we look at colours and from the psychologist training the police and teachers that it’s ok if people look away when they talk to you. It doesn’t mean they’re lying. It could mean they’re concentrating.Producer: Caroline Steel
07/05/1934m 36s

Spatial navigation, aphantasia and depression musical

Claudia talks to Catherine Loveday about her new research trying to find out why some people have difficulty navigating and what strategies might help. Madeleine Finlay reports from the 'Extreme Imagination' conference at Exeter University about people with aphantasia who have no mind's eye - who can't visualise friends, family, objects or anything. She meets people with the condition and the researchers trying to understand it. And the musical all about depression, 'A Super happy story about feeling Super sad'. How to make the experience of depression into an uplifting musical. Catherine Loveday tells Claudia about new research looking into why people with depression seek out sad music and explains that, contrary to the idea that it maintains low mood, people with depression find it calming and even empathetic.
30/04/1928m 44s

A tale of recovery from Clarke Carlisle and his wife

When ex-footballer Clarke Carlisle went missing in 2017 his wife Carrie thought the worst: he had severe depression and had already attempted to take his own life. Found safely in Liverpool, he then spent weeks in a psychiatric hospital and 18 months in therapy. Clarke’s whole sense of identity was tied up with football and the buzz it gave him. So a knee injury at 21 made him feel like a failure and pushed him towards destructive behaviours with alcohol and marathon computer game sessions. Carrie responds to the question sometimes asked by well-meaning people: How could he put you through this?. “Clarke didn’t put me through anything. This illness [severe depression] invades and puts all of you through it collectively.” The Carlisles share their tips for recovery: asking for professional help; talking openly to their children about feelings; their daily marks-out-of-ten check in; how much the Pixar film Inside Out taught them about emotional resilience.
23/04/1928m 32s


Claudia busts some myths in neuroscience. She meets scientists attending the British Neuroscience Association's Christmas symposium on Neuromyths. She talks to Professor Chris MacManus about myths around left and right and how we use the different sides of our brain. She discusses with Duncan Astle from Cambridge University about the brain myths that have been used in education in primary schools. Cordelia Fine from Melbourne University discusses the myths about the differences between male and female brains. Anne Cook from the BNA talks about some historical myths which have been busted but why others still persist. Emma Yhnell from Cardiff University talks about whether brain training really works.
18/12/1827m 56s

Citizens UK and Mental Health, Robin Ince, Film Cuts and Attention

A year ago a community organisation in Tyne and Wear called Citizens UK brought together people from schools, mosques, churches, politicians and the NHS to address mental health issues in their area. Claudia Hammond revisits the scheme a year on, to examine how a wide variety of local improvements now appear imminent. It follows months of hearing hundreds of personal testimonies and winning commitment from decision makers and those in power, to pledge to take action.What can those of us who would never dream of doing stand-up learn about human nature from comedians? Comedian Robin Ince who of course co-presents The Infinite Monkey Cage here on Radio 4 has written a book all about this called I'm a Joke and So Are You. He discusses the value his audiences get from him openly discussing anxieties on stage......If you're a fan of old films you might well have noticed that they were cut together with much longer shots than we tend to see these days - with an average change of image every ten seconds in the 1930s and 40s to just four seconds currently. Celia Andreu Sanchez from the Autonomous University of Barcelona has looked closely at impact this has on the way we pay attention to movies, with surprising results.Psychologist Prof. Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster is this week’s studio guest.
11/12/1828m 5s

Self-care, Schadenfreude, How maths ability might relate to ball-catching skills

What is self-care and what's the evidence that it works for anxiety and depression in young people? Claudia talks to Professor in Evidence Based Practice and Research at UCL, Miranda Wolpert and Maggy Van Eijk, author of Remember this when you're sad - Lessons learned on the road from self-harm to self-care. They discuss how useful is self-care and what are the kinds of strategies that work. Liam Hill from the University of Leeds explains why mathematical ability might relate to ball catching skills and his work with pupils at a primary school in Bradford. Claudia discusses schadenfreude with historian of emotions, Tiffany Watt-Smith and psychologist, Wilco Van Dijk from the University of Leiden.
04/12/1828m 0s

Antidepressant withdrawal, Mates in Mind, Eyes that betray personality

Antidepressants are a helpful treatment for many, but some people do have problems when they stop taking them. A recent review of the evidence about antidepressant withdrawal symptoms found more people may experience them for longer than previously thought, and many people describe these symptoms as severe. But the study has come in for some criticism over data analysed and the fact that withdrawal symptoms also may vary by antidepressant type. So what does this mean in practice? Claudia Hammond is joined by the survey’s author John Read, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East London, and by Dr Sameer Jauhar, Senior Research Fellow, King’s College London.Poor mental health in the construction industry is ‘the silent epidemic’, reporting more suicides than any other profession. Greater mental health support for construction workers is now identified as a priority area. Claudia Hammond examines Mates in Mind, a new initiative to improve mental health in the sector by increasing awareness and the confidence amongst its predominantly male workforce to openly discuss the issues.And do eye movements reveal more about our personality than previously thought? Claudia Hammond speaks to Sabrine Hoppe from the University of Stuttgart who carried out the first real world study that appears to find a relationship between our changing eye movements with our distinct character traits.Studio guest is Dr Mathijs Lucasson from the Open University
27/11/1827m 51s

MDMA for alcohol dependence, Music and sleep, Interoceptive skills, Parasites and entrepreneurship

Claudia Hammond finds out how MDMA assisted psychotherapy could help treat people with alcohol dependence. Trials are in their early stages but initial results are promising. Could this in the future be a new way to treat an addiction which ordinarily can have high relapse rates? Clinical psychologist, Laurie Higbe, explains how she and co therapist, Dr Ben Sessa, conduct the therapy and why MDMA might work at helping tackle the causes of alcohol addiction. Also, why city traders who can detect their own heartbeat may have better instincts when they have to make quick decisions on what's happening in the financial markets. Professor Sarah Garfinkel from the University of Sussex explains why the heart can be a powerful source of information guiding our behaviour without us being consciously aware of it. And Stephanie Johnson from the University of Colorado discusses her research exploring the relationship between risk taking and entrepreneurial behaviour and the toxoplasma gondii parasite.
20/11/1828m 0s

Emotionally unstable personality disorder, Agreeableness and money, Emodiversity

Claudia visits a specialist personality disorder clinic in South London where she meets Jo, Susan and Chanelle to talk about what it's like to have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Psychotherapist, Merryn Jones explains why long term, regular group and individual therapy can help people cope with the intense emotional difficulties often caused by traumatic early life experiences. New research on why agreeable people might be worse at managing their money. Sandra Matz from Columbia business school explains that it's not because agreeable people are more cooperative negotiators but that they just care less about money. Also in the programme what is emodiversity and can experiencing a range of negative and positive emotions be protective for your mental health? Tim Dalgleish from the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences unit at the University of Cambridge explains.
13/11/1827m 57s

30th anniversary, Incivility of politicians, Arctic scientists' mental health

Happy Birthday to us! All in the Mind is 30 years old this month and to celebrate we’ve searched the archive to bring you clips of Anthony Clare, the original presenter of the programme, and a very young Claudia Hammond as a reporter. Professor Catherine Loveday is in the studio with Claudia to discuss the pieces of psychology research which have had the biggest impact on them in that time. Last month Donald Trump called for civility after pipe bombs were posted to ten of his most vocal opponents. As America goes to the polls for midterm elections we hear about a new piece of research that suggests civility in politics is not dead. Dr Jeremy Frimer, from the University of Winnipeg in Canada, explains his new research on how approval ratings vary before and after volunteers read tweets by Donald Trump.And what impact does a year in the Arctic have on your mental state? Claudia talks to research psychologist, Dr Anna Temp, who travelled to Svalbard to find out what impact a prolonged stay has on the mental health of scientists working there. How do they cope with the total darkness of the polar nights? And what's it like to be cooped up with 10 of your colleagues and polar bears lurking outside?Producer: Lorna Stewart
06/11/1828m 11s

Loneliness Results

55,000 people worldwide completed the BBC Loneliness Experiment. It is the largest survey of loneliness ever done. The results are unique in their scope and reach and were revealed first at an event in the Reading Room of Wellcome Collection. At the live event, presented by Claudia Hammond, musician Jazz Morley and poet Daljit Nagra perform and talk about how their creativity was driven by their loneliness. Philosopher Julian Baggini challenges the idea that loneliness is always a negative experience. And Claudia discusses the results of the Wellcome supported research with Professor Christina Victor of Brunel University and Professor Pam Qualter of Manchester University.
01/10/181h 3m

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

1. Distraction - devoting time to hobbies, study or work
01/10/1813m 59s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

2. Taking up new social activities or joining a club
01/10/1814m 48s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

3. Changing your thinking to make it more positive
01/10/1810m 55s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

4. Starting a conversation with someone
01/10/189m 10s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

5. Talking to Friends or family about your feelings
01/10/189m 47s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

6. Look for the good in everyone
01/10/1812m 43s

How You Can Feel Less Lonely

7. Reflecting on why you feel lonely
01/10/188m 27s

All in the Mind Awards ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in London

Claudia Hammond hosts the All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from Wellcome Collection in London and meets all the All in the Mind Award finalists. Back in November we asked you to nominate the person, professional or group who had made a difference to your mental health.Throughout the current series we've been hearing the individual stories of the nine finalists, and this edition offers the chance to recap the people and organisations who've made a huge difference to other people's lives - and of course to hear comments from the judges and winners from each of the three categories.The event is hosted by Claudia Hammond.Judges are Olympic athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, mental health campaigner Marion Janner, Mathijs Lucassen lecturer at the Open University, and manager of mental health services, Mandy Stevens Produced by Pam Rutherford and Adrian Washbourne.
26/06/1828m 5s

Autobiographical memory loss, All in the Mind Awards, Gaming addiction, Depression after Spanish flu

Susie McKinnon doesn't have amnesia but can't remember her own past. She has Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory syndrome where she knows an event happened but has no recollection of being there herself. She tells Claudia what it is like and memory scientist Brian Levine from Baycrest in Canada explains more about what the syndrome's existence tells us about the nature of memory and knowledge. In the All in the Awards, Rosa explains why she nominated Ian, her manager while working at Church's shoes after her experience of psychosis while studying at University. The Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 killed at least 50 million people but many who survived were left overwhelmed by depression. Laura Spinney explains more about the effects of Spanish Flu on the mind.
22/06/1828m 1s

Predicting memory loss in Parkinson's, 22 The Avenue phoneline, Alexander Morison archive

As the population ages, Parkinson's disease is the fastest growing neurodegenerative disease. Symptoms of tremor and difficulties with co-ordination are well known, but memory problems or cognitive decline also affects over 30% of patients. Until now doctors had no reliable way of predicting which people will develop these cognitive symptoms or how serious they'd get. Now a team at Kings College London has found a way of doing this before symptoms even begin using an MRI brain scanner. Claudia Hammond meets neuroimaging researcher Heather Wilson, and Marios Politis, the Lily Safra Professor of Neurology and Neuroimaging at Kings College London to examine the benefits of its predictive power.We hear about the last Group Finalist in this year's All in the Mind Mental Health Award : 22 The Avenue is a mental health telephone helpline which has been going for 15 years in York - and it's funded by the council. The staff there have been nominated by Jackie who has been receiving support from the team on and off for much of that time.Medical Historian Sarah Wise uncovers the archive of celebrated 19th century psychiatrist Sir Alexander Morison, held in his home city of Edinburgh, He made a serious attempt to raise the professional profile of 'lunatic' attendants / keepers - a job that was very looked down on, but crucial in the burgeoning world of both public-sector and private asylum care. The archive offers a unique insight into a voice that up until now has gone missing in mental health history.
12/06/1828m 55s

KIM in the Awards, Smell blindness, How to find help for your own mental health, Paul Broks

KIM stands for Knowledge, Inspiration and Motivation. It is a mental health group running activities for people around Holywell in North Wales and is the latest group finalist in the All in the Mind Awards. They were nominated by Hannah who explains why she sought their help as a teenager. Sophie Forster from Sussex University talks about her new research on smell blindness. One of the awards judges, Mandy Stevens, talks about some of the best ways to find help for your own mental health. Also, neuropsychologist and writer, Paul Broks talks about grief and how his wife's death changed his views on the importance of magical thinking.
05/06/1827m 53s

Psychosis and medication, AITM awards, Challenging antisocial behaviour

Is it possible to take the guesswork out of the prescription of medication for psychosis? Medication is available for the distressing experiences of hallucinations or delusions, but anti-psychotics only work for about three quarters of people and psychiatrists currently have no good way of working out who those people are. New research at Kings College London is trialling a type of scan that's been around for some time - a PET scan - but using it in a new way to detect whether a person's brain has an overactive dopamine system which might be able to predict which drugs will work. Claudia Hammond talks to Oliver Howes, Professor of Molecular Psychiatry, King's College London and Sameer Jauhar, Senior Research Fellow, King's College London who've been conducting this game changing research. We hear from the latest finalist in the All in the Mind Awards - someone who knows just what it's like to struggle for many years with mental health issues and to deal with some of worst things that can happen in life. Douglas, who's had to deal with a combination of physical and mental pain, nominated his GP Jens Foell for an award in the Professional category.What type of personality dictates whether we're prepared to stand up to someone dropping litter, chatting during a movie or more serious transgressions such as verbal abuse? It takes a certain type of person to say something, rather than to sit there and fume. So who is the most likely to stand up to anti-social behaviour? Markus Brauer, who's Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, has been investigating just that. How did he go about it?
29/05/1829m 25s

The Feel Good Garden at Chelsea Flower Show, All in the Mind Awards, avoiding exam stress

Claudia Hammond visits the RHS Feel Good Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show. The garden is part of the 70th birthday celebrations for the NHS and was proposed by occupational therapist Andrew Kingston and designed by Matt Keightley. It highlights the benefits of gardening for mental health. After the show the garden will be replanted in the grounds of a hospital in Archway.Michael Scullin is Director of the Sleep, Neuroscience and Cognition Lab at Baylor University in the US and he has a useful suggestion to alleviate exam stress.All in the Mind awards, this week the finalist is Fiona Sadler a pastoral support advisor at a primary school in Norfolk. Fiona was nominated by Stephanie because of all the support she has shown over the years. They first became friends when Fiona found a note in Steph's son's school bag.Post Olympic Blues. Dr Mathijs Luccassen from the Open University reports on the difficulties athletes face when they return from the Olympics.
22/05/1828m 14s

Why is yawning catching? And the nurse who went the extra mile to help her cancer patient

Claudia hears from Fiona who nominated the nurse who gave her treatment for bladder cancer for the 2018 All in the Mind Awards. Fiona explains why her experience of childhood trauma re-surfaced when she realised what her treatment for bladder cancer would involve. And why nurse Tanya went the extra mile to manage her anxieties and make the treatment as trauma free as possible. Also in the programme for people who find it difficult to drop off at night, how does writing a to-do list help? Michael Scullin from Baylor University explains. Studio guest, Professor Daryl O'Connor from the University of Leeds talks about the relationship between conscientiousness and stress. And,is yawning really as contagious as we think it is, or does it depend on who is doing the yawning? John Drury from Sussex University talks about his latest research.
15/05/1827m 50s

Self-driving cars and the pedestrian, Risk tolerance in the brain, Awards nominee

Claudia Hammond's guest is University of Cambridge clinical psychologist Tim Dalgleish The vision of autonomous vehicles on our roads is becoming a reality, but in order for driverless cars to succeed, not only does the technology need to be faultless, but it's essential they can interact with pedestrians safely. So we need to know more about how pedestrians deal with the cars. Claudia Hammond takes a driverless ride with Prof Ed Galea of the University of Greenwich who's just conducted a trail to assess the detailed response of other road users.Some of us are much more likely to take risks than others. One way of spotting the risk-takers is to look at how they behave, but do our brains hold clues as well. Joe Kable, Associate Professor of Psychology at the university of Pennsylvania, has unravelled the system in the brain that could help predict the degrees of risk we're prepared to take.And Claudia meets the third of the nine finalists for the All in the Mind Awards 2018. We hear from Maddie, a professional actor- nominated by her childhood friend and now health economist Stephanie.
08/05/1828m 58s

Changing mindsets, Exercise to prevent depression, Nathan and Judith

How do our minds view policies that we don't really like, once they become a reality? New research shows that once they actually take place, our mind set changes - and surprisingly we stop minding quite as much. So have we been overestimating the amount of opposition to new initiatives? Kristin Lauren from the University of British Columbia has found that we rationalise the things we feel stuck with.There's been much research on the link between exercise and depression, but to what extent does exercise prevent depression, rather than help with it? An international team including Brendon Stubbs, a post-doctoral research physiotherapist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, has identified 49 studies from around the world which followed non-depressed people for an average of seven years asking them how much exercise they did. The results are striking.And Claudia meets the second of the nine finalists for the All in the Mind Awards 2018. We hear from Nathan who's nominated Judith, a counsellor at the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind who has played a huge role in addressing Nathan's mental health issues since his sight began to decline.
01/05/1829m 8s

Sarah's runners, Avatars and eyewitness testimony, Untranslatable words

In the first of a new series Claudia Hammond meets the first of the nine finalists for the All in the Mind Awards 2018. We hear from Helen who nominated Sarah's Runners, a running group in Tunbridge Wells who helped her after her husband took his own life when she was pregnant with their second child. The group meets twice a week and their ethos is far from personal bests on the track but all about people being included and getting the best they can from exercise. Claudia goes running with Helen and finds out why Sarah and the group have been such a huge support to her after her bereavement. Catherine Loveday explains how running helps with improving mood and even cognitive function. Also in the programme, Claudia talks to Professor Coral Dando about research published this week showing that eye witnesses recalled more information more accurately when interviewed by an avatar in a virtual reality environment rather than a real person. So why do the social pressures of an interview with a human impact on our ability to recall events in the past? Have you ever felt 'Gigil'? It's a Tagalog word meaning 'to want to squeeze or pinch someone because you cherish them so much. Claudia talks to Tim Lomas about his lexicon of 'untranslatable words' related to wellbeing from other languages which can't easily be translated into English. Catherine Loveday discusses a new way of understanding how different parts of the brain communicate: brain entropy. What is it and why might caffeine increase it.
24/04/1828m 9s

The Loneliness Experiment

All in the Mind: The Loneliness Experiment launches the world's largest ever survey of its kind on loneliness. Britain is the "loneliness capital of Europe" according to the Office for National Statistics. Loneliness is likely to affect all of us at some point in our lives and is not only distressing, but is implicated in health problems such as an increased risk of heart disease. For some people loneliness occurs because of a change in circumstances such as after bereavement, becoming unemployed or starting university. And while some tend to adapt to their new lives and the feeling of loneliness fades others are less able to shake off their pain.The Loneliness Experiment, devised by Professor Pamela Qualter and colleagues, aims to look at causes and possible solutions to loneliness. And we want as many people as possible to fill in our survey, even if they've never felt lonely, because we want to know what stops people feeling lonely, so that more of us can feel connected. To launch the Experiment Claudia Hammond is joined by Olivia Laing, author of Lonely City, and psychology professor, Pamela Qualter, an expert in loneliness in young people. Building on the success of 2016's Rest Test, which was the largest global survey on rest, Radio 4 will explore the topic of loneliness in a further collaboration with the Wellcome Collection.
14/02/1827m 44s

Children of parents with mental illness, Exercise perception, Dame Kelly Holmes, Addressing panic attacks

Claudia finds out what can be done to help children whose parents have a mental illness and who may end up becoming their carers. She talks to Kiera and Ambeya who have lived with their parents' depression and schizophrenia and she meets Alan Cooklin, the founder of Kidstime, a charity which aims to support families where one or more parent has a mental illness. Claudia talks to the psychologist who finds out why our perceptions of the amount of exercise we do can change its health benefits. And Dame Kelly Holmes is one of the judges for the All in the Mind Awards. She talks about the mental health struggles she faced just months before winning two gold Olympic medals. She explains why it was so hard to talk about her feelings at the time and why she believes it's so important people are more open about their own mental health difficulties. Also another awards judge, Mandy Stevens, explains how to do square breathing and why it's such a good technique to help tackle anxiety and panic attacks.
19/12/1727m 48s

Intuition, All in the Mind Awards, Transcranial direct current stimulation, Think Ahead

How good is your intuition - those hunches you follow because you're convinced you're right? Alas, if you think you're good at it, evidence shows you're probably not. Claudia Hammond hears the latest research from Dr Mario Weick from the University of KentThere's still time for you to enter the 2018 All in the Mind Awards. This is your chance to nominate someone who's made a difference to your mental health. You could nominate a group or project or maybe a friend, a therapist, a partner, a nurse - anyone who's really been there for you. We hear from GP Daniel Dietch - one of last year's finalists on the impact being nominated had on him after being put forward by a patient with bi-polar disorder. Medication taken by some people with psychosis or schizophrenia is designed to reduce delusions and hallucinations. What it doesn't tackle are the additional problems with memory and decision-making. Claudia Hammond meets Dr Natasza Orlov of Kings College London who's been trialling mild electrical stimulation to the brain aimed specifically at these symptoms. Could it improve everyone else's memory as well?And we catch up on what's happened to the very first high flying graduates we've been following who've been fast- tracked into mental health social work.Producer Adrian Washbourne.
12/12/1727m 48s

Dementia films, The unconscious mind, Citizen mental health campaign

Claudia Hammond finds out why films are being made of residents of a care home in South West London. They all have dementia and the story of their lives is told through photos, interviews and music and their beneficial effects are being studied in a small NHS trial. Claudia meets 92 year old May and her daughter, Valerie to find out what the film has done for her and why this kind of reminiscence therapy is so effective. Claudia talks to psychologist John Bargh about the power of the unconscious mind, why sad music makes people spend more and how we can use our unconscious mind's susceptibility to our own advantage. And why a community organisation in Tyne and Wear called Citizens UK has brought together people from schools, mosques, churches, politicians and the NHS to ask what their top priority should be. Find out why they all voted for mental health and what they're going to do about it. Psychologist Dr Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster also explains why just believing that you do less exercise than your friends is likely to make you die earlier even if it's not true and a she discusses a recent study investigating the therapists' habits that most annoy their clients.
28/11/1735m 47s

The Brain Prize winners

Our sense of reward motivates us and is essential for survival - influencing the hundreds of decisions we make every day about what feels good and what doesn't. Claudia Hammond meets Ray Dolan, Wolfram Schultz and Peter Dayan, winners of this year's Brain Prize, in front of an audience at London's Royal Institution, to discuss their ground-breaking work on how the brain recognises and processes reward.The trio's discoveries have revolutionised our understanding in how our brain's reward system can motivate us, give us the best chance in life and influence the way we learn. So when the system malfunctions, it can lead to big problems such as obesity, gambling and addiction. But as understanding of this brain system continues to be unravelled Claudia Hammond hears why this happens and what can be done to control it.
21/11/1727m 36s

Claudia Hammond launches the 2018 All in the Mind Awards

All in the Mind Awards: Claudia Hammond launches the 2018 All in the Mind Awards - a chance for anyone who has received help for a mental health problem, to recognise the people and organisations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty1 in 3 of us will experience problems with our mental health at some time in our lives, and help and support from people around us can make all the difference in how we cope day to day and helping us on the road to recovery. Between now and the end of January 2018 the Radio 4 All in the Mind Awards is seeking listeners' experiences of brilliant mental health care and to recognise the people - the unsung heroes who helped make the difference. The judging panel this year includes Star Wards founder Marion Janner; director of nursing and mental health services Mandy Stevens; Dr Mathijs Lucassen lecturer in mental health ; and Claudia Hammond, psychologist and All In The Mind presenter.There are 3 categories for the awards, the individual, professional or project Individual Award : An individual family member, friend, boss or colleague who offered significant support Professional Award: A mental health professional whose dedication, help and support made a really significant difference to you. This could be a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, nurse, volunteer or other professional Project Award: A mental health project or group you took part in, which made a big difference to your recovery or the way you cope. The winners of the awards will be announced during a ceremony to be held at the Wellcome Collection in London in June 2018Attachment theory: For decades researchers have been interested in how the attachment between parents and their babies might affect how the baby develops into an adult. Elizabeth Meins, Professor of psychology at York University argues that this body of research is now being misinterpreted , leaving parents feeling anxious about whether they're doing the right thingChildren's willpower: The popular image of children is that they have short attention spans and want everything right now. But a new analysis of 50 years of data from the Marshmallow Test - a classic test of self control suggests that children are getting better at delaying gratification. John Protzko of University of California Santa Barbara explains why it's happening. Claudia Hammond's studio guest is fellow judge Mathijs Lucassen , lecturer in mental health at the Open University.
14/11/1728m 9s

Sibling rivalry, Prisoner of war diaries, Inflammation and depression

Claudia Hammond's guest is Catherine Loveday, Principle lecturer in Psychology at the University of WestminsterIf you have sisters or brothers you probably know all about sibling rivalry. But if you're a parent who despairs over your children squabbling, fear not. Claudia Hammond hears how sibling rivalry can be handled and can have an upside. It's something that should be embraced argues child psychologist Linda Blair, author of a new book Siblings.What insights can diaries and letters from prisoners of war can give us into the imprisoned soldier's minds? We hear from historian Clare Makepeace who has spent years studying the diaries and letters of POWs and Mark McDermott Professor of Health Psychology at the University of East London to discuss the psychological impact the confined experience can have.And new evidence on the link between inflammation in the body and depression. It's the first study ever published showing that inflammation can lead to alterations in how specific new brain cells are formed - a process that leads to depression in a third of patients. As Patricia Zunszain of Kings College London explains, drugs targeting these mechanisms could be the effective antidepressants of the future - drugs which don't tackle mood, but which encourage the creation of new brain cells.
07/11/1728m 15s

Sleep paralysis; Exploding head syndrome; Robot therapy; Mental health awareness

Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Christopher French from Goldsmiths, University of London about the strange phenomenon of sleep paralysis. As many as 1 in 20 people will experience vivid hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up while also completely unable to move. People also describe a very powerful sense of fear and the feeling of being crushed or that an intruder or something supernatural is there with them. Despite being relatively common, this sleep anomaly is little understood. Even less well known or understood is the frightening experience of 'Exploding Head Syndrome' where someone perceives abrupt and very loud noises when going to sleep or waking up. Also can a robot deliver therapy via your smartphone? Claudia talks to Alison Darcy - Stanford University researcher who's created Woebot - an artificially intelligent chatbot designed to treat depression. Woebot, uses cognitive-behavioural therapy and is available via Facebook messenger. Alison explains how it works and that it's not a replacement for traditional therapy, but it's the first tech based treatment to have been properly scientifically tested and peer reviewed.. Simon Wessley, outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Paul Farmer, chief executive of the mental health charity MIND discuss mental health awareness campaigns with Claudia. Do they overload already stretched mental health services? Or are they vital to helping people understand their own mental health and are they changing the wider landscape of how these conditions are understood, talked about and de-stigmatised?
31/10/1728m 0s

Personality change, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Medicine, Insider's Guide, The self-help craze

We tend to assume that once we are adults there are aspects of our personalities that never alter. But a huge new re-analysis of more than 200 studies has found that therapy can change your personality in just a few weeks. The idea of therapy is to make you feel happier, and to help you find a way of resolving your problems. But as Professor Brent Roberts from the University of Illinois reveals, it can also change our personalities in surprising ways.Over 25 years ago as a junior doctor, Tom Solomon soon learnt that a patient on his ward, the children's author Roald Dahl, was fascinated by the brain. Then years later, away from his day job as a neurologist at Liverpool University, he decided to trace the influence of that interest on Dahl's writing. Last year he recounted it in a book which has now been adapted into a stage show for this year's Edinburgh Fringe - Roald Dahl's Marvellous Medicine. He tells Claudia Hammond how Dahl's interest in the brain began with an accident.The final Insiders' Guide to getting the best out of mental health services is probably the most important of all. What to do if you or someone you know is in serious crisis? We hear from Stephen Buckley from Mind, GP Daniel Dietch and Lisa Rodrigues, who's both had mental health difficulties and led services herself.Look in any bookshop at the self-help section, and it appears that a lot of people are trying to change themselves. Now a Danish philosopher and psychologist Sven Brinkmann says it's gone too far. In his new book "Stand Firm: resisting the self-improvement craze" he says the secret to a happier life is to come to terms with yourself as you are. But there is some very good research out there on happiness, so isn't it worth trying to put that evidence into practice? We brought together Sven Brinkmann with a leading researcher in the field of happiness, Dr Sonja Lyubomirsky from the University of California Riverside.
27/06/1727m 59s

New brain cells and depression; Yoga in prisons; Insiders' Guide; Preferring our own ideas

Neurogenesis is the process where we create new brain cells. Many researchers believe that if someone has depression then neurogenesis is reduced. Could this in some cases even be the cause of depression? It's possible this idea could lead to the discovery of new drugs for depression, drugs which don't tackle mood, but which encourage the creation of new brain cells. Claudia Hammond brought together Timothy Powell, MRC postdoctoral research fellow, and Sandrine Thuret, Head of Neurogenesis and Mental Health, from Kings College London to examine the latest research.The Government has committed to make prisons not just places of detention, but of rehabilitation. Some prisons are hoping that yoga classes could make a difference. Research from Oxford University is beginning to suggest that yoga can help with prisoners' mental health. Claudia Hammond hears from lead researcher and psychologist Amy Bilderbeck, Sam Settle Director of the Prison Phoenix Trust and former prisoner Richard for whom yoga was to become a vital tool during his years as an inmate.This week's Insiders' Guides to mental health asks with all the guidance out there in the public domain, how do you decide what is best for you? We hear from Stephen Buckley from Mind, GP Daniel Dietch and before them Lisa Rodrigues, who's had mental health issues herself and long experience of managing services.Psychologists discovered long ago that most of us think we're better than average at most things - the Lake Wobegon Effect - and that we go round looking for information that confirms our views on life - the confirmation biases. But there's now another bias in our thinking. If we imagine a theory is our own, we think it must be true. Aiden Gregg, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southampton, told Claudia Hammond about his new research. Producer Adrian Washbourne.
20/06/1728m 6s

Mental health support in the community; Awareness in children; Insiders' Guide

Claudia Hammond has been following some of the first tranche of trainee mental health social workers setting out on the Think Ahead scheme which is getting high-flying graduates into social work. As a 22 year old English graduate Al Toombs was one of the youngest people on the course. It's rare to be able to eavesdrop on actual sessions between mental health professionals of any kind and their clients, but Claudia spent the day with Al in Coventry on visits to clients such as Jo, who's lived with depression for several years whilst juggling a complicated family life.As we grow up we get better at tasks involving thinking. But there is something at which 5 year olds excel and that adults are really not very good at - and that is noticing things. New research by Vladimir Sloutsky, a psychologist at Ohio State University, shows that small children pay more attention to what's going on around them than adults do. It's a skill he thinks we've been underestimating and a finding that holds lessons for the appearances of our primary schools.In this week's Insiders' Guide to getting the best out of mental health services - what should you do if you're not happy with the mental health care you're getting? We hear from Stephen Buckley from Mind, psychiatrist Sri Kalidindi, GP Dr Daniel Dietch and Lisa Rodrigues, who has both experienced mental health problems and run services herself.Producer Adrian Washbourne.
13/06/1728m 7s

Anxiety and children; First impressions; Mental health manifestos; Insiders' Guide

For parents, it can be very hard to watch their child struggle with anxiety. Parents often blame themselves, thinking that it must be their fault that their child feels so worried. What can parents can do about it and how much of a genetic component there is in anxiety? Claudia Hammond meets Professor Cathy Creswell from Reading University who's done extensive practical research helping parents to deal with their child's anxiety, Thalia Eley Professor of Developmental Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, and Rachel - whose daughter suffers constant anxiety.When we see a photograph of a person we make instant judgements about how trustworthy or competent we think they are. But how reliable are these snap decisions? Claudia meets Professor Alexander Todorov from Princeton University who studies first impressions from faces and has brought his findings together in a new book called Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions.Politicians know people really care about mental health. So what are the different parties promising in their election manifestoes? We set Rachel Schraer from the BBC's political research unit, the task of scrutinising each manifesto and summing it all up for us.The next in our insiders' guide to getting the best out of your mental health services asks if it's a good idea to take a friend or relative along to an appointment with a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist?Producer Adrian Washbourne.
06/06/1727m 55s

Transient amnesia; Mindfulness in schools; Insiders' Guide; Autism in Somali culture

Claudia Hammond's guest today is Tim Dalgleish a clinical psychologist at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge.Transient global amnesia is a sudden, temporary episode of memory loss that can't be attributed to a more common neurological condition, such as epilepsy or a stroke. Following a letter from a listener who suffered an episode of this curious condition we were intrigued to find out how it is triggered and what's really occurring in the brain. Claudia Hammond spoke with Adam Zeman, Professor of Cognitive and Behavioural Neurology at Exeter University.Is the enthusiasm for mindfulness in schools running ahead of the evidence? The skill of learning to become aware of what's going on around you and in your body and mind at a given moment has been shown to benefit people who've had recurrent episodes of depression. An increasing number of schools are holding mindfulness classes. But when it comes to the research on its benefits in school, the results are mixed. Andre Tomlin started the blog Mental Elf which examines the evidence when it comes to mental health so we got him into the All in the Mind studio to help us examine what difference mindfulness does and doesn't make in school.The latest Insiders Guide to getting the best out of mental health services asks: how do you tell your friends and family that you are having difficulties with your mental health if this is something you've never broached with them before? We hear from Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, Lisa Rodriguez who has had mental health issues herself and has long experience of managing mental health services, psychiatrist Sri Kalidindi and GP Daniel Dietch.Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition which can affect how a child or adult communicates with and relates to other people. Scientists are still trying to understand the causes and why symptoms can range from the mild to the severe. The Somali language doesn't have a word for autism, so when Nura Aabe's son Zak was diagnosed with autism at the age of two and a half she was at a loss to explain the diagnosis to others in the Somali community in the UK. As she explains to Claudia Hammond she was inspired by her experience to write a play called Yusuf Can't TalkProducer: Adrian Washbourne.
30/05/1728m 7s

Mental health support in the community; Insiders' Guide to Mental Health; Confidence

All in the Mind has been following the progress a scheme called Think Ahead, which trains high-flying graduates to become a new generation of mental health social workers. A bit like Teach First, they are taught mostly on the job with a lot of special support. Not everyone in the field supports the idea but there has been no shortage of applicants. One of the first trainees, Charlotte Seymour who used to work in the legal field, is now based in east London where her clients' needs vary - from very practical help with sorting out rent arrears to emotional support when they fear their mental health is deteriorating. She met Emma during a stay in hospital, under section and her mental health is now vastly improved. But a family bereavement has affected her deeply. Despite not eating or sleeping for days she keeps her appointment with Charlotte to discuss how to keep herself safe at this difficult time. In our Insiders' Guide series - if you've been referred to mental health services, what can you expect to happen at that first appointment? Lisa Rodrigues who has had mental health issues herself and has long experience managing mental health services and Sri Kalidindi, a psychiatrist with South London and Maudsley NHS Trust explain what's involved. This includes building up a good rapport and the taking of a full medical history - including traumatic life events and social circumstances. This helps to establish a diagnosis. Making a list might help if you are anxious - but you should also be realistic as most problems aren't sorted out straight away. A mental illness might make you feel like you don't deserve help - but everyone does, so it's important to go along to that first appointment with an open mind. If you're not sure about something how do you make a decision? Who should you believe if you rely on others to help you decide? Researchers have found that if someone appears confident then we are likely to be influenced by them - our brains literally tune in to confident people. Psychologist Dr Dan Campbell-Meiklejohn from the University of Sussex has scanned the brains of people and discovered that they assess the confidence of others using a specific part at the front of the brain, in the prefrontal cortex. He asked people to play a computer game - with a "virtual" jar of marbles - where the colour of the next one pulled out had to be predicted. Computer-generated faces - with more or less confident expressions - helped to influence their decisions.
23/05/1727m 55s

The Everyday Effect of Unconscious Bias

We are all guilty of making instant unconscious decisions about other people. Could a greater awareness and a practical approach help to overcome this common hurdle at work?Claudia Hammond hosts a special edition recorded live in front of an audience at the Royal Institution in London to discuss something that happens to all of us - when our minds make snap judgments about other people without us even realising it. It's known as unconscious bias - it doesn't mean bias in any deliberate way. The whole point is that we don't even know it's happening. How does it play out in real life? Claudia Hammond is joined by a panel of experts to discuss what effect the bias in our decision making has on the lives of each and every one of us and what we can do about itTaking part are business psychologist Binna Kandola; Jessica Rowson, from the Institute of Physics who's been examining why more girls don't choose to study physics at school; Emma Chapman, a Royal Astronomical Society fellow; and Louise Archer, Professor of Sociology of Education at King's College London.
16/05/1727m 43s

Cyber snooping your therapist; Performing anxiety; Insiders' Guide; Bribery and corruption

Whether you're seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist or another kind of therapist, the tradition has been that the information all goes one way. Professional boundaries tend to be closely guarded, but social media is changing all that. A quick search online might tell you all sorts about a therapist. Should you engage in this kind of cyber snooping and how about the other way round? Claudia Hammond speaks with Louise Chunn, the founder of, an online directory of independent counsellors and psychotherapists and Susanna Hailstone-Walker, a psychotherapist.How can you overcome performance anxiety? For musicians and music students performing in front of audiences and audition panels, the experience can be terrifying. But this is where a digital simulation of the event could help. We visit the Royal College of Music where researchers have designed a concert hall which even includes a nerve-racking waiting area, and grim-faced judges reacting on a screen, to give students a chance to experience what it's like and to try putting the coping skills they've learnt into practice. The next in our insiders' guide to getting the best out of your mental health services asks what can you do if you're worried about the mental health of someone you know, but they don't want to go for help.We tend to think of the descent into corruption as a slippery slope where people do one small thing wrong and then gradually it gets more serious. But psychologists in the Netherlands have discovered that people are more likely to engage in corruption when there's a big reward and a sudden opportunity, than to do it bit by bit. Nils Kobis from the University of Amsterdam explains.Producer: Adrian Washbourne.
09/05/1727m 54s

Heart failure; Insiders' Guide to Mental Health; Use of you

900,000 people in the UK suffer from heart failure - where the heart can no longer pump sufficient blood around the body. Symptoms can include a combination of breathlessness, fluid retention and tiredness - enough to have a severe impact on a person's quality of life. Getting a diagnosis of heart failure can be frightening, but there is good evidence that psychological input can make a difference. Claudia Hammond hears from patients and Dr John Sharp, Consultant Clinical Psychologist with the Scottish National Advanced Heart Failure Service, on recognising and dealing with the unique mental health challenges of this increasingly prevalent condition.The second of the All in the Mind Insiders' Guide to Mental Health Services asks what can you do if you think you're not getting the best from your GP, and, if you think you're waiting too long for treatment, should you seek a private referral? Our 'insiders' this week are service user, mental health campaigner and retired chief of an NHS Trust, Lisa Rodrigues, GP and All in the Mind Awards finalist Daniel Dietch, and Head of Information at Mind Stephen Buckley And Claudia Hammond talks to psychologist Ariana Orvell from the University of Michigan on why we use the word "you", instead of "I", more frequently than we realise. It's emerging as a useful tool to distance ourselves psychologically - and extract meaning - from negative experiences.Producer: Adrian Washbourne.
02/05/1728m 1s

Adult ADHD; Insiders' Guide to Mental Health Services; Wound healing & expressive writing

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is often thought of as a condition of childhood, but up to 3% of the adult population also experience it. Impressionist and comedian Rory Bremner is one of those. He discusses his experiences with Jonna Kuntsi and Jessica Agnew-Blais from Kings College London who study how childhood and adult versions of the condition differ, whether we can predict which children continue to experience symptoms in adulthood, and a new proposal that the majority of adult ADHD might not have begun in childhood at all.The first two parts of the All in the Mind Insiders' Guide to Mental Health Services ask how do you know when you have a mental health problem, and what should you say to your GP in order to get help. Our 'insiders' are service user, mental health campaigner and retired chief of an NHS Trust Lisa Rodrigues, GP and All in the Mind Awards finalist Daniel Dietch, Head of Information at Mind Stephen Buckley, and psychiatrist Sri Kalidindi.And Claudia Hammond talks to Kavita Vedhara about a new study that shows once more that simply writing about how you feel can speed up wound healing. Although this effect has been known since James Pennebaker's landmark studies in the 1980's, this is the first study to demonstrate that expressive writing after an injury can aid healing as much as doing it in advance of a wound. An important finding since we don't always plan our wounds in advance.Producer: Lorna Stewart.
25/04/1728m 10s

Boomerang generation, Listener feedback, All in the Mind Awards, The lipstick effect

The Boomerang Generation Many parents are finding that with the cost of housing so high in some areas, coupled with job insecurity and more years spent studying - the kids are back home, except that they're not kids anymore. But however much parents might moan,from the perspective of mental health for the parents at least, there is an upside. This comes from an analysis of 50,000 people across 27 countries by Emilie Courtin from the London School of Economic. All in the Mind Awards When we had the All in the Mind Awards for the first time two years ago, there were some people we met who were faced with a future that was uncertain, to say the least. One of those was Tony, who had nominated his Clinical Psychologist Alan Barrett from the Military Veterans Service for helping him to turn his life around. He had post traumatic stress disorder after his time serving in the army in Northern Ireland.Two years later he's giving back and working with veterans. The Lipstick Effect When there's a recession fewer people buy luxury goods but the sales of lipstick goes up. It might not be an essential, but it's cheap enough for people buy themselves a treat. This is known as the lipstick effect and the reasons for it have been debated for years. One idea is that during tough times women are keen to make themselves look better to attract a mate with money. Now psychologists have conducted a new series of experiments published in the journal Psychological Science and believe they've come up with a rather more modern explanation. Ekaterina Netchaeva from Bocconi University in Italy explains.
13/12/1627m 55s

ADHD and mindwandering, Treating insomnia helps depression, Think Ahead scheme

ADHD - or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - tends to be characterised by difficulties in concentrating, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Claudia Hammond talks to Philip Asherson, Professor of Clinical and Molecular Psychiatry at Kings College London and a consultant at the Maudsley Hospital in London, who has recently published research that shows that excessive mind-wandering might be at its core. She also hears from two teenage girls with ADHD about their experience of mindwandering during school's not at all unusual for people with depression to have difficulty sleeping. Now a trial has focussed on treating the insomnia in the hope that it improves the depression, rather than vice versa. Professor of Mental Health, Helen Christensen, and Dr Aliza Werner-Saidler, a Research Fellow and Clinical Psychologist at the Black Dog Institute at the University of New South Wales in Australia, showed Claudia Hammond how an online programme called SHUTi - developed by the University of Virginia and commercially available - helped people with insomnia and depression.Two years ago on All in the Mind we debated the merits of a new scheme to get more high-flying graduates into the mental health field. Called Think Ahead it follows in the footsteps of similar schemes like Teach First. This time top graduates train, mostly on the job, to become mental health social workers. Claudia finds out how two of the first graduates are getting on in the their first placements.
06/12/1628m 1s

Pathological Demand Avoidance, Is wisdom a trait or a state, Anxiety-free comedy gigs

Claudia Hammond's guest is Mathijs Lucassen - lecturer in mental health at the Open University.Pathological demand avoidance is a developmental condition where children resist the demands of everyday life, and they can have extreme reactions if they feel they are being made to do anything. Although they might seem sociable, these children can end up ruling their families and even refuse to go to school for months at a time. The professionals who use this diagnosis consider it to be part of the autism spectrum. But is it a discrete condition? Claudia Hammond hears from Liz O'Nions at the University of Louven about its history and new research into teasing out PDA's traits.Is there such a thing as a wise person or does wisdom all depend on the situation? It appears as though some people have more of it than others. But new research suggests it might not be quite like that. Psychologist Igor Grossman of the University of Waterloo assessed the wisdom of individuals in their real lives, rather than in a lab and found some intriguing results.If you've ever arrived at a comedy gig to the terror of realising that the only seats left at the middle of the front row, where you might well get picked on, then you might like Sofie Hagen's approach to gigs. She is creating anxiety safe spaces. People can contact her in advance to let her know what they need at the gig to stop them from feeling anxious. Claudia Hammond headed to one of her gigs to see how it works.
29/11/1627m 45s

Adolescent brain, Awards update, Phonagnosia

Claudia Hammond's studio guest is Catherine Loveday Principal Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.Adolescence is a time when life-long mental health difficulties sometimes emerge for the first time. By combining genetic data with the information from brain scans of many hundreds of people, a team at Cambridge might have worked out why this can happen. Claudia Hammond hears from neuroimaging researcher Dr Kirstie Whittaker and bioinformatics researcher Dr Petra Vertes who work together as part of the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN) consortium. We've the first in an occasional update from the finalists of the All in the Mind Awards. We hear of progress from Alex : she nominated the organisation One in Four which offers subsidised long-term counselling and supports people in what can be a very long process if they want their abuser to be tried in court. Some people can't recognise the voices they know. And they might not even realise they have the condition - until they take a test . Phonagnosia is thought to affect as much as 3% of the population. Professor of Neuroscience Irving Biederman has just published the largest analysis to date in the journal Brain and Language. He played people a whole series of celebrity voices to test their skills at identification. He discusses the causes and strategies to minimise this unusual audio anomaly.
22/11/1627m 37s

Time travelling in the human mind

Claudia Hammond is in Sydney, Australia, with a live studio audience at the BBC's World Changing Ideas Summit finding out what is so special about the human mind. Are we the only creatures who can mentally time travel - deciding at will to look back nostalgically at a past event or to look forward, imagining something we've never done before? But the brilliance of the human mind brings its own problems too, a dread of the future or rumination about the past so strong, that a person develops depression. Claudia Hammond's guests are Thomas Suddendorf Professor of child cognition at the University of Queensland and Professor Helen Christensen Chief Scientist at Black Dog Institute, and they discuss whether new technology might hold some solutions for us.
15/11/1627m 42s

How Are Memories Formed?

The brain has billions of neurons interconnected by trillions of synapses. It is at these synapses where memories are made.Ground-breaking research by Timothy Bliss, Graham Collingridge and Richard Morris has transformed our understanding of memory, and offered new insights into devastating effects of failing memory. This year they won the Brain Prize, the world's most valuable award in brain research. Claudia Hammond meets them in front of an audience at London's Royal Institution to discuss how memories are made.
08/11/1627m 49s

Taking pride, Correct vocabulary in describing mental health, Green exercise

Pride is one of the seven deadly sins, and we all know it comes before a fall. But in her new book Take Pride, Jess Tracy, Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, argues that pride is the glue that holds societies together and that it can explain much of human success.How often do you use words like mad, crazy and schizophrenic in every day conversation? What impact does this have on people with mental health problems? To discuss this we brought together Niall Boyce, the Editor of the Lancet Psychiatry, linguist Dr Zsofia Demjen, and Clive Buckenham, an ambassador for Time to Change.There's plenty of evidence to suggest that exercise is good for our mental health. And there's an increasing interest in the idea of green exercise - the idea that exercising outdoors might be even better. Bur why is this? Claudia Hammond takes a bike ride with Dr Mike Rogerson who researches how exercising in different environments can influence psychological well-being.
01/11/1627m 56s

Tasers, Amnesia Museum, The dangers of diagnosing Donald Trump

Four people are tasered every day in the UK and a man who's been at the receiving end describes how much it hurts. But new evidence suggests it could also affect thinking and memory. Professor Rob Kane from Drexel University in the US tasered students and then measured their ability to recall facts in the hours after being tasered. He found serious deficits: the tasered group mirrored the ability of a 78 year old man with mild cognitive impairment, with some of the taser victims performing so poorly in cognitive tests that they could be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Claudia Hammond asks what implications these new findings have for the timing of police interviews after somebody has been tasered.Claire experienced amnesia after she had viral encephalitis and she has lost memory of most of her life. Her experience, along with the lesion or abnormality she had in her brain, has inspired an exhibition called Lesions in the Landscape, a collaboration with artist Shona Illingworth at The Gallery in Southwark Park, London. Claudia visits the exhibition, meets Claire and Shona and hears from Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster about the way this artistic collaboration has cast light on the nature and meaning of memory and memory loss.There's been a lot of comment about the mental health of the US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, with much armchair speculation about the various psychiatric disorders he might be suffering from and why these should rule him out from high office. But Dr Margaret McCartney tells Claudia why the trend to #diagnosetrump is unacceptable and stigmatising for mental health issues. And finally Dr Catherine Loveday tells Claudia about more evidence that walking makes you feel good. The mere act of putting one foot in front of the other for a few minutes seems to improve our mood, wherever we do it.
25/10/1628m 1s

All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from Wellcome Collection in London

Claudia Hammond hosts the All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from Wellcome Collection in London and meets all the All in the Mind Award Finalists.Back in November we asked you to nominate the person, professional or group who had made a difference to your mental health.Throughout the current series we've been hearing the individual stories of the nine finalists, and this edition offers the chance to recap the people and organisations who've made a huge difference to other people's lives - and of course to hear comments from the judges and winners from each of the three categories.Winner in the personal category was Jane Clement nominated by her friend and neighbour Charlotte Forsyth. Charlotte's daughter died in the hospital where Charlotte worked. She was grateful for the down to earth approach of Jane who has helped her cope with grief and depression. Glasgow's Common Wheel project won the group or project award. They use bicycle building as a therapy to help people with a range of mental health issues. By learning to strip, service and rebuild bicycles, clients gain a new skill and a sense of achievement. By concentrating on bicycle building they dwell less on their mental health issues. The professional category winner was case worker Amy Wollny from Turning Point. After spending half his life in prison 'John' was helped to turn his life around. For the first time in his life he has regular employment and is in control of his own behaviour.The event is hosted by Claudia Hammond.Judges are author Matt Haig, clinical psychologist Linda Blair, mental health campaigner Marion Janner, and Kevan Jones MP.Produced by Adrian Washbourne and Julian Siddle.
28/06/1628m 16s

Care farming; All in the Mind Awards; Turn-taking in conversation

Many people say they feel better when they're out in nature. And some projects deliberately get people involved in conservation, horticulture or farming in order to take advantage of the benefits to health and well-being in the great outdoors. It's known as green care and a new report from Nature England suggests it could play a bigger part in our mental health services. Claudia Hammond visits a Care Farm - Church Farm near Stevenage in Hertfordshire to examine the therapeutic benefits.In the final candidate for this year's All in the Mind Awards we hear of a care worker who was nominated for making a real difference to a victim of a violent assault succumbing to post traumatic stress disorder but whose life is turning around as a result of seemingly effortless intervention.For conversations to work we need to take turns to speak and it's something we learn when we're very young and then hone as time goes on. But there are also moments where no one is speaking and it's those lapses in conversation which might give us a clue as to how all this turn-taking takes place with precise millisecond timing. Claudia Hammond speaks to Elliott Hoey, from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, about this research.
23/06/1628m 21s

Supertaskers, Technology to Replace Exams and the All in the Mind Awards

Could you be one on the 2.5% of the population psychologists have dubbed "supertaskers". These are people who are able to deal with a multitude of different tasks all at the same time? Now a team in Australia has put together an online test so that you can find out for yourself. We've had a lot of response to our discussion on education and exam stress. Claudia Hammond looks at a radical system designed to end exam stress forever - by doing away with exams and using artificial intelligence to carry out much more nuanced assessments. The research is being done at the University College London Knowledge Lab, and Claudia went along to see how it all works. And a strong bond between mother and daughter is at the heart of our latest interview with a finalist in the All in the Mind awards. We hear from the daughter who has nominated her mother for an award. Ellie, who's 20, explains why she thinks her mother should get an award for the support she's given her since her diagnosis with depression, psychosis and a personality disorder at the age of 14.
14/06/1628m 25s

Aircraft noise and mental health, All in the Mind Awards, Imitation in newborn babies

Summer temperatures might be tempting you to eat outside, but maybe you live in a part of the country where your barbecues are blighted by aircraft noise and where you're woken in the morning by the roar of planes overhead? Some people insist that the noise affects their mental health. The evidence for the link between aircraft noise and depression has been patchy, but a major new study suggests there is a link. Claudia Hammond discusses the evidence with project leader and epidemiologist Professor Andreas Seidler from Dresden University.We've another finalist in the All in the Mind Awards - this week from your nominations for the professional who'd made a real difference to your mental health.If you've ever stuck your tongue at a young baby and watched it copy you back, you've observed early imitation - a key concept in developmental psychology. But is a new study about to overturn what psychology textbooks have been telling us for years? Psychologist Janine Oostenbroek of York University discusses her results. With expert comment from Dr Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.
07/06/1628m 13s

The Depressed Cake Shop, Gut bacteria and the mind, The perils of perception

The impact of gut bacteria on our cardiovascular system and metabolism has been well-researched. But how about the effect on our minds? Scientists are examining the possibility that these bacteria might influence our moods. John Cryan, who's Professor of Anatomy and Neuroscience at University College Cork, has just published a review of the current state of the field in the journal Genome Medicine. So could we see a day when certain gut bacteria are used in the treatment of depression and anxiety? We brought together John Cryan with Phil Burnett, who's a neuroscientist working with psychiatrists at the University of Oxford.Is the murder rate rising? Think you know what proportion of the population are immigrants or how many people voted in the last election? Ipsos Mori Social Research Institute has been conducting worldwide research to explore how accurate people's perceptions are about the reality of what's happening in their country. They've found we're not terribly good it. Their Global Director Bobby Duffy came into the All in the Mind studio to discuss what's going wrong with our thinking.And we've the latest on the nine finalists in the All in the Mind Awards - the Depressed Cake Shop where the cakes are grey on the outside and bright on the inside, and they're getting people talking about depression in a very unique way.Presented by Claudia Hammond.
31/05/1628m 15s

Exams and the mental health of children, A community approach to suicide prevention

As every summer, exams are in the news. We look at whether the pressure to do well in exams is having an effect on children's mental health. We speak to experts from Education, Psychology and Economics who are now working together to address the wider issue of the effect of Britain's current education system on our children's wellbeing.Looking beyond anecdotal evidence, we ask why, when considering education, is it so difficult to find firm data from which to draw conclusions and make recommendations? And we hear from Today's finalist in the All in the Mind Awards.The Tomorrow Project is a suicide prevention project established in response to the needs and concerns of local communities, in Nottinghamshire affected by suicide.We meet people who have been helped by the project and discuss the kind of services it provides.
24/05/1628m 13s

Suicide in the veterinary profession, Psychology of autonomous cars, Awards nomination

For many, working with animals is a dream job and every year thousands of students compete to get into vet school. But whilst life as a vet isn't always easy, surprisingly the suicide rate amongst vets is four times greater than among medical doctors. This fact came to prominence in research back in 2004 and steps have been taken to address it. Yet the exact reasons are still unclear. Claudia hears from vet Richard Hillman and meets Rosie Allister, who's based at Edinburgh University researching the wellbeing of vets, and is the Chair of Vetlife Helpline.There's been a lot of talk about the technology behind self-driving cars, but what about the psychology? As the first UK trials begin examining how other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians react to coming across a car that's driving itself, Claudia travels to the Transport Research Laboratory in Surrey, to meet its Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Stevens, to discuss the behaviour psychologists and car manufacturers need to understand before autonomous vehicles hit the road.Our latest finalist in this year's All in the Mind Awards is a boss called Blair with an unusual relationship with her employee, Steven. She doesn't just pay him and supervise him. She has supported him through some of the hardest times in his life.
17/05/1628m 9s

Psychiatrist shortage, GP helps with mental health, Why boredom could be a good thing

In the UK there are around a hundred unfilled Consultant Psychiatrist posts. Claudia Hammond discusses with Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, why there is such a shortage, and the knock on effect for patients. Why does psychiatry seem to be the poor relation when compared with other branches of medicine and what can be done to persuade more trainee doctors to consider psychiatry as a career?In the next of our series of features on the shortlist for the All in the Mind Awards, Claudia meets a GP who has helped one patient with a range of mental health issues, giving advice to her when she was admitted to hospital - despite not being in the same country at the time - and helping her to manage mental health complications associated with childbirth.Are you bored? Don't worry it could be good for you. Research into boredom suggests an uncluttered schedule might be a good thing, giving us the chance for a bit of creative thinking. Sandi Mann, Senior Lecturer at the School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire talks to Claudia about the benefits of boredom.With expert comment from Dr Catherine Loveday, Principal Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Westminster.
10/05/1628m 19s

All in the Mind Awards, Elegy, Directors in theatre and film turn to psychologists

We hear the second nomination in this year's All in the Mind Awards - where we asked you to nominate the person or group who has made a difference to your mental health. Last week we heard from the first of the finalists in the groups category. This week we have the first of our individuals.Neuroscience may be a young science, but discoveries are coming through fast. Will we see a day where everything is known about the brain and where parts of it that have gone wrong can even be replaced with computer chips? This is the premise of a new play called Elegy at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Cognitive neuroscientist Catherine Loveday reviews the play. Why are theatre and film directors, who have long turned to historians and scientists for help, increasingly embracing psychology? Claudia Hammond talks to University of Berkeley Psychology Professor Dacher Keltner who was invited to advise on the Pixar animation Inside Out and to director Simon McBurney who sought advice about the psychology of time perception in advance of his production Encounter.
03/05/1628m 24s

All in the Mind Awards Finalists - Common Wheel, Psychology Replication Crisis, Gender Stereotyping in Babies.

In the first of a new series Claudia Hammond meets the finalists for the All in the Mind Awards. Claudia meets group finalists The Common Wheel in Glasgow and discovers why bicycle maintenance helps mental health.Plus, the so-called replication crisis that's plaguing psychology at the moment - why is it proving so difficult to repeat some long-established experiments and to get the same results? First the crisis happened with something called priming, and now 23 labs around the world led by Professor Martin Hagger have tried to replicate an effect involving willpower first described by Professor Roy Baumeister. How early does gender stereotyping begin? New research from David Reby at Sussex University shows it may start as early as three months.
26/04/1628m 14s

Psychology of a Mars mission, Superforecasters, MPs guide to mental health, Recovery College

As Tim Peake is launched on his trip to spend 6 months on the International Space Station Claudia Hammond talks to Alexander Kumar, the doctor who has been to Antarctica to investigate the psychology of a human mission to Mars. How will the confined spaces, the dark and distance from planet Earth affect Mars astronauts of the future? Professor Philip Tetlock explains why his newly discovered elite group of so-called Superforecasters are so good at predicting global events. Claudia talks to MP James Morris about why some of his constituents are coming to him and his staff for help in a mental health crisis. He talks about the advice available for other MPs and constituency staff in the same situation. Claudia visits the South London and Maudsley Recovery college to find out how their educational courses are helping people in south London with their mental health.
15/12/1528m 11s

Brain bank dismantling, Climate change psychology, Trigger warnings for books

Europe's largest brain bank is to be dismantled. The Corsellis Collection in west London contains tissue from 4000-6000 brains and includes a wide and unusual range of pathologies, some dating back as far as the 1950s. But now funding pressures mean that new homes must be found for as many as possible. Claudia asks which brains will be kept and hears about the value of brains without pathology.As the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP 21, continues in Paris, Claudia talks to Dr Sander van der Linden in Princeton about how psychological science can help policy makers to communicate about climate change.We hear what being nominated for the All in the Mind Awards meant to last year's finalists in the groups category.And at Lancaster University English literature students have requested that trigger warnings be added to texts on their reading lists which contain potentially distressing passages. Richard McNally, Professor of psychology and expert in anxiety and trauma, talks to Claudia about the evidence.Producer: Lorna Stewart.
08/12/1529m 8s

Bilingualism, Kevan Jones MP, Talking therapies and memorising art

Claudia Hammond talks to Dr Catherine Loveday to find out why being bilingual can protect against the damage caused by a stroke. She explains why it might all be down to something called cognitive reserve. Kevan Jones MP explains why he chose to talk about his own experience of depression to parliament and explains his role as judge on this year's All in the Mind awards. In 2008 the government introduced 'Improving Access to Psychological Therapies' services for people with depression and anxiety across parts of England. IAPT has expanded in the 7 years since then but new figures just out reveal a huge variation in recovery rates and waiting times across England. Claudia talks to one of the founders of IAPT, Professor David Clark to ask why there is such a variety of success across the country and what can be done to improve it. Claudia visits Tate Liverpool and their 'An Imagined Museum' exhibition to find out how the brain remembers works of art.
01/12/1528m 9s

Mindfulness, Rest and slothfulness, All in the Mind Awards, Compulsive sexual behaviour and the internet

Over the last decade mindfulness has grown in popularity and is recommended in many settings such as the NHS, schools, the work place and prisons. But how strong is the scientific data? Mental Elf blogger Andre Tomlin and Professor Willem Kuyken review the evidence.All in the Mind Awards Judge Marion Janner talks to Claudia Hammond on the mindfulness of gardening and how to take part in the awards.Plus the search for rest: is being slothful still a sin?New research from Valerie Voon, a Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at Cambridge University, uncovers what's happening in the brains of people with compulsive sexual behaviour. The results suggest that the constant supply of novel images from the internet can drive this behaviour and Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist Graham Music discusses how the findings could be translated to the clinic.
24/11/1528m 19s

Astronauts, All in the Mind Awards, Crying and Lying

Claudia Hammond finds out why astronauts' experiences of seeing Earth from space can have profound effects on their feelings towards planet Earth. She talks to astronaut, Michael Lopez-Alegria, and trainee counselling psychologist, Annahita Nezami, about the Overview Effect and how the power of planet Earth may have therapeutic value for everyone back on terra firma. Clinical psychologist, Linda Blair, is one of the judges on the All in the Mind awards. She talks about how to have a conversation with someone who may be having problems with their mental health and what makes a good, empathetic listener. Thomas Dixon, Director of the Centre for the History of the Emotions at Queen Mary University, London, talks about the history of crying and why the stiff upper lip was just a blip in history. Also, Claudia talks to forensic psychologist, Bruno Verschuere, about his research into why we become worse at lying as we get older.
17/11/1528m 3s

Launch of 2016 All in the Mind Awards, Latest results from Big Brain Projects

The launch of the 2016 All in the Mind awards. Judge and novelist Matt Haig tells us what he will be looking for and 2014 finalists Pat Rose and Maya Pillay give their top tips for winning entries. Plus can we recreate the human brain? The latest results from two major neuroscience projects with very different approaches are giving fascinating insights into how the brain works.
10/11/1528m 11s

The Rest Test, Treatment for arsonists, From psychologist to MP

The Rest Test. What exactly is rest, are you getting enough and what's the best way to do it? A global investigation of rest needs your help to find out. Claudia Hammond talks to Dr Felicity Callard about why she wants to find out about the nation's resting habits. Arson costs the UK economy around £45 million every week. So why do people start fires and what can be done to change their behaviour? Professor Theresa Gannon discusses her research into the unique psychology of people who set fires and why her findings have helped her to develop a new treatment programme. Claudia also talks to Dr Lisa Cameron, the first clinical psychologist to become an MP. She talks about her plans for changing mental health and her psychological insights into the machinations of politics in the House.
03/11/1527m 56s

Teenage Mental Health

As evidence accumulates that mental health problems are on the rise amongst adolescents, are services keeping up? Claudia Hammond is joined by a panel of experts to discuss teenage mental health.Professor Shirley Reynolds, Dr Dickon Bevington, Kimberley Robinson and Sarah Hulyer discuss the pressures teenagers face and how the mental health of our adolescents is changing. They also offer thoughts on how services could be reshaped to cope with this changing demand and what parents can do to help their teenagers.
27/10/1527m 52s

Conspiracy theories, New MPs on mental health, Raw Sounds music project

Claudia Hammond talks to Chris French, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London about conspiracy theories. Are they really harmless, and why is it that some people believe in them but not others? She meets two newly elected MPs, Naz Shah from Bradford West and Johnny Mercer from Plymouth, to discuss their plans for mental health and how to get things done as a new back bench MP. Also in the programme, Claudia visits Raw Sounds' studio in Brixton, South London - an innovative music project where people with mental health problems can make and perform music with the help of professional music producers.
26/05/1528m 20s


Claudia Hammond with the latest in psychology, neuroscience and mental health. What happens in the brain when someone goes on a drinking binge? Twins Drs Chris and Xand Van Tulleken took up the challenge to drink 21 units a week for a month for Horizon on BBC 2.Chris drank 3 drinks a day and Xand 21 units in one day. For the experiment their livers and immune systems were monitored, but All in the Mind wondered how alcohol impacted on the neurotransmitters in the brain. Addiction expert Sally Marlow explains.Children who fidget in the classroom are often in trouble for not sitting still but new research by Mark Rapport at the University of Central Florida suggests that children with ADHD need to wriggle to help them learn."held" is the title of an exhibition opening soon at the Bethlem Museum of the Mind and artist Jane Fradgley explores some of the issues around restraint through photographs of strong dresses which patients were sometimes forced to wear.It has been known for a long time that music in different keys is associated with different emotions but much of the research focuses on Western music. Now Dr Bhishma Chakrabati from Reading University has been studying the effects of classical Indian ragas on mood.
19/05/1528m 7s

Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Social Media and PTSD, Preventing Procrastination

Claudia Hammond investigates Body dysmorphic disorder and asks if social media can really cause Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She also talks to the psychologist who explains why describing events in terms of the number of days away they are, rather than years could help prevent people procrastinating.
12/05/1527m 38s


Claudia Hammond with the latest in psychology, neuroscience and mental health. This week her studio guest is neuroscientist Phil Beaman from Reading University. His latest research suggests a novel way to prevent those irritating earworms that plague most of us at one time or another. Plus that dress: earlier in the year pictures of a dress went viral and it divided families. But does it matter if you think it's blue and black or white and gold? Researcher Brad Pearce asks an audience at the Wellcome Collection. And how to be invisible: researchers in Sweden have discovered a way to trick the brain so people feel invisible.
05/05/1527m 58s


As the general election approaches, Claudia Hammond finds out who is saying what about mental health. She talks to BBC health care and social affairs analyst, Emily Craig, who has been through the parties' manifestos. Claudia meets Matt Haig to discuss his new book, a surprise bestseller about his recovery from depression; and psychopharmacologist, Val Curran talks about her drug trial to tackle cannabis addiction using an ingredient found in the older versions of the drug, cannabidiol. And psychologists from Ohio have been trying to find out why paracetamol can blunt both positive and negative emotions. Do physical and emotional pain share the same brain systems?
28/04/1528m 5s


Claudia Hammond examines the evidence asking whether screen time is bad for young people.
21/04/1528m 8s

London Bombings, Insight and Analysis

As the ten year anniversary of the 2005 London bombings approaches, Claudia Hammond talks to Rachel Handley, a clinical psychologist whose first job was to treat people for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and travel phobia after the bombings. She talks about the overwhelming guilt felt by many people she counselled and how cognitive behavioural therapy helped stop people experience terrifying flashbacks. She explains why PTSD can also have a delayed onset, even as much as ten years after the original event. Also in the programme, Gary Klein discusses his research into insights and whether it's impossible to improve our own capacity to have them. Claudia is joined by cognitive neuropsychologist, Catherine Loveday to talk about new research into emotions and the brain.
14/04/1528m 13s

Psychology of voting, media portrayals of mental health, designer asylum

Are you an undecided voter? Claudia Hammond finds out what psychology can tell us about some of the influences on our decision making in the run up to the election. Cognitive psychologist, Professor Colin Davis talks about his research on TV election debates and the influence of the on screen 'worm' used to show what a group of undecided voters think about what's being said throughout the debate. How is mental health portrayed in the media? Paul Whitehouse's recent comedy, Nurse, showed him playing a range of people being visited by community psychiatric nurse, Liz. Is it funny and does it matter if people with mental health problems are used as the subject of comedy? Claudia is joined by real life CPN, Lin, and by anti-stigma campaigner, Nikki Mattocks, to discuss the programme. Also - the call for picture editors not to use 'head clutching' shots to accompany stories about mental health in the media. Sue Baker, Director of Time to Change explains. And what would an ideal asylum look like? Artist James Leadbitter shows reporter, Victoria Gill, his creation.
07/04/1528m 11s

Musical hallucinations and mental health in the novel

Claudia Hammond finds out how neuroscientists are understanding musical hallucinations by looking at the brains of those who experience them. Tim Griffiths and Vicky Williamson talk about their research into musical imagery and what it reveals about the workings of the brain and why musical hallucinations are more common in people with hearing loss. Nathan Filer and Matt Haig join Claudia to talk about their novels: The Shock of the Fall and The Humans and why they chose to write about mental health. Dr Catherine Loveday discusses recent research into why some people are hard-wired to be better navigators than others and why drawing could improve learning.
30/12/1427m 52s

Hypnotism; Automatic Writing; Magic and Memory

A show with a touch of magic, as Claudia discovers how magicians and conjurers use the power of our own beliefs as well as the power of suggestion, to perform their tricks. Professor Chris French, Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, describes his latest study where a fake psychic bends keys using "psychokinetic" energy. Belief in the paranormal and the influence of others who claim to have seen the key bend, both affect what we see and remember. And the use of hypnosis in science and medicine. Former President of the Section for Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine, Dr Peter Naish, describes how this altered brain state is providing a useful new tool for researchers investigating how our brains function, as well as clinicians treating patients in the NHS. Claudia visits the hypnosis unit at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King's College, London, and finds out about a unique study that has volunteers, hypnotised, in a brain scanner while "thoughts" are inserted in their brains. The result: automatic writing. Just like Caravaggio, 400 years ago, painted St Matthew, inspired and directed by an angel as he wrote the Bible, volunteers in this study are told "an engineer" is inserting thoughts into their heads and controlling their hand movements as they write. Dr Quinton Deeley, Dr Eamonn Walsh and Dr Mitul Mehta tell Claudia how their research is shining light on our brains and the nature of thought and consciousness.Producer: Fiona Hill.
23/12/1428m 5s

Perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, Mirror neurons, Baby anxiety

Claudia Hammond investigates an often hidden condition: perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder which can affect pregnant women or new mothers. Women with perinatal OCD can have obsessive thoughts about contamination and cleanliness or a less well known aspect of the condition which is compulsive thoughts and intense fear of seriously harming their children. They go to extreme measures to prevent themselves doing any harm, although they never would. Women can be treated successfully with cognitive behavioural therapy. Claudia talks to Fiona Challacombe, clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry about the condition and its treatment. Also in the programme, the brains cells that have been described by one neuroscientist as underpinning civilisation - have they been overhyped? Claudia talks to mirror neurons expert, Cecelia Heyes from Oxford University. And does a baby pick up anxiety more from its mother or father? Claudia talks to researcher, Eline Moller from Amsterdam University.
16/12/1427m 50s

Hoarding Disorder; Unfitness to Plead; Mood Phone Apps

Stockpiling possessions and collecting obsessively can tip into Hoarding Disorder, a condition recently recognised as a diagnosable mental health condition. Martin tells Claudia Hammond how his growing collection of cars, trucks and bikes awaiting "renovation" was growing out of control, and how a self help group for hoarders helped him to come to face up to his problem. NHS Clinical Psychologist Sophie Holmes describes the need for services to provide help and support for this often hidden group of people and tells Claudia about the success of the self help group set up with the Mary Francis Trust in Surrey in supporting those struggling with hoarding problems.The test for whether somebody is fit to plead and face a criminal Crown Court trial in England and Wales dates back almost 200 years, and it's universally accepted that these ancient rules are hopelessly out of date and need urgent reform. Many are concerned that people with serious mental illness and intellectual disabilities are finding themselves in the dock, when they're not fit to stand trial, creating a real risk of miscarriages of justice. The Law Commissioner is putting the finishing touches to a new Report and Draft Bill that will go before parliament next year and Ronnie Mackay, Professor of Criminal Policy and Mental Health at Leicester's De Montfort Law School in Leicester tells Claudia why the current law isn't fit for use in the 21st Century.Apps for smart phones and tablets that track our mood and our emotions is a growth area, but how many of the latest offerings are based on sound psychological principles, and could some do more harm than good? Clinical psychologist Lucy Maddox reviews a selection of these apps for All in the Mind (Headspace; Mindfulness in Schools; Mindshift; Dream:ON; Moodtracker; Thought Diary Pro; Mood Kit).Producer: Fiona Hill.
09/12/1428m 2s


Driving and distraction from mobile phones - a new study from Canada shows that if someone phoning a driver can see the driver's road ahead the driver is far less likely to have an accident. The programme explores why using mobile phones while driving, even if they are hands free is so distracting and dangerous. Claudia talks to Nick Grey about an intensive 7 day course for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He explains why it is just as effective as giving the same course of cognitive behavioural therapy over 3 months. But can this method work for everyone? Claudia finds out about two new potential drugs to treat symptoms of psychosis, one hopes to improve memory and thinking, the other could target the delusions and hallucinations and is based on compounds found in older varieties of cannabis. Also in the programme, guest Catherine Loveday from the University of Westminster discusses recent research on the effect of music on people in a vegetative state and why some professions may keep your memory more robust later in life.
02/12/1427m 57s

Airport Security; Attitudes to Psychosis; Walking Happy

Home Secretary Theresa May says the UK is facing a terror threat "perhaps greater than it has ever been", and this week's anti-terrorism bill includes tighter airport security. But two psychology professors say current screening methods used at airports, where security agents check the behaviour of passengers for "suspicious signs", need an urgent upgrade. Professor Tom Ormerod from Sussex University and Coral Dando from the University of Wolverhampton, designed a new conversation-based screening method and when they tested it at international airports, including London Heathrow, they found it was 20 times more effective at catching airline passengers with false cover stories than the traditional "suspicious signs" method. Claudia Hammond asks them how the results from this study will affect airport security screening.If you have extremely suspicious thoughts, or you hear voices that other people can't hear, traditionally these are seen as signs of a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia. On Thursday this week a major new report from the British Psychological Society will call for a radical change in the way we think and offer help to people who are experiencing psychosis. Claudia Hammond discusses how our knowledge, attitudes and treatment of psychosis and schizophrenia have changed over the past decade with anti-stigma campaigner for Time to Change, Nikki Mattocks, author of "Eyebrows and Other Fish", Anthony Scally, consultant psychiatrist Dr Shubulade Smith and BPS Report Editor, clinical psychologist Anne Cooke.Thirty years ago psychologists found that if people were instructed to open their mouths in a smile, their mood improved...even though they didn't know they were smiling. When we feel happy, we smile, and the brain gets so used to this that it seems to happen the other way round too. Now new research suggests the same thing could happen when we walk. Johannes Michalak from Witten Herdecke University in Germany, found that when people were trained to walk in a happy style, their memories became more positive.Producer: Fiona Hill.
25/11/1428m 8s

Problem Gambling; Owls and Larks; Milgram Revisited; Depression and Gut Instinct

Claudia Hammond talks to Henrietta Bowden-Jones who runs the only NHS clinic for problem gamblers. Based in Central London it offers help to problem gamblers across the country. Treatment is mainly group based cognitive behavioural therapy. As many as 8 out of 10 patients, who are mostly men, have stopped gambling after 8 weeks of treatment at the clinic. But should more similar treatment centres be set up across the country for an addiction which often remains hidden? Also in the programme, Christian Jarrett joins Claudia to discuss why owls and larks could soon be joined by two new types of people based on how energetic they feel. Also, psychologist Stephen Reicher questions some of Stanley Milgram's conclusions about his infamous obedience experiments of the 1960s. And why if you're depressed you may find you lose your gut instinct.
18/11/1428m 5s

1:4 and Stigma; Emotional Brain Training; Clio Barnard

"One in Four" has been a prominent slogan in campaigns to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems. But Clinical Psychologist Martin Seager tells Claudia Hammond why he believes saying 'one in four' people will experience mental illness in any one year actually increases prejudice, artificially separating our mental health from our physical health. The Director of Time to Change, Sue Baker, disagrees, and argues that this statistical campaign tool has helped to normalise mental illness and played an important part in changing public attitudes.Humans vary in their ability to "keep a cool head" in emotionally charged situations, and difficulty to regulating emotions is linked to many psychiatric disorders. Dr Tim Dalgliesh from the Medical Research Council's Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge tells Claudia about new research which suggests our brains could, with practice, be trained to focus on the goal at hand, and not get diverted by overwhelming emotions.TV dramas, plays and films can be ruined when scriptwriters get the science wrong. The Wellcome Trust's first ever screenwriting fellowship is an attempt to give film makers the chance to immerse themselves in science and explore their interests with the country's top scientific brains. Award winning film maker Clio Barnard (The Arbor and The Selfish Giant) has spent a year trawling the Wellcome archives and meeting psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists investigating memory, perception, hallucination and the impact of trauma: all themes which recur in her movies.Producer: Fiona Hill.
11/11/1428m 1s

Radicalisation; Bystander Effect; Recovery Letters

Claudia explores pioneering new research into radicalisation. She talks to Professor Kamaldeep Bhui who is doing research to try and prevent radicalisation in the early stages. His idea is, if we can understand what makes someone sympathetic to violence and terrorist actions then radicalisation can be stopped before it starts. He explains why vulnerability to radicalisation is linked to depression. Also in the programme, 50 years after a murder which spawned a whole new area of psychology. Did 38 people really watch the murder of Kitty Genovese and no one call the Police or help her? Claudia talks to author, Kevin Cook and psychologist, Rachel Manning about the misreporting of the case yet its continuing legacy for psychology in understanding why people do or don't help others. Claudia talks to James Withey, creator of the Recovery Letters, a website of letters from people who have been depressed to help those who are now.
04/11/1428m 4s


Claudia Hammond hosts the All in the Mind Awards Ceremony from the Wellcome Collection in London, and meets all the finalists.
24/06/1427m 57s


Claudia Hammond asks is autism underdiagnosed in girls? And this week's finalist in the All in the Mind awards is Dr Alan Barrett from Military Veterans.
17/06/1427m 56s


Claudia Hammond meets two more finalists in the All in the Mind 25th anniversary awards. She talks to a mother who's been nominated by her daughter with anorexia. For years she has tried to help her, staying up at night to check her pulse and as her daughter put it "even when I was a bag of bones, all pointy-edged and cold she'd sit and cuddle me". We hear why she feels she went way beyond her parental duties. Claudia also hears from the man who nominated Maytree, a sanctuary for the suicidal and the only place of its kind in the UK, about why Maytree saved his life. Also in the programme Professor Janet Treasure discusses new research on the so-called love hormone oxytocin and why it can disrupt the way that people with anorexia view food and body shape.
10/06/1427m 56s


All in the Mind AwardsOne in Four is a support group for people who have been sexually abused as children. The group offers counselling and advocacy and is a finalist in the All in the Mind Awards.Sporting MemoriesClaudia discovers how remembering sporting events are an important way to trigger memories and we have a report from the Sporting Memories group in Haddington East Lothian.Therapists Dreaming Professor of Psychology Clara Hill's research on therapists who dream about their clients.
03/06/1427m 51s


Magician Chris Cox tricks Claudia Hammond's attention system and Professor Nilli Lavie explains what is happening in our brains when our visual system is overloaded; Claudia hears from Mike who nominated Pat in the professional category of the All in the Mind Mental Health Awards after she guided him through addiction and mental health problems lasting 15 years; and psychologist Guy Holmes discusses the difficulties of navigating professional boundaries.
27/05/1427m 58s


Claudia Hammond hears from finalists, Andrew and his ex boss Steve in the All in the Mind awards and how Steve went the extra mile to help keep Andrew in a job. Also tips on how to help a friend or family member who has or you suspect has a mental health problem. Also why senior City executives are calling for urgent changes to mental health provision for workers in the Square Mile and beyond.
20/05/1428m 8s


Why does one child become rebellious and another not? Claudia Hammond talks to Mark McDermott from the University of East London about new research into parenting and rebelliousness. She also hears from another shortlisted entry to the All in the Mind mental health awards. Plus, a scheme to fast track mental health social workers. Will this improve the image of the profession? Claudia Hammond reports on the new Think Ahead proposals.
13/05/1427m 48s


Are mental health services in crisis? Claudia Hammond talks to Sue Bailey, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, about her fears that mental health is at a tipping point and could be heading towards its own Stafford Hospital style scandal. Martin McShane from NHS England and Minister for Care and Support, Norman Lamb, respond. Claudia talks to historian, Jay Winter about why he believes shell shock in World War One was hugely underdiagnosed. And she hears from Mindout, a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Brighton and a finalist in the All in the Mind mental health awards.
06/05/1428m 11s


Claudia Hammond is joined by mental health campaigner, Marion Janner to discuss some of the entries to the All in the Mind mental health awards. She hears from one pair of finalists, Helen and Lin. Helen nominated her mental health nurse, Lin in the professional category. Helen explains the difference Lin's help made and how she believes she saved her life. Also in the programme in World War I the Craiglockhart hospital near Edinburgh was a military psychiatric hospital treating shell shocked soldiers. Claudia travels to the hospital to see recently discovered editions of The Hydra - a magazine produced by patients and edited by Wilfred Owen with poems by Siegfried Sassoon who were both patients. Claudia hears how the magazine didn't talk directly about treatment or how soldiers were ill, referring instead to someone feeling a little seedy or not at the top of their game. And while the celebrated poets have made the magazine famous she finds out that the other contributions from regular soldiers are as equally moving.
29/04/1428m 12s


Claudia Hammond reports on a mental health triage scheme being run by Leicestershire police force, which has led to a decrease in the number of people with mental illness being detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.Praising children with low self-esteem may seem like a good way to boost their confidence, but a new study by psychologist Eddie Brummelman of Utrecht University suggests that this can backfire and make them less likely to take on new challenges.Scott Stossel describes himself as "a twitchy bundle of phobias, fears and neuroses". He has a fear of heights, flying, public speaking and vomiting and nearly couldn't attend his own wedding. In his new book "My Age of Anxiety" he describes how until thirty-five years ago, anxiety did not exist as a diagnostic category, yet all through history descriptions have existed and each age thinks they are uniquely anxious. Scott explores the theories surrounding anxiety, including the potentially positive sides of the condition.
14/01/1428m 5s


Claudia Hammond asks whether the use of physical restraint in mental health services should be eliminated. She's joined by Jimmy Noak, director of nursing at Broadmoor Hospital, and by service user consultant, Jane McGrath, to find out what restraint involves, when it's used, when it goes wrong and why some people even ask for restraint for themselves when they are in crisis. Also Claudia talks to Sophie Forster from Sussex University about her research into mind wandering and asks whether mind wanderers are less happy than others. And what are the challenges of starting a new business when you have a serious mental health problem? Claudia talks to one listener about her journey to self employment.
07/01/1427m 59s


Claudia Hammond finds out why your exercise regime could be hindered if you have been taxing your brain too much. She talks to Professor Samuele Marcora from the University of Kent about his research on why the chemical by products of being mentally exhausted can actually make physical exercise much harder. He discusses his new research with the Ministry of Defence where he is finding that soldiers can be trained to resist the overwhelming effects of cognitive fatigue. Also in the programme the moral distress experienced by nurses and more results from the BBC Stress test and what it reveals about mental well-being.
31/12/1328m 5s


Claudia takes a musical journey inside the brain looking at the very latest neuroscientific research on everything from how we notice patterns in music to why the beat can be so powerful.We're not born with musical ability, but the brain is an efficient machine that lets us learn the rules. But what about the people who can't understand music? And how can our emotional responses to music be used therapeutically?When it comes to understanding the mind and the brain, the beauty of music is that there are so many dimensions to it - there's pitch, rhythm, melody, our memories and that all-important emotional element. These are rich pickings for those using it to try to understand the workings of the mind better and to develop new therapies.
24/12/1328m 12s


Why rituals like blowing out candles on a birthday cake table before eating it can improve the taste. Claudia Hammond talks to Michael Norton from Harvard University about his new research on the powerful effect of rituals on food and how it can work for chocolate and even carrots. Why people with an extraordinary ability to remember every details of their life and the events going on years ago are still susceptible to false memories. What does this reveal about how our memories work? More on the All in the Mind 25th anniversary mental health awards with awards judge, Marion Janner. What are the rules for people on medication for a mental health condition who want to give blood? Claudia talks to Jennie Naylor from NHS blood and transplant. Also in the programme why a meaningful life might not be a happy one and Claudia is joined by cognitive neuroscientist and blogger, Christian Jarrett to bust the myths about the differences between male and female brains.
17/12/1328m 0s


Claudia goes behind the scenes of the Science Museum's new psychology exhibition, Mind Maps.How do you change teenagers' negative body images? Psychological strategies can help young people defend themselves against unrealistic expectations and stop them "fat talking". Claudia Hammond reports on a new study by Dr Helen Sharpe of Kings College LondonLast week All in the Mind launched its 25th anniversary Awards scheme. This week clinical psychologist and All in the Mind Award judge Guy Holmes explains what makes a good therapeutic group.Learning complicated dance steps can be challenging, as the celebrities on BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing discover every week. New research by Professor Margaret Wilson has shown that one technique used by dancers known as marking can improve performance. Claudia cha cha challenges her two left feet with Strictly star Robin Windsor.
10/12/1328m 2s


For its 25th anniversary All in the Mind launches 3 new awards to recognise outstanding help, support or advice in the field of mental health. Claudia Hammond explains the categories and how to nominate. Also in the programme, a new look at one of the most famous and controversial psychology experiments ever. In 1961 Stanley Milgram ran a series of experiments where unwitting volunteers were ordered to give increasing electric shocks to a man they'd never met under the guise of research into memory. Many gave a series of increasing shocks up to 450 Volts despite hearing screams and calls for help from the unseen 'victim'. But it was a set up. The shocks were fake and the victim was an actor. The results of Milgram's obedience research caused a worldwide sensation. Milgram reported that people had repeatedly shocked a man they believed to be in pain or even dying and he linked his findings to Nazi behaviour. But was his version of the results really what happened? Claudia Hammond talks to Gina Perry who has researched Milgram's unpublished papers and spoken to those who took part in the experiment. Her findings reveal a story far from Milgram's own version of his obedience research.
03/12/1328m 11s


In this special anniversary programme Claudia Hammond looks at developments in neuroscience and how our understanding of the brain has changed.In 1988 scientists predicted that new techniques of scanning the brain would lead to exciting innovative treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Researchers were enthusiastic about the possibilities of seeing what went on in the brain. Many had high hopes that this would help us understand how and why mental health problems develop. But how much progress has been made?Professor Irene Tracey, Director of the Oxford Centre for functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, and Professor Sophie Scott, from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, discuss with Claudia the major advances in this fast growing field. They also take a sceptical look and ask whether with highly ambitious big brain studies the science is still promising more than it delivers.
26/11/1327m 59s


The first ever edition of All in the Mind was broadcast 25 years ago. In the second of three anniversary programmes Claudia Hammond and guests look back at archive editions of the programme to examine what impact psychology research has had on our lives over the last 25 years. How does evidence-based psychology affect policy decisions? Is psychology just 'proving the obvious' or has it offered insights into ourselves which we could never have guessed?
19/11/1328m 0s


The first ever edition of All in the Mind was broadcast in October 1988. For its 25th anniversary, Claudia Hammond is joined by community psychiatrist, Graham Thornicroft, Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind and by the artist, Bobby Baker to look back at archive editions of the programme and explore how attitudes to mental health have changed in the last 25 years. Have campaigns to raise awareness of mental health been successful and how far is there still to go? More and more public figures are talking about their own experience of mental illness. Even last year MPs made history by opening up to the House of Commons about their own mental health problems. How much do these kinds of conversations help change attitudes?
12/11/1328m 10s

Ageless Psychiatry; From DNA to the Brain; Recipe of Life

The introduction of the equality act has focussed attention on mental health services for older people. Sixty five used to be the cut off point for adult services, after which people were referred to old age psychiatry departments. Now though there is a trend towards ageless psychiatry and a one size fits all service. As the Baby Boomers hit sixty five is this a welcome move or will it lead to a loss of expertise and worsening services?Understanding the structure of DNA has revolutionised how neuroscientists understand the brain, and a new exhibition "photo-51 From DNA to the Brain" at the Kings Cultural Institute celebrates the impact of DNA on neuroscience. The work will feature three artists: photographers Christine Donnier Vallentin and Marcus Lyon and glass sculptor Shelley James.Recipes for Life is a project where Vietnamese people with mental health problems meet once a week to cook together and they have developed a recipe to protect themselves from homesickness.
18/06/1328m 1s

Bipolar abortion case; Wind farms; Children and war

The Case of the Bipolar Sufferer and her Legal Battle for an Abortion S.B. is a 37 year old woman with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She wanted a baby but when she was pregnant, became ill, and was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. She then said she couldn't cope with having a baby and began requesting an abortion. Her husband, her mother and the psychiatrists treating her argued that the termination shouldn't go ahead, because S.B. wasn't of "sound mind". Deborah Bowman, Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law at St George's, University of London, discusses why this case, which went to the Court of Protection, is so important for people with mental health problems. The Complex Psychology Behind Wind Farm Opposition National polls consistently show that a majority of people support wind power in principle, but when it comes to local schemes, there's often vociferous opposition. NIMBYs often get the blame. They're portrayed as selfish individuals who say no, for purely self interested reasons. Claudia talks to Dr Chris Jones, social and environmental psychologist from the University of Sheffield, on the windy hills North of the City, about why opposition to wind farms is a complex matter and that the "Not In My Back Yarders" can have valid and varied reasons for being turbine-rejectors. Syrian Children and the Mental Health Impact of War Hundreds of thousands of Syrian children have fled their country as the war there reaches new levels of brutality. All in the Mind has been following the efforts of one Syrian psychologist, Masa Al-kurdi, to provide targeted support for child refugees that specifically address the war trauma they have experienced. Her group of volunteers, the Arab Foundation for the Care of Victims of War and Torture, has been using interventions developed by the Children and War Foundation, specifically designed to teach coping strategies and techniques to as many children as possible. In Jordan, the courses are now in place and Claudia hears from Masa that thousands of children will have been through the courses by the end of 2013. Producer - Fiona Hill.
11/06/1328m 12s

Memory and depression; Global mental health; Compassion training

An ancient memory training technique is being used to help people with depression. When someone is depressed they can find it hard to remember happier times. Dr Tim Dalgleish's study used the method of loci, associating familiar places with positive memories.What is the best way to treat mental health problems around the world? Vikram Patel, a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Sangath Centre in Goa in India, and Professor Pat Bracken, Psychiatrist and Clinical Director of the Mental Health Service in West Cork in Ireland, debate the extent to which a western psychiatric model can be used in low and middle income countries.New research by Helen Weng from the University of Wisconcin Madison has shown that a short course in meditation can increase altruism.
04/06/1327m 56s

Neuromyths in schools; psychosis and prisons; the case of HM

Education NeuromythsMany teachers are interested in the workings of the brain and how neuroscience might help their students to learn. But new research suggests that like the rest of the us, teachers have picked up many myths about the mind. Common neuromyths in wide circulation are that children have to be taught in their preferred learning styles in order to absorb information; that we only use 10% of our brains and that doing special co-ordination exercises helps the two hemispheres our our brains work together. Paul Howard Jones, reader in Neuroscience and Education at Bristol University, tells Claudia Hammond why he believes neuromyths are so widespread in the classroom.Prisons and PsychosisPrisoners are supposed to have exactly the same access to healthcare as everybody else, but in reality, there are big gaps in the service. When it comes to mental health care, the need for specialised care is clear to see. 5.2% of prisoners (compared to 0.4% of the general population) experience psychosis. Now a project in South East London aims to identify and treat prisoners before their illness escalates into a full-blown psychotic episode. Lucia Valmaggia of the Oasis in Prison project talks to Claudia about the sucess of this world-first project.The case of "H.M." and emerita Professor Of Neuroscience, Suzanne CorkinH.M., or Henry Gustave Molaison, is the world's most famous neurological patient. A case study in any neuroscience or psychology text book, Henry had amnesia, caused by an operation in 1953 to cure his serious epilepsy. His seizures were cured but the removal of a part of his brain left him unable to form new memories. For the next fifty years until his death in 2008, he was studied and researched, his condition revolutionising what we now know about memory. Emerita Professor of Neuroscience, Suzanne Corkin, at M.I.T. in the USA, and author of a new book, Permanent Present Tense, studied him for almost four decades. All in the Mind listeners get to hear original interviews, recorded back in 1977, whith Henry himself and Suzanne describes to Claudia, Henry the man and Henry's contribution to science.Producer: Fiona Hill.
28/05/1328m 4s

Big Brain Projects; Anti-depressants; learning disability and bereavement

In the US scientists are working out the details of President Obama's $100 million BRAIN initiative, and the EU is funding the billion euro Human Brain project. What will these expensive projects tell us, and are we even asking the right questions? Mind Hacker Vaughan Bell analyses the debate.Novelist Alex Peston talks about his essay on creativity and antidepressants, and Claudia Hammond asks Nooreen Akhtar of Aberdeen University about her analysis of how antidepressants are portrayed in the press.Noelle Blackman of Respond discusses the benefits of bereavement counselling for adults with learning disabilities.
21/05/1327m 52s

Exam revision; Therapists who cry; NHS acute bed shortages; Skin disorders

Revision Techniques That WorkStudents up and down the UK are busy revising for exams. Claudia Hammond discovers which methods are effective from Professor John Dunlosky, and the results will send a shiver down the spine of those who've left their revision to the last minute.His review concludes that using a highlighter pen, underlining, reading and re-reading, and using mnemonics are the least effective techniques. Instead, students should do lots of practice tests and plan their revision sessions over time.Right or Wrong ? - Therapists Who CryLast week's research paper from the USA on therapists who cry when their clients disclose something sad prompted scores of All in the Mind listeners to share their experiences. Claudia reviews the responses and airs a range of views.Out Of Area Hospital Care for Detained PatientsAn investigation by Community Care journal has disclosed an increase in the numbers of patients, detained under the Mental Health Act, who are being sent, many miles away from their homes, to be treated in private hospitals. Community Editor, Andy McNicoll tells Claudia Hammond about suspicions that out-of-area care is linked to acute bed closures and describes the concerns this practice raises for the care of vulnerable patients.Psychological Treatments for Skin DisordersMore than half of the UK population experience a skin condition in any given 12 month period and the psychological impact on the individual can be enormous. The All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin has just published an updated report, a decade since they last investigated, criticising the lack of access to psychological help for sufferers and the trivialisation of skin disease in general. Dr Andrew Thompson, clinical psychologist and researcher at the University of Sheffield, talks to Claudia Hammond about the scale of unmet psychological need and Emma Rush, chairwoman of The Vitiligo Society, describes her personal experience of living with such a visible difference.Producer: Fiona Hill.
14/05/1328m 7s

DSM-5; Should therapists cry? Sleep and mental illness

The new edition of the American Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders will be launched later this month, Professor Simon Wessely discusses its potential impact in the UK. A new survey discovers that 72% of therapists have cried during a therapy session, Claudia Hammond asks should therapists cry? What is the link between sleep and mental illness? A study from Oxford University shows how chaotic sleep can be in people with schizophrenia.
07/05/1327m 54s

Doomsday prophets; News consumption and wellbeing; Christian Jarrett

Doomsday Prophets and the Nature of BeliefHow do you cope with believing you are very right, but finding out you that were very wrong ? Neuroscientist Dr Kris de Meyer from King's College, London, spent six weeks interviewing followers of evangelical Christian broadcaster, Harold Camping, as they waited for May 21st, 2011, the date the earth was supposed to end. The resulting film explores the psychology of belief and tracks the mental gymnastics that individuals resort to when their fundamental beliefs are so publicly shattered.News Consumption and Mental WellbeingIs bad news bad for your mental health ? Rolf Dobelli, author of The Art of Thinking, believes so, and he's given up on the habit. Rolf and Dr Pam Ramsden, from the University of Bolton, discuss with Claudia Hammond what we know about news consumption and mental wellbeing.Psychology Research With Dr Christian JarrettWhy women give better speeches if there's a picture of Hilary Clinton, or even Angela Merkel, behind them. Dr Christian Jarrett, Editor of the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, reviews the latest intriguing and important studies from psychology and neuroscience, including evidence that fighters should resist the urge to smile in their pre-match press conferences...apparently those who grin, do not win !Presenter: Claudia Hammond Producer: Fiona Hill.
30/04/1327m 40s

Mind mindedness; communicating risk; dyslexia

New research shows that reading a baby's mind aids its development. Claudia Hammond reports on a new technique which helps mothers connect with their infants. Known as mind mindedness this method cuts across social groups and is being used successfully to help women with serious mental illness bond with their babies.And should people with mental illness be told the long term effects of their drugs? One listener thinks this is a message that should be handled with care. Plus, how a poem written twenty years ago by a twelve year old dyslexic boy has inspired a new art science collaboration.
18/12/1228m 3s

Preventing PTSD; Archaeology and mental health; Organophospates

"Bob", the Armed Forces, the Police and PTSDA former member of the armed forces and a policeman, "Bob", suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD following the shocking death of a young woman that he was spending the evening with. He tells Claudia Hammond that he's only recently received the help he needed to get his life back on track and admits that he believes many people in the emergency services have, like him, untreated PTSD. The statistics confirm "Bob's" suspicions, which is why research at Kings College, London, and Oxford University is of such interest. Dr Jennifer Wild and her doctoral student, Rachel White, have discovered that by training people to concentrate on HOW the event is unfolding rather than WHY, significantly fewer PTSD-type symptoms are reported. Researchers exposed volunteers to traumatic films with visuals of accidents and deaths, but whereas those in the WHY group were encouraged to focus on the abstract, on why such terrible things happen and what it would mean for the people involved and their families, the HOW group was prompted to focus on the specific and objective details of the event without straying into its greater meaning.The results showed that the WHY group suffered from more intrusive memories, flashbacks and hyper-arousal than the HOW group, suggesting that if emergency workers could be trained to change their thinking, then psychological trauma could be reduced. Past In MindA chance meeting on a train between archaeologist Ian Bapty and Herefordshire MIND worker, Jenny McMillan, led to an unusual collaboration: an archaeological dig to excavate a lost village. The Past In Mind project brought together archaeologists, historians and people recovering from mental health problems on the Lower Brockhampton Estate in Herefordshire to search for the lost medieval settlement of Studmarsh. Volunteers made an audio diary for All in the Mind from the dig.OrganophosphatesGovernment advisers on the Committee on Toxicity have been sent a new review on organophosphates which suggests that low level exposure causes damage to the brain and nervous system. Dr Sarah Mackenzie Ross, a neuropsychologist from University College London is one of the authors of the meta-analysis - a systematic review of the best available evidence - and she tells Claudia Hammond that the evidence suggests that people who have been exposed to low levels of organophosphates have impaired cognitive function. Organophospate pesticides are the most widely used insecticides in the world in agriculture and horticulture. They're also used in industry as lubricants, plasticizers and flame-retardants and pest-control teams use them too. But it's been known for some time, despite their importance in food production and disease prevention, that in high doses, they damage the brain and the nervous system. What's more controversial is whether there is a risk from low-level exposure to organophosphates, so this latest publication will be of interest to the Committee on Toxicity which is currently reviewing this subject. Producer: Fiona Hill.
11/12/1227m 54s

Alzheimer's Disease

Mild cognitive impairment is a condition which is often a precursor to Alzheimer's Disease, but not everyone will go on to develop the condition. If researchers could discover who does develop the disease and who doesn't it would have implications for therapy. Claudia talks to researchers about some of the latest research in this area and discovers how the loss of brain cells in a region of the brain known as the hippocampus leads to the characteristic symptoms of the disease.At the scene of a disaster it is now common for counselling to be provided for the victims, but will everyone develop post traumatic stress disorder PTSD? John Marzillier, a researcher in this area with 40 years experience, says everyone responds differently and only 10% of people are likely to develop PTSD.Why do we continue to believe information even when we are told it's wrong? Claudia Hammond discovers how the brain stores facts and why we don't erase erroneous explanations.
04/12/1227m 58s


Polygraph Testing for Sex OffendersMandatory polygraph tests for sex offenders could be introduced by the end of 2013, following a pilot trial in the Midlands was judged to be a success.The controversial test is often called a "lie detector". It measures physiological arousal such as increased heart rate, respiration and sweating and the assumption is that these responses can be used to assess whether somebody's telling the truth or not. In the pilot study, convicted sex offenders who'd served their sentence and were out on licence in the ecommunity, were judged to be more than twice as likely to admit to risky behaviour if they'd been given a polygraph test. The Ministry of Justice, subject to parliamentary time and approval, wants to roll out compulsory testing within 12 months in England and Wales.Dr Jane Wood, a forensic psychologist from the University of Kent and one of the authors of the Midlands polygraph pilot evaluation, describes the results which so impressed the Ministry of Justice and then Claudia Hammond hears from both sides of the polygraph debate: Dr Sharon LeaI, from the International Centre for Forensic Research in Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, who criticises the lack of evidence around polygraph use and Don Grubin, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry at Newcastle University who says the polygraph can play an important role in the management of dangerous sex offenders.BirdsongWill the song of a blackbird make us happier than the caw of a crow ? These and other questions will be answered by Eleanor Ratcliffe from the University of Surrey who's studying the benefits of birdsong on our wellbeing and our behaviour. The Psychology of DisfigurementOur looks are our "social currency" so what happens when our appearance is radically altered by disfigurement ?How people cope, psychologically, with dramatic changes to the way they look is the subject of a major new research project, and the results challenge many myths about who copes best. "Time is a great healer", "women care about their looks more than men", "the more serious the disfigurement, the harder it is to cope", are all beliefs challenged in this new study. Claudia Hammond hears one woman's story, academic researcher, Amanda Bates, about how she coped with her visible difference and she talks to Nichola Rumsey and Diana Harcourt from the Centre for Appearance Research in Bristol. Producer: Fiona Hill.
27/11/1228m 16s


New research by Professor Mary Cummings of MIT looks at the boredom threshold of drone operators. In a simulated study with volunteers she discovered that operators distracting themselves by playing games, or checking e-mails could help improve the performance of UAV operators, air traffic controllers and nuclear power plant operators.Author Sarah Wise talks to Claudia Hammond about the wealth of evidence she has uncovered about the rise, in 19th Century Britain, of the "mad doctor". This new generation of medical men were powerful and corruptible, and there are many stories of difficult family members being locked up in lunatic asylums - or "living tombs" as they were called - in return for bribes.And it seems that far from the classic view of women being the main victim of such skulduggery, moneyed men were more likely targets as relatives and business partners sought to get hold of their cash and property. Suspicion and anger towards the asylum committal procedure crossed classes, and there were protests in the streets against "lunacy inquisitions". It is often thought that the long term effects of neglect and abuse early in life mean that children are unable to form bonds with carers such as foster parents, but a new study from Professor Stephen Scott at the Institute of Psychiatry in London dispels this myth.Producer: Geraldine Fitzgerald.
20/11/1228m 17s

Gaydar, the Me Generation, IQ tests and learning disabilities

Sexuality and Faces - How does our "Gaydar" work ?Most of us think we're pretty good at guessing when somebody's gay or straight, but what signals are we using to make our decision, and how often are we right ? Psychologists at Queen Mary University of London are, for the first time, trying to isolate the individual signals and patterns in somebody's face, in order to work out exactly what motivates us to make a snap decision about sexuality. Using cutting edge computer imagery, researchers have found a way of transferring male facial expressions onto female faces and vice versa, which means they can work out exactly how our "gaydar" works. Dr Qazi Rahman, assistant professor in Cognitive Biology, and PHd student, William Jolly, are hoping that their research will challenge stereotypes and prejudice by increasing awareness of how quickly, and often inaccurately, people classify each other. The Me Generation Professor Jean Twenge from San Diego State University in California has already coined the phrase, "Generation Me", describing the growing number of people who take it for granted that the self comes first. And she's less than flattering abut the downsides of this fundamental cultural shift. She talks to Claudia Hammond about her latest research using data mined from the American Freshman Survey. This study captures students' attitudes right back to 1966, and compares how current students rate themselves and their abilities compared to the generation 45 years ago. Unsurprisingly, she finds that the younger generation is more likely to view themselves as above average, even though these attitudes aren't born out by the facts.IQ Tests and Learning DisabilitiesPsychologists are considering whether guidelines on how learning disabilities are assessed should be revised, following concerns that IQ test scores could be depriving people of a formal diagnosis, and therefore access to services. Dr Simon Whitaker, consultant clinical psychologist and senior visiting research fellow at Huddersfield University, has completed research which raises questions about the reliability and consistency of IQ scores for people with learning difficulties. Current rules mean people must score less than 70 on an IQ test as well as fulfilling other criteria but Dr Whitaker claims IQ tests aren't reliable enough and that those missing out on a diagnosis are also missing out on access to services. Dr Theresa Joyce, consultant clinical psychologist and the person leading the British Psychological Society Review on how learning disabilities are diagnosed and assessed, tells Claudia Hammond that a range of scores is used before a diagnosis is reached. Producer: Fiona Hill.
13/11/1227m 32s

CBT for psychosis; US elections and mental health

First CBT Psychosis Trial in the Absence of MedicationAntipsychotic medication has long been seen as the first line of treatment for psychosis. In fact, prescriptions are increasing in the UK and around the world. But there's criticism that the effectiveness of these drugs has been over-estimated, and the serious side effects, underestimated.Now, in the first trial of its kind in the world, treating psychosis when people aren't taking antipsychotics using a talking therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT, is being measured in a randomised controlled trial.It is the first time since the 1970s that a psychological treatment, in the absence of medication, has been put to the test, and the results of this experiment have the potential to transform the treatment options for the many people who have diagnoses of schizophrenia and related disorders.The trial's being run jointly by Manchester University and Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust, and Tony Morrison, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Manchester, is leading the research along with colleagues in the North East of England.He tells Claudia Hammond that patients should be given more choice about the treatments they're offered instead of medication being the default option.Trial participants, Natalie and Steve, describe their experience of psychosis and the treatments that have helped them and the Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry, Peter Tyrer, puts the trial into context.US Elections and Mental HealthSixteen per cent of the American population don't have health care insurance and people with mental health problems are over-represented in this group. Daniel Carlat is Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts School of Medicine and he describes to Claudia how insurance companies are reluctant to fund mental health care.Producer: Fiona Hill.
06/11/1228m 18s


In the first of a new series, presenter Claudia Hammond reports on the latest developments in neuroscience, mental health and psychology. Anna Freud was the daughter of Sigmund Freud who pioneered child psychotherapy. She set up the Hampstead War nurseries during the Second World War, which became the Anna Freud Centre after her death in 1982. The Centre is now celebrating its 60th anniversary and Claudia investigates how it has changed and asks what the founder would think of its many new projects, including neuroscience and teenage brains. Claudia talks to the new Minister with responsibility for mental health, Norman Lamb. And Rebecca Shaumberg explains why she thinks guilt is a positive characteristic in a leader.
30/10/1227m 59s


Richard MabeyThe man described as "Britain's greatest living nature writer", Richard Mabey, talks to Claudia Hammond about "the lost years" of his depressive illness. The author of Food for Free, Flora Britannica and Nature Cure admits that a symptom of his clinical depression was that he lost his connection with the natural world.Allotment "Young at Heart"The Young at Heart Project in Barking and Dagenham works to improve the mental and physical health of socially isolated men by bringing them together for regular growing sessions down at the allotment.EcotherapyMental health professionals join Andy McGeeney in ancient woodland, Thorndon Park, in Essex, to learn about ecotherapy.Lisa on Horticultural TherapyAfter many years of illness, Lisa, a former mental health nurse, tells Claudia about the part making a garden played in her recovery."Green Therapy": the evidenceDr Rachel Bragg from the "Green Care Research Team" at the University of Essex describes the evidence behind nature-based therapies and argues they should be part of a "toolkit" of care for patients.Producer: Fiona Hill.
26/06/1228m 7s


The well respected mental health campaigner, Janey Antoniou, died in hospital in 2010 while detained under the Mental Health Act. Her husband, Dr Michael Antoniou, talks to Claudia Hammond about the circumstances of his wife's death and why he believes it's wrong that hospitals, when a patient dies, can investigate themselves.Also in the programme Claudia talks to psychologist, Sonja Lyubomirsky, about new research which shows that parents are happier than non-parents but surprisingly, the effect is greatest for men.Claudia visits Europe's largest club drug clinic, part of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, a year after it opened to find out about a growing use of so- called legal highs and the problems associated with legal and illegal club drug use. Producer: Pam Rutherford.
19/06/1228m 12s


StalkingIn an exclusive interview for All in the Mind, a woman who was harassed and threatened over four years by a female member of staff, calls for employers to take stalking in the workplace seriously. This former high-flying executive, who ran an organisation with thousands of staff with a multi million pound budget, tells Claudia Hammond about the death threats, abusive mails and harrassment that amounted to "four years of hell".How Infants Know MindsParents are always amazed by how much their babies seem to understand, but the traditional view of psychologists, studying child development, has been in conflict with this. Psychologists' "Theory of Mind", suggests that until a child is 2 or 3, it's impossible for them to understand certain things, because they don't have an idea of their own mind, and by extension, can't possibly have an idea of somebody else's.But Vasu Reddy, Professor of Developmental and Cultural Psychology at the University of Portsmouth, has, for twenty years, been challenging these assumptions, with research demonstrating that babies can tease, joke and even play with our expectations, long before they can speak. Sports Participation after Major Sporting EventsThis week the government launched their Games4Life campaign with the aim of inspiring the nation to get active during this year's summer of sport. But does watching big sporting events like the Olympics encourage people take part in more sport or even just to take a bit more exercise?Claudia talks to Ken Fox, Emeritus Professor of Exercise and Health Science at Bristol University, about the psychology behind what motivates us to exercise and whether one of the common assumptions about the legacy of the 2012 games of a sportier, healthier nation stands up to the evidence. Producer: Fiona Hill.
12/06/1227m 55s


Claudia Hammond talks to Jacopo Annese, director of the San Diego brain observatory about his mission to create what he calls 'a Hubble space telescope for the brain'. He is recruiting people who will be willing to donate their brains to his laboratory. By interviewing them regularly to record their detailed life histories and interests and by doing psychological tests he aims to provide a brain archive for neuroscientists in the future. But what sort of links can be established between brain anatomy and personality and what sort of people are willing to donate their brains to his lab? Producer: Pam Rutherford.
05/06/1228m 6s


At the 2000 Sydney Paralympics ten members of the Spanish basketball team were stripped of their gold for pretending to have a learning disability. For the first time since that scandal athletes with learning disabilities can compete again in this year's games. British psychologist, Professor Jan Burns is the Head of Eligibility for the International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability. She tells Claudia which sports and which athletes will be eligible. In 2007 the Harvard political scientist, Robert Putnam published a paper stating that ethnic diversity in a community is associated with more mistrust. His paper was influential with governments, both in the UK and the US. Claudia is joined by one of Britain's leading social psychologists, Professor Miles Hewstone from Oxford University, about his new research which finds Putnam's bleak conclusions about society are wrong. Clinical microbiologist, Graham Rook from University College London is hopeful that one day there might be a vaccination against depression. He's basing his ideas on two things: the finding that some people with depression are found to have higher levels of inflammation in the body and the idea that inflammation could be controlled by our exposure to contact with certain worms and bacteria - the so-called hygiene hypothesis. Professor Rook tells Claudia why he thinks with more research there could one day be a vaccine. The link between depression and inflammation in a proportion of people with depression is established, but is a vaccine for all really possible and would it be a useful avenue to explore for preventing the condition? Nick Craddock is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Cardiff and explains why he is critical of the idea. Producer: Pam Rutherford.
29/05/1227m 53s


Airport Scanners to help with Distorted Body ImagePeople with eating disorders often have a distorted view of their own bodies. Researchers at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen are now using 3-D body scanners to test whether giving this accurate feedback of body shape could help in the treatment of life-threatening illnesses like anorexia and bulimia.Chit-Lit, Neuro-Lit !Why neuroscience is taking a leading role in the modern novel. Claudia Hammond talks to science writer, Jonah Lehrer, and to academic psychologist and writer, Charles Fernyhough, about the emergence of brain science in literature and considers whether new understanding of the brain can enrich fiction in the same way that Darwinism or Psychoanalysis did. Teenagers' Brains and Social RejectionIt's long been known that adolescents are particularly vulnerable to being left out. They get hurt and feel the rejection very keenly. Research by Dr Catherine Sebastian at the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit at University College London suggests this response could be explained by the developing teenage brain. Producer: Fiona Hill.
22/05/1227m 57s

Money and Motivation; Street Therapy and Insanity Law

Money and Motivation: how do high pay and bonuses affect performance ?Barclays chief, Bob Diamond, was the first high profile company head to be caught up in the "shareholder spring", when investors criticised his multi-million pound pay and bonus package. The Aviva boss has resigned after his pay and bonus was criticised, similarly Sly Bailey of Trinity Mirror has also stood down. The opposition is based on the argument that there should be no payment for failure, but what is the evidence that payment for success is a primary motivation for top business leaders ? Dr Stian Reimers, a psychologist at the City University in London, discusses money and motivation and uncovers a complex picture of how bonuses and incentives affect performance.Taking mental health care into the community: "Street Therapy"Clinical Psychologist, Charlie Alcock, took months to get young gang members on a London estate to trust her. But after being spat at and having stones thrown at her head, she finally succeeded in making contact with this hardest of all hard-to-reach groups. Determined to make mental health services available to these young people - most of whom were involved in extreme anti-social behaviour - she and her team developed "street therapy", a new model of treatment moulded around the often chaotic lives of their clients. Claudia Hammond sees for herself "street therapy" in action, and talks to the former gang members who are now key members of MAC-UK, the charity delivering this new kind of "care in the community".Reforming the Law on InsanityIn 1843 a man called M'Naghten attempted to murder the British Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel. He got the wrong man, killing his secretary by mistake. Our current laws on insanity are rooted in that case, from nearly 200 years ago. Not surprisingly, pressure to reform "Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity" is growing and the Law Commission is due to consider updating and modernising the rules. Professor Ronnie Mackay from De Montfort University in Leicester discusses his research on how the plea of insanity has been used, in practice. While Dr Tony Maden, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and Imperial College, London and Dr Lisa Claydon, Associate Professor in Criminal Justice at the University of the West of England debate why and how the law should be changed.Producer: Fiona Hill.
15/05/1228m 0s


Claudia Hammond visits HMP Grendon, the only prison in Europe which operates wholly as a therapeutic community. More than nine out of ten prisoners at Grendon are serving indeterminate sentences for murder or serious violent offences. Inmates have to apply for a place and once approved undergo intensive group therapy three times a week for well over a year. Claudia talks to inmates, therapists and prison staff to find out how the prison operates and how its unique environment aims to reduce reoffending rates.
08/05/1227m 57s


In April next year changes to the way the NHS in England will make GP groups responsible for 65 billion pounds of health budgets. These groups will decide what services patients need for all clinical services including mental health. But are all GPs confident of their expertise in mental health to do this? And what safeguards are in place to ensure enough good quality mental health is delivered to everyone across the country? Claudia is joined by Paul Burstow, the government minister for Care Services, Claire Murdoch, chief executive of Central and North west London NHS Foundation Trust and Sophie Corlett, Director of external relations at the mental health charity, Mind to discuss the reforms and their impact on mental health. As many as one in five people go online to look for love but what is the psychological of online dating? Is there a right way to write a profile to maximise your chances of romance and do sites that offer to match you with suitable partners actually work? Claudia talks to Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern university who has recently published one of the largest reviews of what relationship science reveals about the means of finding love online.
01/05/1228m 15s

The Stress Special: The Results - Time for a Laugh - Disclosing Mental Health Histories

The BBC Stress test was launched in June with BBC Lab UK, with the aim of answering one of the big questions in mental health - what is the cause of mental illness ? More than 32,000 Radio 4 listeners took part, making this one of the largest studies of its kind in the world. The early results are in and Peter Kinderman, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Liverpool, tells Claudia Hammond what the findings reveal about the origins of mental health problems and the most effective coping strategies.Mental Health - Time for a Laugh? We all like a good laugh and there's plenty of evidence that it makes us feel better. But if somebody asked you to a night of comedy and sketches around mental health - if you were honest would your heart sink? Can mental illness ever be funny? Can we poke fun at the absurdities of serious conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or even - suicide? Or does a serious message automatically consign it to the unfunny bin? Claudia goes to see Cracking Up, a show that tackles the stigma around mental illness head on. She talks to the show's compere and writer, John Ryan, and the creator, health psychologist, Maya Twardzicki, about whether mental health can ever be funny.Disclosing your mental health history when you apply for a job: There's a lot of confusion about whether you should, or shouldn't reveal to a potential employer your history of mental illness. Employers too, aren't clear about what questions they can ask and when. Claudia asks the experts what the legal situation actually is. Ben Willmott, head of Public Policy for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Emma Mamo who oversees employment work for the mental health charity, MIND, answer listeners' questions on the subject.Producer: Fiona Hill.
20/12/1128m 15s

Taxi Drivers - Mental Illness and Work - Neuroscience and the Law

London Taxi drivers have to learn 25 000 streets and 20 000 landmarks to qualify and get the Knowledge. New research by Professor Eleanor Maguire from University College London has followed trainee taxi drivers over the years they learn the knowledge and found an area of their brains important for memory and navigation grows in response to learning. Does this mean all our brains have this plastic capacity? Should you disclose if you have any mental health problems to your employer? Listeners give their opinion and Seaneen Molloy, author of the Secret Life of a Manic depressive talks about her experiences of going back to work. The Royal Society publishes its latest Brain Waves report on Neuroscience and the Law. Claudia explores what the latest developments in neuroscience could mean for the legal process and asks what kind of new brain based information might be submissible as evidence in court? What are the ethical and legal issues raised by the possibility of predicting criminal behaviour? Could sentencing and probation decisions be influenced by a better knowledge of the brain basis for certain kinds of behaviours? Professor of psychology, Nick Mackintosh and Joanna Glynn, QC discuss what this means for our understanding of decision-making, notions of free will and responsibility and the law. Producer: Pam Rutherford.
13/12/1127m 50s

Bipolar Disorder - Complaints Choirs - Employment and Mental Illness

Zoe from South Wales spent twelve years with undiagnosed Bipolar Disorder. The personal cost to this mother of three was devastating, as, over the years, she was told she had Post Natal Depression and treated with anti-depressants. It's long been recognised that Bipolar Disorder could be both misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed and Dr Nick Stafford describes a new pilot project in Leicester to screen for the condition. Complaints Choirs have sprung up all around the world with members putting their moans and whinges to song. But Guy Winch, a clinical psychologist from New York and author of The Squeaky Wheel, believes that to complain successfully, we need to harness the latest psychological research on the subject. A government study showed just four in ten employers would hire somebody with a mental health problem. And that's despite the fact that the vast majority of unemployed people who experience mental illness want to work. Evidence shows too that working is an important part of recovery. A new scheme, called Individual Placement and Support, is unique in that employment advice and support is embedded within the Community Mental Health Team. Nicola Oliver, IPS Coordinator at the Centre for Mental Health says this approach is now used by almost half of NHS mental health trusts and Rachel describes how this support helped to find her dream job in fashion. Presented by Claudia Hammond.Producer: Fiona Hill.
06/12/1128m 14s

Anxiety - Fraud in Psychology - Earworms

In May this year All in the Mind featured an intriguing Dutch study which reported that when there's a lot of rubbish in the street we're more likely to stereotype other people. Earlier this year it was found that the co author, Diederik Stapel had made up the data. As well as fooling us, he fooled the journal Science. Now the three Dutch universities involved have published their interim report on the extent of his fraud. Claudia talks to Martin Keulemanns, Science Editor at the Dutch broadsheet, the Volkskrant to ask why Stapel was able to get away with it for so long and what questions does his case raise about the way psychological research is conducted. Also in the programme, Claudia reports on an innovative mentoring project in Manchester where people with social phobia, agoraphobia or other anxiety disorders are matched up with volunteer mentors who've been through, and are mostly recovered from their own experiences of anxiety. Claudia meets the mentors and mentees who meet once a week for six months and finds out how successful the scheme has been so far. That catchy tune in your head - or earworm - might help to uncover some of the workings of memory. Dr Vicky Williamson who lectures on Music, Mind & Brain at Goldsmiths University of London is studying hundreds of earworms to try to come up with strategies for banishing them. She also explains why her research could help get rid of more intrusive and troubling memories like those resulting from post-traumatic stress disorder.
29/11/1128m 16s

English Riots - Anchoring - Bullying

Riots started in Tottenham in London on August 6th this year and spread to 35 different locations across the Capital and towns and cities across England, including Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and Nottingham. Parliament was recalled and there was a rapidly growing consensus among politicians and the media, that the riots were the result of pure criminality. The riots were criminal, the rioters were criminals and their behaviour was motivated by criminality. A popular explanation for the cause came down to "mob mentality", that in the heat of the moment, individuals lose their identity and act emotionally and irrationally, with little sense of self. But three months after the riots, two psychologists of international reputation, Steve Reicher and Clifford Stott, both experts in crowd behaviour and crowd psychology, are challenging that interpretation in a new e-book, "Mad Mobs and Englishmen". They say that not only is the criminality consensus wrong, but it's also dangerous. Claudia speaks to Professor Reicher, about what their research uncovered. "Anchoring" and the Minimum Payments on Credit Cards: The British have the second highest use of credit cards in the world; only Americans make greater use of their flexible friends. And in the UK, our cards are loaded with debt. The minimum payment printed, by law, on the bottom of the monthly bill, is supposed to stop us getting into further debt by ensuring that we always pay off at least some of the balance every month. But new research by Professor Neil Stewart from the University of Warwick has discovered that the minimum payment could be having the opposite effect. Because of the impact of a well-established psychological effect called "anchoring", it appears that simply reading the suggested minimum payment makes us pay off less of the debt that we would otherwise have done. Counterintuitive ? Yes. Bullying and Borderline Personality Disorder: The links between childhood bullying and mental health problems in later life are well established, and new research suggests that the impact could also include increased rates of Borderline Personality Disorder. BPD is quite rare and little is known about its causes, but it's a condition which can feature emotional instability, impulsivity, paranoia and difficulties in relationships. In a huge study over time, 6000 children in all, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), researchers discovered that children who experienced long term or very severe bullying by their peers are seven times more likely to show symptoms of BPD at the age of 11. Producer: Fiona Hill.
22/11/1127m 16s

Daniel Kahneman - Conjoined Twins

Daniel KahnemanWidely regarded as the world's most influential living psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, reflects on his lifetime's research on why we make the "wrong" decisions. He won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his pioneering work with Amos Tversky on the irrational ways we make decisions about risk. He directly challenged traditional economic orthodoxy that we are rational, logical and selfish in the choices we make, laying the foundations for behavioural economics. And his research quantified how real people, rather than textbook examples, consistently make less than rational choices, prey to the quirks of human perception and intuition. Claudia Hammond talks to him about "anchoring" and "priming" and why he fears for the behaviour of people motivated by money. Conjoined Twins: Could conjoined twin girls, joined at the head have two brains but share a mind? One girl is pricked for a blood test, her sister cries. Or one watches TV, the other laughs at the images her sister sees. What does the connection of these young girls' brains reveal about the difference between brain and mind? Producers: Fiona Hill & Pam Rutherford.
15/11/1128m 10s

The "Nudge" to Good Behaviour

"Nudge" was the best-selling book that David Cameron famously ordered his shadow cabinet to read over their summer holidays. The previous Labour government had already shown some interest in the new science of behavioural economics, but as Prime Minister, Cameron put the ideas of University of Chicago behavioural economist, Richard Thaler, at the heart of his government, and set up the world's first Behavioural Insights Team, or "Nudge Unit". Based in the Cabinet Office and led by psychologist, David Halpern, this small team is chewing over ways to persuade us to make the "right" decisions about the way we live using a nudge, rather than a regulatory shove - but will it work ?Claudia Hammond talks to the Behavioural Insights Team about where they believe they can really make a difference and finds out whether the psychological research to date, justifies the belief that major policy challenges like the economy and public health, can be tackled using behavioural science. And Claudia hears from the critics, sceptical that evidence of individual behaviour change can be extrapolated to whole populations when it comes to the most serious problems in our society. Producer: Fiona Hill.
01/11/1128m 16s

Sleep - Hysteria

How can a good night's sleep improve your memory? Why does the answer to a crossword clue suddenly appear first thing in the morning after a night's rest? In this week's programme Claudia Hammond talks to psychologist, Kimberly Fenn about what happens in the brain when we sleep and why it can significantly improve our memory. Hysteria or conversion disorder is surprisingly, not confined to medical history. Nearly 1 in 5 patients seen by neurologists will have symptoms like paralysis, fits or loss of vision which can't be explained neurologically. Claudia talks to neurologist, Mark Edwards and psychiatrist, Richard Kanaan about the history of conversion disorder, how common it is today, the best way to treat it and its complex causes. Also in the programme, Claudia meets the carers getting involved in mental health research and why their input is making a a difference to research projects exploring mental health across the country.
25/10/1128m 13s

Romanian Orphanage Babies: 21 Years On

After the fall of Nicolai Ceausescu in Romania, news of how babies and children were treated in Romanian orphanages horrified the world. Images of infants, silent and malnourished, rocking in their cots, hosed down with cold water, prompted an outburst of collective outrage and thousands of would-be parents rushed to adopt. But little was known then, in 1990, about the long-term effects of such extreme, early deprivation: how would the babies and toddlers who had been denied basic human contact and care, adapt and recover when they were transfered to their new, loving and caring families?Twenty one years on, and scientists who have been tracking the progress of these children in the English and Romanian Adoptees study, have made some astonishing discoveries.Claudia Hammond talks to Professor Sir Michael Rutter and his team about this "unique and natural experiment", which enabled scientists to pinpoint, exactly, when severe deprivation ended and good parenting began. She discovers just how quickly these babies and toddlers caught up with their English peers and hears encouraging evidence about the capacity of human beings to recover from the most appalling early treatment.But she finds out too, that for some of these children, the sobering reality is that their impairments appear to be long-lasting. Cindy and Anthony Calvert from Northallerton in North Yorkshire describe bringing 18-month old Adi back from an orphanage in the north of Romania. She was dehydrated, with tiny, wrinkled, dry hands and a terror of flies. She flourished in her new home, but was so fearful of being thirsty, she would drink water whenever she could. And her early experience of being held under freezing cold water to wash her, she admits, has left her with a life-long fear of swimming. And Will Moult, now 21 years old, who's training to be a primary school teacher, tells Claudia about his early life in one of Romania's most notorious institutions, Orphanage Number One, in Bucharest. He knows he had very little human contact as a baby, until he was adopted and brought to London when he was 18 months old. Uncomforted and alone, he'd rubbed a bald patch on the back of his head from holding onto the bars of his cot. But now Will wants to write a book about his experiences in order to help other, adopted children. Both Adi and Will are both testament to the remarkable resilience shown by so many of the babies and toddlers who were adopted from these Romanian institutions. And it's finding out why children like these appear to have overcome the most traumatic of early years, while others continue to struggle, that makes the long-term ERA study so important. Producer: Fiona Hill.
11/10/1127m 55s

Antipsychotic Drugs - Breaking Habits - PTSD

People with severe mental disorders are at much greater risk of dying prematurely compared to the general population. How much are the drugs for some mental illnesses contributing to their risk of disease? Anti psychotic drugs can cause people to rapidly put weight on and increase the risk of developing conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Claudia talks to psychiatrist, Dr Alex Mitchell about whether psychiatrists are doing enough to monitor these potentially health threatening side effects in their patients and what needs to be done.Can bad eating habits be changed just by changing the hand you use to eat? New research on cinema going popcorn eaters has found that these kind of strategies could be a very effective way of disrupting the brain processes in habitual behaviour. Dr David Neal from the University of Southern California explains. Also in the programme marine, Jess Goodell talks about about her role in Mortuary Affairs in the US Marines. Her job was to recover the remains of soldiers in Iraq so they could be returned to the US. She talks about the psychological impact of retrieving bodies often in the aftermath of Improvised Explosive Devices. In her training she was told "PTSD is real - like 'flu." She discusses the reality of living with PTSD and how she dealt with the nightmares and depression on returning home to civilian life.
04/10/1128m 14s

Arson - Parenting Courses - Autism

What makes somebody become an arsonist ? Every week in England and Wales sixty five people are either killed or injured by somebody who has deliberately started a fire. But surprisingly little is known about the different kinds of arsonists, apart from the worrying fact that once they've shown an interest in fire, they then tend to carry on risking life and property by starting more. Claudia Hammond talks to one of the leading experts in the field, Dr Theresa Gannon from the University of Kent. Dr Gannon's research is aiming to fill the gaps in our knowledge about arsonists - mostly men - and from this develop the country's first treatment programme. All In The Mind is given unique access to the country's first peer to peer parenting group, designed to reduce long term mental health problems of children. Piloted in South London, 400 parents have already completed the course, and Dr Crispin Day from the Institute of Psychiatry, tells Claudia Hammond about the results of this unique new approach to early intervention and talks about the possibility of a national roll out. The brothers and sisters of people with autism show a similar pattern of brain activity to their siblings when they're looking at emotional facial expressions. Dr Michael Spencer from the University of Cambridge's Autism Research Centre, led the study, published today. He tells Claudia Hammond that his team have identified reduced activity in a part of the brain associated with empathy and argue it may be a 'biomarker' for a familial risk of autism.
12/07/1128m 7s

Gambling and Superstition - Gardening for Mental Health - Metaphors

New research from the only NHS funded clinic to treat pathological gamblers is the first of its kind to study the psychological profile of UK gamblers. Claudia finds out about the results of their new study into the links between impulsivity and irrational beliefs, superstition and ritual and why some people may go on to become problem gamblers while others don't. Dr Luke Clark from Cambridge University explains. Gardening for Mental Health: Clinical psychologist, Dr Victoria Winson works with older people in Barking and Dagenham in London and has set up a gardening group called Young At Heart. Claudia reports from their allotment and finds out how it helps older men with mental health difficulties. The Power of Metaphor: Now new research from the University of Stanford has found that something as simple as describing crime as a "beast" or a "virus" can change the way we think about crime and the solutions we suggest to tackle it. But if simple words can make such a difference, what implications does this have for the social policy decisions that affect us all? Assistant Professor of Psychology, Lera Boroditsky talks to Claudia about the power of metaphor to change what we think.
05/07/1128m 6s

Mental Health in Hong Kong

Nobody knows exactly how many people experience mental illness in Hong Kong, but as this former British colony undertakes its first-ever survey of mental health, it's widely believed that rates will match every other developed, industrialised country. And when that data comes in, as Claudia Hammond reports in a special All In The Mind from Hong Kong, the gaps in mental health care will be exposed. For years, the reality of mental illness in Hong Kong has remained hidden: a combination of shame, stigma and denial. Claudia hears from those who have experienced mental distress about the discrimination they suffer, and talks to mental health campaigners and professionals about the urgent need to expand and modernise the service to meet the soaring demand for mental health care.Producer: Fiona Hill.
28/06/1128m 11s

The Stress Special

What exactly is stress and how does it affect our mental health? In collaboration with BBC Lab UK, this week's All in the Mind is launching a pioneering online scientific experiment to test the nation's mental health and well being. Complete the test online and you can get personalised feedback about your own levels of stress, your coping strategies and tips on how to manage stress. Peter Kinderman, clinical psychologist at the University of Liverpool explains how the experiment will help us understand the causes of mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Also in the programme - Angela Clow from the University of Westminster unravels the way the physical effects of chronic stress can hijack the very sensitive workings of the brain to cause long term effects on our mental well being. Also in the programme Mark Williams from the University of Oxford offers practical tips on the techniques of mindfulness and he explains why changing your awareness of your body and surroundings has proven effects on tackling depression and anxiety and can ward off the possible effects of stress.
21/06/1128m 9s

Siblings with Mental Health Problems - Grief - Predicting the Future

Siblings with mental health problems - while parents often care for young people with mental health problems it can also raise issues for their siblings. They might have fears for their own mental health or worry about the change in their relationship to their brother or sister. How easy is it to share worries about your own mental health if you feel it's minor in comparison to your brother or sister? And what of the future and the responsibilities you may one day inherit from your parents. The mental health charity, Rethink has launched a new website where siblings can not only get information, but can also share experiences with one another. Lorraine and Olivia share their experiences with Claudia. Is there a way we all grieve? The five stages of grief - denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance were proposed more than forty years ago by the psychiatrist Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and are now taught across the world, But with little evidence that these stages are what people really experience when they are bereaved - how did they become so popular and what research has been done into the process of grief. Predicting the future - why expert forecasters aren't very good at it but we believe them anyway. Why did so many economists not foresee the financial crisis in 2008? But are experts in their field actually better at predicting future events? Psychologists have found experts are often as accurate as chance yet we consistently ask them to predict the future. Claudia is joined by author Dan Gardner and by psychologist Dylan Evans to discuss the reasons why expert predictions fail but why we are still attracted to those who predict confidently even if they end up being spectacularly wrong. Could it all be down to a human aversion to uncertainty?
14/06/1128m 12s

Compassion and Faith - Junk Food Adverts - Magicians

Compassion for our fellow human beings is something that's long been taught by different faiths and traditions. But could it be used as a tool within therapy to improve mental health? There's a growing interest in compassion-focussed therapy - both for other people and for oneself. It has its roots in the understanding of how the brain evolved. At the moment it is being used most often with people from neglectful or abusive backgrounds. Professor Paul Gilbert, who's the Director of the Mental Health Research Unit at Derbyshire Mental Health Trust and one of his patients - "Jo" - explain what's involved. Could a "junk food" adverts watershed help in the battle against childhood obesity? Since 2009 there's been a ban on adverts for junk food during children's TV programmes and on dedicated children's channels. But advertisements for high fat, salt or sugar foods are still allowed during programmes like soap operas - which families often watch together. At a conference in London this week - "Marketing to Children: Implications for Obesity", Dr Emma Boyland is calling for a 9pm watershed on such adverts to help reduce their influence on children. She explains the psychological responses of children to such advertising in her study in primary schools. Magicians persuade their audiences that their eyes are indeed deceiving them - when they dazzle with disappearing rabbits and great feats of memory. But can our knowledge of the brain teach a magician a thing or two? A husband and wife team of neuroscientists from the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona - Susanna Martinez Conde and Stephen Macknik - have written a book "Sleights of Mind", explaining how magicians can make the mind work against you.
07/06/1128m 12s

Teenage Relationships - Memory

This week: the exclusive results of new research on the emotional, physical and sexual violence happening in teenage relationships. Two years ago Christine Barter, the NSPCC Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, published a research on how teenage boyfriends and girlfriends treat one other. Nearly three quarters of girls and half of boys reported some form of emotional bullying by their partners, while one in three girls reported some form of sexual violence. This week she discusses exclusively on All in the Mind her new research which focuses on young people not in full-time education who weren't covered by the original study. Also in the programme, two young women who've been helped by the youth charity, Fairbridge to help overcome abuse by their ex-boyfriends discuss their experiences. Most of us forget much of what happens to us in everyday life - which is why lists, photographs, memos and reminders are an important part of life. A newly-discovered group of people have an extraordinary capacity to remember nearly everything that's ever happened to them, however trivial. Scientists at the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory at the University of California, Irvine have dubbed this skill "superior autobiographical memory". They are studying ten exceptional individuals who can recall nearly every experience, however minor, to work how come they don't - or can't - forget. Dr James McGaugh is leading the team and explains why he thinks this could change the whole way we think about memory.
31/05/1128m 14s

Racism - Defeat - Comic Strips

Can mess encourage racism? New research by Dutch researchers has found that in a messy and disordered environments people think more in stereotypes and even racist thinking. Claudia Hammond speaks to Professor Siegwart Lindenberg, a social scientist at Tilburg University in Holland, who also explains how the experiment examined unconscious negative responses to race too. In a messy railway station, people sat on average further from a black person than a white one, whereas in the clean station there was no statistical difference. What implications does this research have for social policy and keeping areas prone to racial violence tidy? Sport and one man's win is another's despair. How we bounce back from defeat is a matter of huge psychological debate. Claudia speaks to Dr Tim Rees from Exeter University who has co-authored a recent paper examining the influence of different feedback on improving performance. The research (in which the participants played darts, blindfolded) found that when positive feedback to failure put the emphasis on change being within your control, there was significant improvement in performance. From psychiatric ward to Psychiatric Tales. Darryl Cunningham's interest in mental health because of his own problems, led him to work in that field too. Although he found he was not quite cut out for such a stressful job, he tells Claudia how he's turned a diary from that time into a published book of comic strips.
24/05/1128m 7s

Earthquake Trauma Treatment - Placebo Power - Facial Mimicry

Thousands of people across the world who survive devastating earthquakes are living with the trauma of the disaster compounded by the experiences of aftershocks. Claudia Hammond talks to Metin Basoglu, a psychiatrist who has developed a method of mass psychological treatment for survivors of disasters like these, based on his research with over 10,000 people who lived through the Turkish earthquake of 1999. Could a single session of this kind of therapy really make a difference? How strong is the placebo effect? Can sugar pills make you feel better even when you know that's exactly what they are? Claudia talks to Ted Kaptchuk from Harvard University about his findings that for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, knowingly taking a placebo pill twice a day improved their symptoms. But is it the placebo or the ritual that surrounds taking it?Professor Irene Tracey, pain researcher at Oxford University, says the power of placebo is all about manipulating expectation of the person taking it. She believes this research still required deception. Her research on pain and the brain had led her to suggest that rather than using placebo, changing people's expectations of active drugs could be medically beneficial. Also - why to read someone else's emotion your own face needs to minutely mimic their facial expressions. When the brain gets feedback from the face it gets information on what that person is feeling. And why Botox, which paralyses those muscles reduces the ability to understand emotion.
17/05/1128m 7s

Ostracism - Anorexia

Why is being ostracised a painful experience? This is one of the questions Professor Kip Williams explores in experiments in his psychology lab at Purdue University, along with measuring aggressive behaviour which ostracism can stir up in someone given the silent treatment. He tells Claudia Hammond that the tools of his trade include a computer game called Cyberball and bottles of hot chilli sauce. An 'All in the Mind' listener describes her state of mind when she attempted suicide several years ago. She contacted the show after last week's item on bereavement by suicide. She says she was not able to think rationally about the consequences of her actions on her family.Claudia talks to people involved in a coaching scheme called Expert Carers Helping Others for the parents of people with anorexia. Looking after someone with the eating disorder can be extremely stressful and family emotional turmoil can make the anorexic person's symptoms even worse. To combat this, Professor Janet Treasure of the Maudsley Hospital set up a national skills coaching course where experienced carers of people with anorexia train other parents on how best to help their daughters or sons recover from their eating disorder. If listeners are interested in joining the ECHO scheme, we advise them to approach the unit where the person with anorexia is being treated to see if that unit is taking part in the project.
10/05/1128m 8s

Personal Space - Suicide and Bereavement - Reporting Neuroscience

New research conducted by Matthew Longo at the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck, University of London has found that feelings of claustrophobia could be related to our sense of personal space. And it could be determined by the length of our arms.Suicide and Bereavement: On average there is one death from suicide in the UK every 90 minutes. This means of course that a higher number than this find themselves bereaved in the most shocking of circumstances. It is such a unique kind of death that people can find themselves grieving alone and isolated. This month a new support group is starting, run by the Samaritans in conjunction with Cruse Bereavement Care. The idea is to bring together their expertise in bereavement with the Samaritans' experience of issues surrounding suicide. The project is initially being launched in London and for more information e-mail or call 020-7439-1406.Reporting Neuroscience: Hardly a day goes by without a headline suggesting an area in the brain will light up if we eat chocolate or meet someone we like. But are we reading too much into this kind of research? Diane Beck, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, feels some of results are over-simplified by researchers and journalists, and tell us much less about ourselves than we might like to think.
03/05/1128m 7s

Professor James Fallon's Self-Discovery - Mirror-Pain - Spring

Professor James Fallon tells Claudia Hammond his tale of self-discovery: a story with some dark and disturbing turns involving psychopaths and brain scans, family skeletons, some very personal genetic revelations and the power of parental love.Two people who experience mirror-pain and mirror-touch synaesthesia explain what it's like to see someone being hurt and feeling the sensation of pain or touch in the same place themselves. Michael Banissy, a neuropsychologist at University College, London talks about his research on this strange phenomenon. He looked at what's happening in the brains of these people and discovered that they are also extra-empathetic emotionally.With spring in full blossom and summer on the way, Claudia talks to Harvard psychiatrist John Sharp about the sometimes profound impact of the passing months and changing seasons on our emotional lives. He began to notice seasonal changes in his patients and that inspired him to survey research on how the time of year influences state of mind. The result was his book 'The Emotional Calendar'.
26/04/1128m 13s