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
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
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.
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.
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.