Episodes
While presenter Lynne Malcolm takes a short break, the program will be presented by Sana Qadar—looking forward to your continued company for 2020.
Published 02/03/20
We used to believe that babies and young children had irrational and naive thinking skills. Developments in psychology and neuroscience now reveal that infants are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and have a different consciousness to adults. Children’s exploratory and creative style of thinking may even inform improved AI design.
Published 02/02/20
Questions about whether we are masters of our own destiny and if we really have free will have puzzled philosophers and scientists for many years. Now neuroscience is challenging much of what we thought we knew about ourselves—from how much our pre-birth experience affects our later lives, to how we make decisions and form our own reality.
Published 01/26/20
When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly. This program was first broadcast in June 2019.
Published 01/19/20
Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness. Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language This program was first broadcast in July 2019
Published 01/12/20
Would you be comfortable with a Huntsman spider crawling on your arm, or a python slithering over your shoulder? Not many of us would, but when this discomfort causes you so much anxiety that it interferes with your daily life – it’s become a phobia. Many people never seek help for them, but treatment can be effective. Whether it’s a fear of birds, dogs, heights, or having injections, exposure and virtual reality can assist.
Published 01/05/20
Smart people are not only just as prone to making mistakes as everyone else—they may even be more susceptible to them. This idea has been dubbed the Intelligence Trap. It explains the flaws in our understanding of intelligence and expertise, and how the decisions of even the brightest minds and talented organisations can backfire.
Published 12/29/19
The connection between our minds and bodies determines our health and well-being, and the rate at which our cells age and die can be influenced by lifestyle choices. We hear about keeping our genes in good order by protecting our telomeres—a buffer zone at each end of our chromosomes. We'll also hear about a mindfulness-based intervention which could really help millions of extremely traumatised displaced people around the world. This program was first broadcast in August 2019
Published 12/22/19
Dementia affects around 450,000 Australians, and it comes in hundreds of forms. New research reveals that one form of dementia takes away the ability to daydream, and this has implications for improved care. Sleep disruption in middle age also emerges as another risk factor. And we hear how, after diagnosis, one person found a meaningful role in breaking down the stigma of dementia.
Published 12/15/19
Music deeply affects us emotionally, and individually—and now we know that our relationship with music provides a unique opportunity to gain further insight into the workings of the brain itself. We discuss the latest in music research with one of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of Music and the Brain. Hear about why we may prefer particular types of music, how being a musician can change the brain over time, and what happens to our musicality as we age. 
Published 12/08/19
There’s more and more scientific evidence that climate change is having a major impact on our planet. Recently more than 11,000 scientists across the world declared a climate emergency, and many of us are experiencing grief, anxiety and powerlessness about the future. We discuss the connection between climate change and mental health, and the strategies we need to maintain hope and take action.
Published 12/01/19
What we see, hear, and feel as a child affects us later in life—and our brain is changed by childhood traumas. A leading Canadian psychiatrist is working to understand how childhood harm can impair brain development and affect mental health, in the hope of effective treatment. And we hear about an intervention which can improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children.
Published 11/24/19
Even when it gets the go-ahead, research on sex and the brain is still highly stigmatised—yet there is still so much to learn. Sometimes a brain injury or disease causes hypersexuality, or a change of sexual preference; orgasm can cause a brain aneurysm to rupture, and the latter becomes more likely if it’s sex with someone other than your usual partner.
Published 11/17/19
The trauma of war and displacement has a negative impact on the mental health of hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world. Australian researchers recently travelled to a large refugee camp in Bangladesh* where around 500,000 Rohingya people are living. The researchers found that sports and exercise programs make a huge difference to these refugees' physical and mental health, and to their well-being. *There are around 900,000 Rohingya refugees now living in Bangladesh
Published 11/10/19
In English there's no single word to describe an anxiety about how much aeroplane flight is damaging our environment. But in Swedish the word for this anxiety is 'fluxtom'. And perhaps, having a word for this specific emotion may change the way we think about it  Come on our tour of culture and language to explore some strange destinations and untranslatable emotions.
Published 11/03/19
In English there's no single word to describe an anxiety about how much aeroplane flight is damaging our environment. But in Swedish the word for this anxiety is 'flygskam'. And perhaps, having a word for this specific emotion may change the way we think about it  Come on our tour of culture and language to explore some strange destinations and untranslatable emotions.
Published 11/03/19
Our guest, Rhonda Macken, tells her remarkable story—a testament to the power of human creativity and resilience in the face of unimaginable childhood trauma. Rhonda created a complex jigsaw of multiple personalities as protection against her harsh reality. Now in her 70s, and after years of intense psychotherapy, she's fully integrated and enjoying the love of her family.
Published 10/27/19
Is an enlightened planet possible? Co-writers of a new film and book called The Portal say it is—through the power of collective meditation. They share personal stories of inspiring individuals who have come through adversity by reflecting inwards, using meditation.  Hope for humankind may lie in the cumulative effect of individual meditation and whether mindfulness can promote empathy.
Published 10/20/19
The Big Anxiety festival uses the arts and lived experience to re-imagine mental health. Through creativity and innovative technology, empathy replaces fear and stigma. Virtual reality worlds open up to an optimistic future and offer insight from ancient indigenous stories.
Published 10/13/19
Gabby was on an emotional roller-coaster, feeling empty and needy. After lashing out in anger, she’d regret it and say sorry over and over again. Her partner, Eliza, felt like she was walking on eggshells, always fearful of arousing Gabby’s intense emotions. Gabby was diagnosed with the highly stigmatised Borderline Personality Disorder. They share their journey together to a calmer and happier life.
Published 10/06/19
When Tim was 11 years old he created his own superhero. Laser Beak Man now appears in colourful artworks showing Tim’s unique sense of humour connected to his literal understanding of language. And when Oakley was 5 years old he drew a pirate, inspiring his mother to write a kids’ book to raise understanding about autism and difference.
Published 09/29/19
Meet an Australian philosopher and cultural analyst who spent 20 years of his life addicted to just about every drug you could imagine. His best work was done when he was enveloped in haze of cannabis smoke, he prowled local pharmacies to score large doses of codeine, and drank until he lost consciousness. Amazingly he lives to eloquently share his insights into the thought processes of an addict.
Published 09/22/19
Anxiety is an essential human emotion—it kicks in to protect us from threats—but sometimes those threats are only perceived. When worries start to become overwhelming, approximately 25 per cent of us experience clinical anxiety. But it is highly treatable. A ten-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man share their anxious thoughts and their strategies to manage them. 
Published 09/15/19
Anxiety is an essential human emotion—it kicks in to protect us from threats—but sometimes those threats are only perceived. When worries start to become overwhelming, approximately 25 per cent of us experience clinical anxiety. But it is highly treatable. A ten-year-old girl and a 30-year-old man share their anxious thoughts and their strategies to manage them. 
Published 09/15/19
The art of talking and listening in therapy can be powerful and transformative. The talking cure has changed since Freudian psychoanalysis, but evidence is building that the therapeutic relationship can have deep and lasting benefits. Two leading psychotherapists reveal the common dynamics that can interrupt our sense of well-being, through characters based on real-life case studies.
Published 09/08/19