Post Of The Week – Thursday 27th June 2019

1) Chris Packham: Asperger’s And Me

This programme was originally broadcast in 2017 and is back on iPlayer for the next three weeks. It deals not only with the symptoms of autism but asks broader questions about abnormality and cure.


2) All In The Mind

This has been a fine series. It looks like the last one was this week. The episode about dementia and sleep got me thinking about the work we will do in September on biological rhythms. The item on body image got me thinking about the work on eating disorders we do round about Christmas. Dip in and enjoy.


3) Aphasia

Here’s a brief video about aphasia, including a possible treatment. We look at aphasia while studying localisation and function in Year 2 Biopsychology. Treatment is being developed and extended, in part because we now have a better understanding of the plasticity of the brain.


4) A Couple On Eyewitness Testimony

This piece looks at why people confess to crimes, using some ideas from Milgram’s research. This piece challenges some of the ideas put out by Elizabeth Loftus and others about the reliability of memory. It suggests that we should have confidence in people’s confidence about their own memories. It also suggests that people understand better than Loftus and others make out that memory does not work like a video recorder.


5) How Your Looks Shape Your Personality

Here’s a piece from Christian Jarrett on the BBC.


6) Poverty And Mental Health

This piece is written by Felicity Thomas from the University Of Exeter. It asks important questions about how we see anxiety and depression as a medical problem when we ought to be looking at social environment and poverty. For me, that links to the work we do on explanations of depression. Depression is not therefore a disorder of thought but a disorder of society. It also links to definitions of abnormality. If someone fails to function adequately, that might be a question not of psychological abnormality but of intolerable strain brought on by poverty. Again, the problem does not lie within the individual. You can see more about the Destress Project based in Exeter here. There’s a link to a Radio 4 piece which visits Barne Barton.


7) Family Therapy

I referred to this in a post last month but forgot the link. Here it is again.


8) The National Problem Gambling Clinic

This will open later this year, targeting people aged 13 to 25. Here’s a BBC piece about gambling addiction. Here is another part of the BBC coverage. Here is the official announcement. In connection with this, here is a piece about the effectiveness of therapy for young people.


9) Can Gut Bacteria Cause Autism?

We have had data coming in this week. I worry a bit about whether in the confines of a lesson we analyse it correctly. Here’s a piece by Jon Brock which takes apart piece by piece a recent piece of research into the causes of autism. You have to be patient but the conclusion is a powerful reminder of what can go wrong.

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