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All In The Mind

All In The Mind is ABC RN's weekly podcast looking into the mental universe, the mind, brain and behaviour — everything from addiction to artificial intelligence.

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Forget dad bod ... what about dad brain?

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


11 Sep 2021

Rank #1

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COVID and the brain

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


4 Sep 2021

Rank #2

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Electroconvulsive therapy — they still do that?

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


28 Aug 2021

Rank #3

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Neuromarketing — how brands target your brain

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


21 Aug 2021

Rank #4

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The 'benevolent' brand of sexism

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


14 Aug 2021

Rank #5

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The 'hidden histories' of autistic adults

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


7 Aug 2021

Rank #6

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Hacking humans: social engineering and the power of influence

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


31 Jul 2021

Rank #7

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Delirium in the ICU

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


24 Jul 2021

Rank #8

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Why being a beginner is good for you

Tom Vanderbilt didn’t know how to play chess.That fact had never bothered him – until his four-year-old daughter decided she wanted to have a go.Within a couple of months, they’d recruited a teacher and both Tom and his daughter combo were battling it out over 64 squares.Tom found the experience of being an adult beginner so challenging and interesting he thought he'd give it a proper go - with a range of different skills and hobbies.Over the next year he embarked on learning multiple new skills, from surfing to singing.On All in the Mind this week, we hear what Tom learnt from his journey, the benefits of lifelong learning, and how kids and adults learn differently.


17 Jul 2021

Rank #9

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On becoming a mother in a pandemic

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


10 Jul 2021

Rank #10