To the Best of Our Knowledge: Brainstorm

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In this hour, autism's a tricky diagnosis. And its causes - and increasingly frequent diagnosis - are also mysterious. In this interview, Harvard Medical School neurologist Martha Herbert talks with Anne Strainchamps about unpacking autism. She advocates a whole-body approach, which looks at environmental toxins, vitamin deficiencies and immune problems.

Next, a few years ago, the marriage of David and Kristen Finch was falling apart. They barely spoke anymore. And then Kristen asked David to take a test - a quiz with 153 questions that led to a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome. The diagnosis changed their lives. They talk about how the recognition of Aspergers changed how they relate to each other.

Then, forty years ago, Richie Davidson was a Harvard grad student who dreamed of studying the emotional life of the brain. His professors told him he this was a bad idea. They said emotions had nothing to do with how the mind thinks. Well, times have changed, and Davidson is famous for his pioneering research on the neuroscience of emotion and mindfulness. Here, he tells Steve Paulson about decoding our emotional states.

What happens in your brain when you dance? It turns out neuroscientists have been investigating the question, and it would seem that we're born to dance. Frank Browning talks with scientists and choreographers about the "dancing brain."

Finally, Neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran is renowned for his ability to crack strange neurological mysteries, from patients who think they're dead to people with phantom limb syndrome. His work has not only helped cure his patients; it's also led to new insights into our neural pathways. He tells Steve Paulson about the science behind phantom limb syndrome and his ingenious treatment for it. [Broadcast Date: April 18, 2012]

Arts & Entertainment
hr min
17 November
Wisconsin Public Radio (To the Best of Our Knowledge)