Professor James Fallon's Self-Discovery - Mirror-Pain - Spring
Professor James Fallon tells Claudia Hammond his tale of self-discovery: a story with some dark and disturbing turns involving psychopaths and brain scans, family skeletons, some very personal genetic revelations and the power of parental love.
Two people who experience mirror-pain and mirror-touch synaesthesia explain what it's like to see someone being hurt and feeling the sensation of pain or touch in the same place themselves. Michael Banissy, a neuropsychologist at University College, London talks about his research on this strange phenomenon. He looked at what's happening in the brains of these people and discovered that they are also extra-empathetic emotionally.
With spring in full blossom and summer on the way, Claudia talks to Harvard psychiatrist John Sharp about the sometimes profound impact of the passing months and changing seasons on our emotional lives. He began to notice seasonal changes in his patients and that inspired him to survey research on how the time of year influences state of mind. The result was his book 'The Emotional Calendar'.