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All in the Mind
Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Wednesday 16:30-17:00 (rpt)
Exploring the limits and potential of the mind
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This week
Tuesday 25 July 2006
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Claudia Hammond examines the everyday psychological challenges we face and delves deeper into how our brains work. 
Programme details
Aversion Therapy
The word homosexuality started to be used at the end of the nineteenth century. It originally described a kind of sexuality - but it then came to be seen as a psychological condition, worthy of treatment. Laboratory experiments had shown that animal behaviour could be moulded - using reward and punishment. And in the 1950s psychiatrists started to apply the same techniques to people - using so-called aversion therapy.
Following appeals for people who experienced aversion therapy to come forward, researchers interviewed 29 men and two women. They've now published their findings in the British Medical Journal. Claudia Hammond talks to Pete Price, from Liverpool , who underwent a course of Aversion therapy back in the 1960s to 'cure' his homosexuality. Michael King, Professor of Primary Care Psychiatry at University College London explains the thinking behind aversion therapy for homosexuality, and how it is still used today in some developing countries.

Sweet Dreams
Two thirds of our dreams make us feel anxious or contain some sort of threat. Researchers have found that this often involves being chased by a male stranger or a wild animal. There may be an evolutionary value to nightmares according to Antti Revonsuo from the University of Turku in Finland . He says that in our hunter-gatherer past, they helped us to rehearse stressful and life-threatening situations.
Sweeter dreams are the goal of researchers from the University of the West of England. Claudia Hammond is one of the first guinea pigs to use a prototype device, the Dream Director , which Chris Alford hopes will influence a sleeper's dreams. Pleasant sounds like children playing on a beach and bees buzzing in the summer sunshine are played during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is when the subject dreams the most. The depth of sleep is monitored by electrodes attached to a laptop. Once they're awake they're asked about the content of their dreams.

Men, women and anger at different ages
Do grumpy old men really exist? Or is the idea that men - and some women - get more curmudgeonly as the years advance, just a myth? Mark Coulson from Middlesex University , who has studied how often people get angry, explains how the stereotype is unfair - and that most of us mellow with age.
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