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OU on the BBC: BBC Inside Science – Neuroscience, paralysis, genes and pubs

Updated Thursday 27th February 2014

This week Adam Rutherford heads down to the psychology department at London's South Bank University… for a pint.

In BBC Inside Science, Adam Rutherford and guests illuminate the mysteries and challenge the controversies behind the science that's changing our world.

On this week's programme:

Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, is one of the world's leading researchers into using the mind to control machines. One of his aims is to build a suit that a quadriplegic person can wear and control so that he or she can kick a football at the opening of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Work published last week by Professor Ziv Williams looks at the possibility of rewiring the body. Paralysis is normally confined to spinal cord damage, not the limbs themselves. Ziv Williams’ work aims to use implanted chips to bypass the injury and have the individual control their own paralysed limb.

Listeners ask if there is a gene for fundamentalist intolerance. We put the question to Professor Tim Spector, author of Identically Different.

Adam Rutherford heads down to the psychology department at London's South Bank University… for a pint. Dr Tony Moss has built a fake pub, complete with lighting, music and even a fruit machine, to make drinkers feel that they are in a real bar. He says the venue treads a middle ground between a sterile lab, and an actual pub, where there are too many variables to reliably study behaviour.

Professor John Shepherd from Cardiff studies alcohol and behaviour from the other end – the drunken nights out that end up in A&E. A few simple initiatives have helped reduce violence levels by 40%.

Listen to Inside Science

Tune in to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday 27 February at 16:30 to listen to this week's programme. More information and a link to listen again later will be available from the BBC's Inside Science pages.

 

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