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OU on the BBC: All in the Mind - How beliefs influence our perception and memory

Updated Friday, 19th December 2014

This week's programme looks at the way or beliefs influence what we see and what we remember. 

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In the BBC's All in the Mind, Claudia Hammond and guests delve deeper into the potential and limits of the human mind.

Here at the Open University, we've collated a great range of FREE resources - from podcasts to mini courses - on the subjects discussed in the episode. Find out more about the themes raised in the menu by going to our selection of content. 

On this week's programme: 

hypnosis shown with a watch Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Flynt | Chris French, Professor of Psychology and head of the Anomalistic Research Unit at Goldsmiths, Uni of London is Claudia Hammond's discusses the themes throughout the programme. Chris French talks about his latest study involving a fake psychic, a spoon bending trick and the power of suggestion.

The show is also joined by Dr Peter Naish, past president of the Section for Hypnosis and Psychosomatic Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine, talks about how scientific attitudes to hypnosis have changed and outlines current clinical use and why hypnosis is useful for helping us to understand the human brain. As hypnosis is now viewed as a science, the team records from the Hypnosis Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry. Here professionals are hypnotising volunteers, putting them in a brain scanner and getting them to do "automatic writing" (when it's suggested to them that an outside agent is controlling their thoughts and their actions). The results shine a light on what happens in the brain during psychosis AND when individuals believe they have other revelatory experiences.

This edition of All in the Mind is first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday 23rd December 2014. For further details, and to listen online where available, please visit the BBC website.

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Find out more about hypnosis and psychology




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