What makes a psychopath? Why are some people more empathetic to others? How does mindfulness change the brain? Are parasites controlling our minds? Are infections a significant cause of mental illness in humans?
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The week’s contributors:
Dr. Robert Hare is a Canadian psychologist and researcher, who was the first to suggest that psychopaths’ brains might be ‘wired differently. He is the author of several bestselling books about psychopaths including ‘Snakes in Suits‘ which described how psychopaths operate in the corporate world. For more information on Dr Hare visit http://www.hare.org/welcome/
Prof. Christian Keyers is a Dutch scientist and part of the group of researchers that discovered ‘mirror neurons’ in the brain. These neurons are active when we are subconsciously imitating the actions of other people or their patterns of speech. Christian wrote a book, ‘The Empathic Brain‘ which provides a scientific explanation for empathy. For more information on Prof Keysers visit: http://www.empathicbrain.com/
Donna Andersen is an entrepreneur, author and owner of the website http://www.lovefraud.com Donna set up this website after a disastrous two-year marriage. She has also written two books, ‘Love Fraud‘ and ‘Red Flags of Love Fraud‘ to provide useful information for people who are in, or who have been in, damaging relationships with psychopaths/sociopaths.
Dr Dusana Dorjee is a neuroscientist based at the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Her research investigates the links between mindfulness and mental well-being. She is particularly interested in mindfulness as it impacts on the mental health in children and adolescents. For more information about Dr Dorjee visit: http://www.mindfulbrain.bangor.ac.uk
Joanne O’Malley is a mindfulness facilitator trained by the Centre of Mindfulness Research and Practice, at Bangor University. The recording used some background sounds from a class given by Joanne O’Malley, of ‘Mindfulness at Work’ now known as ‘Mindfulness and Compassion’. She offers Mindfulness Courses and Training in Dublin. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.mindfulnessandcompassion.ie
Carl Zimmer is a world-class science writer and columnist with The New York Times, where his column, ‘Matter’, appears each Thursday. In his books, essays, articles and blog posts, Carl reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. He is a popular speaker at universities, medical schools, museums and festivals, and he is also a regular guest on popular US radio shows such as This American Life. He is the author of several books, including ‘Parasite Rex’. To find out more about Carl and his work visit his blog at http://carlzimmer.com/
Dr Jaroslav Flegr is a Professor of Biology at Charles University in Prague. He is a parasitologist, evolutionary biologist, and the author of the book ‘Frozen Evolution’. Dr Flegr work on the influence of toxoplasmosis infection on personality, sex ratios, and risks of traffic accidents, has received substantial media attention, with his work on road accidents being particularly prominent. He has claimed that Toxoplasma gondii infection might increase the number of road accidents by as much as one million crashes worldwide per year. For more information on Jaroslav’s work visit http://web.natur.cuni.cz/flegr/index.php
Dr. E. Fuller Torrey is a renowned research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depressive illness). He is a founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and executive director of the Stanley Medical Research Institute, which supports research on schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He is also a Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.He has also carried out research in Ireland and Papua New Guinea. For more on Dr Torrey and his research visit http://www.treatmentadvocacycentre.org/about-us/dr-e-fuller-torrey
Professor Joanne Webster is a scientist at the Imperial College London. After gaining a double First class B.Sc. hons, she did a D.Phil at the University of Oxford where she examined the epidemiology of zoonotic disease within the UK. Her doctoral research developed a new line of research on the impact of Toxoplasma gondii on host behaviour and is association with chronic disease. For more on Prof. Webster visit http://bit.ly/1l3KyNa