Are we hard-wired to believe in God? Why does fire fascinate children? Those are the types of questions addressed on the public radio series "The Infinite Mind." Senior executive producer Bill Lichtenstein, who founded the show in 1997, said he traces much of his fascination with the science of the brain and human behavior to his treatment for bipolar disorder, which began around 1986. He uses medication and therapy to manage the condition, he said.
After his diagnosis, Lichtenstein said, he recognized a need for more public information on mental health and other psychosocial issues: the show, he said, "starts with the science of the mind, and then it goes out from there." Hosted by renowned psychiatrist and author Peter Kramer, the program airs Sundays in Washington at 11 p.m. on WAMU, 88.5 FM.
When it's not inviting wonder, the show shares practical advice. Recently, author Joyce Carol Oates told listeners how she wards off writer's block: "I do a lot of my work in my head while I'm running or walking. . . . I try to envision it so that when I go to actually write, I'm . . . remembering rather than inventing," she said.
This Sunday's show is called "Food and Mood." In one segment, Joseph Hibbeln, senior clinical investigator at the National Institutes of Health, discusses study findings that suggest vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids may have a calming effect on prisoners. Other upcoming shows will cover such topics as lupus and mental illness.
For archived shows, see www.theinfinitemind.com. Listeners can discuss shows by clicking on "Tell Your Story!" To find a broadcast in your area, see www.lcmedia.com/stations.htm.
-- Samantha Sordyl