THis should be psychology really but we lack a slot for that.

In the special anniversary programme of All in the Mind radio 4 UK, Claudia Hammond looks at developments in neuroscience and how our understanding of the brain has changed. The main theme has been that they now feel that the brain is more plastic later so that adult training is more viable than earlier thought. The all too common idea in the 1930s but still popular in 1970 that no one does any thinking after 30 that Keynes expressed in his 1936 book seems to be as false as the economic theories that he put in that book.

In 1988 scientists predicted that new techniques of scanning the brain that they thought would lead to exciting innovative treatments for diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Researchers were enthusiastic about the possibilities of seeing what went on in the brain. Many had high hopes that this would even help us understand how and why, in many cases, merely imaginary mental health problems develop, that Szasz was most likely right were only merely moral problems anyway.

The programme asked how much progress has been made?

Professor Irene Tracey, Director of the Oxford Centre for functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, and Professor Sophie Scott, from the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, discuss with Claudia Hammond the major advances in this fast growing field. They also take a sceptical look and ask whether with highly ambitious big brain studies the science is still promising more than it delivers.