The Pulse – February 28, 2014

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    We often think of trauma as the result of a singular negative experience, but many, who spend their entire lives in environments plagued by stressors like crime and ill health, suffer similar debilitating effects. We take a look into the community trying to find solutions for a systemic problem that many poor people have no escape from.

    There’s no doubting that we take our sense of smell for granted. Not only is it one of our most primal early warning systems for danger, but it’s also the key component of taste and its linked profoundly to our long-term memory. On this week’s show, we talk with a woman who lost her sense of smell, and we check in on some research aimed at helping those who’ve lost the ability to sniff out danger and pleasure get it back.

    Few diseases are as terrifying to contemplate living with as schizophrenia, but a school of thought has emerged promoting the idea of recovering from what was once considered a life sentence. We talk to Dr. Fred Frese, a once committed schizophrenic who has not just reclaimed his life but gone on to help others suffering similarly, and Dr. Kim Mueser an expert who sees the challenges of many schizophrenics as surmountable.

    People with autism will sometimes replay stories in their heads, over and over and over, warping and morphing it into something new. A Norristown, Pa. theater company is teaching adults with autism to transform those stories into plays. We check in on one of the theater’s classes. 

    Also on this week’s show: biorhythmic music we make with electrical pulses in our skin, the explanation as to why we slip on icy sidewalks, and the science of chicken butts. What’s up? Chicken butt. All that and more this week on The Pulse.

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