April is Autism Awareness Month, and Vicki’s first guest today is pioneering developmental neurobiologist, Paul Patterson, whose research shows how brain-immune communications are involved in autism, schizophrenia, and depression. Later, Vicki speaks with the producer of Robert H. Lieberman’s award-winning documentary film, presenting a candid and unprecedented journey into Myanmar and its people.

In Infectious Behavior, developmental neurobiologist Paul Patterson examines and explains how the immune system influences behavior, and how it is regulated by the brain, and how this effects different states of mental illness including autism, stress, and depression. While genetic approaches to these diseases garner the lion’s share of publicity and funding, scientists are uncovering evidence of the importance between the brain and the immune system. Patterson is a professor of biological sciences at the California Institute of Technology and a research professor of neurological surgery at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

“You will be unable to stop caring about Burma after this movie.” -Ambassador Ken Brill. That statement sums up the impact that They Call It Myanmar: Lifting The Curtain has had on audiences worldwide. At one point in time Burma was one of the most prosperous and advanced countries in Southeast Asia, but the iron grip of the current military regime has reduced it to one of the world’s poorest. Filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman risked his life to clandestinely shoot over 200 hours of raw footage, and in conjunction with Vicki’s guest today, producer Deborah C. Hoard, edited that footage down to a stunning 88 minute film that takes an exclusive inside look at the squalid conditions of daily life in Burma. But this film is not all doom and gloom. Possibly the most important conclusion from this film is that despite horrific poverty, filth, broken down cities, and a lack of any serious medical care, the Burmese are a proud, quietly brave and extraordinarily peaceful people.

If you would like to learn more about this film and the astonishing story of the Burmese people, Vicki’s guest today, producer Deborah C. Hoard, will be apeparing in person at Seattle’s Metro Cinemas for the Friday, Saturday and Monday (April 6th, 7th and 9th) 7:05 showings, and at the 3:40 showing on Sunday, April 9th. In addition, director Robert H. Lieberman will be appearing at the Wednesday and Thursday (April 11th and 12th) 7:05 showings.

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