Mental illnesses such as obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and addiction are notoriously hard to treat and often don’t respond to drugs. But a new wave of treatments that stimulate the brain with electricity are showing promise on some patients and in clinical trials. In the latest episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, we talk to three experts and one patient about the often disturbing history of treating mental illness, and discover how new technology and a deeper understanding of the brain are presenting possible new approaches to a range of conditions.

As the men’s soccer World Cup continues in Qatar, you can follow coverage from across our network here. And a new owl has been discovered. If you want to know what Otus bikegila sounds like, click here. Researchers explain why they’ve recommended it go straight onto the endangered list, but add that its habitat is entirely within Príncipe Obo Natural Park, off the coast of West Africa, and that this will hopefully help secure its protection.

Daniel Merino

Assistant Science Editor & Co-Host of The Conversation Weekly Podcast

In deep brain stimulation, electrodes – the pale white lines – are implanted into a patient’s brain and connected to a battery in a person’s chest. Jmarchn/Wikimedia Commons

Treating mental illness with electricity marries old ideas with modern tech and understanding of the brain – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, The Conversation

Deep brain stimulation and trasncranial magnetic stimulation treat mental illness by sending electrical currents into parts of the brain. Every new patient provides researchers with a wealth of information. Listen to The Conversation Weekly podcast.

Men’s soccer has had a problem with allyship long before Qatar was awarded the hosting rights for this year’s World Cup. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

World Cup 2022: Men’s soccer must stop silencing activism and allyship

Gabriel Knott-Fayle, University of Calgary; Michael Kehler, University of Calgary

To make men’s soccer a more inclusive space, organizers and players must put allyship above profits and winning.

We discovered a new species of owl – hear it hoot

Bárbara Freitas, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC); Angelica Crottini, Universidade do Porto; Martim Melo, Universidade do Porto

At the beginning there was an unknown noise… Decades later, we discovered a new species of owl.