HEARING THE VOICEINTERDISCIPLINARY VOICE-HEARING RESEARCH
What it is like to hear voices that no-one else can hear?
Usually associated with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and psychosis, voice-hearing is now being recognised as an important aspect of many ordinary people’s lives.
We seek to provide a better understanding of this experience by examining it from different academic perspectives and working with voice-hearers, clinicians and mental health professionals.
Hearing the Voice is a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing, based at Durham University and funded by the Wellcome Trust.
Our international research team includes academics from cognitive neuroscience, English Literature, cultural studies, medical humanities, philosophy, linguistics, psychology, psychiatry and theology. We also work closely with clinicians, voice-hearers and other experts by experience.
In addition to exploring the subjective experience of hearing voices, we are investigating the cognitive and neural mechanisms that underlie this experience. We are also exploring the links between voice-hearing and creativity, and exploring the ways in which voice-hearing has been interpreted and represented in different cultures, religions and historical periods. Many of our researchers are developing innovative ways of improving therapeutic practice in cases where people find their voices distressing and clinical help is sought.
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Highlights from the Blog
Imaginary companions are a phenomenon most commonly observed in young children. It is estimated that between a third and two thirds of children aged 5-12 report experiencing an imaginary friend who they might see, talk to, or play with. For as long as research has been going on the topic, people have asked how having an imaginary companion (IC) might relate to cognitive development and mental health.read more
Hearing voices and seeing visions is not a topic of everyday conversation. Many people do not realise that around 1 in 20 of us will experience unusual perceptions at some point in our lives. But do these experiences change as we age? If you are aged 18-30 or 60-75, we’d like to invite you to take part in our study on age and unusual experiences.read more
Hearing the Voice was delighted to see the publication of our co-director Dr Angela Woods’s article ‘On shame and voice-hearing’ in the journal Medical Humanities earlier this month. The article is available to read freely online here.read more
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