What it is like to hear voices that no-one else can hear?

Hearing voices is an important aspect of many people’s lives. It is an experience that can be distressing and upsetting, but also positive and meaningful.

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.

About Us

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 anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, history, linguistics, literary studies, medical humanities, philosophy, psychology and theology. We also work closely with clinicians, voice-hearers and other experts by experience.

In addition to shedding light on the relations between hearing voices and everyday processes of sensory perception, memory, language and creativity, we are exploring why it is that some voices (and not others) are experienced as distressing, how they can change across the life course, and the ways in which voices can act as important social, cultural and political forces.

Highlights from the Blog

Fit for purpose? Addressing inequalities in mental health research

Fit for purpose? Addressing inequalities in mental health research

A paper published today by the Centre for Mental Health has found that new ways of working are needed to address mental health inequalities. Hearing the Voice features in the report as a strong example of how to bring together and value different types of knowledge in the production of evidence to inform mental health policy and practice.

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Understanding Voices: What do people think?

Understanding Voices: What do people think?

Last year we delivered two ‘Knowledge is Power’ training workshops in London and Glasgow, and recruited a cohort of voice-hearers, family members and mental health professionals to provide us with feedback on Understanding Voices (UV). Thank you to those who generously gave up their time to share their thoughts on the website. Here are some of the highlights from your feedback.

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If you would like to keep up to date with the progress of Hearing the Voice research and receive information about forthcoming events and activities, sign up for our bi-monthly e-bulletin.

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