Hearing the Voice is pleased to announce that the lectures in our 2015 HtV Research Seminar series are now all available to listen to online. Please click on the media players below to access the recordings.

Dr Ben Alderson-Day: ‘Voices, Agents and Presences: Asking the “who” question of auditory verbal hallucinations, 22 January 2015

Abstract: Auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) or ‘hearing voices’ are often described as being characterful or having their own persona. This, along with reports of voices that lack auditory characteristics but retain “presence”, has led some authors to argue that AVH may be primarily be experienced as social actors or agents, rather than simply hallucinated sounds. In this talk, Dr Alderson-Day reviews such claims and considers how existing cognitive theories of AVH may accommodate the presence of social or agent-like representations, focusing on inner speech, memory, and predictive processing accounts. He argues that the “social presence” of voices can be accommodated by existing models, but only via better recognition of how social interaction shapes ordinary speech perception and inner speech processes. Implications for understanding AVH experiences, how they develop, and how they may be managed when distressing are discussed.

Dr David Smailes: ‘Tailoring Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Subtypes of Voice-hearing’, 12 March 2015

Abstract: Several meta-analyses have suggested that cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) for psychosis has small to moderate effects on positive symptoms (e.g., auditory hallucinations and delusions). However, a recent meta-analysis reported that these effect sizes are substantially inflated because of methodological problems in many trials of CBT for psychosis. In this talk, Dr Smailes focuses on CBT for voice-hearing and suggests that one reason for its limited effectiveness is that current interventions tend to treat voice-hearing as a relatively homogenous experience, despite evidence that voice-hearing is highly heterogeneous. These heterogeneous experiences do, however, appear to cluster into a set of subtypes, and it is possible that CBT for voice-hearing may be more effective if it is tailored to the subtype that a voice-hearer reports. Dr Smailes describes a novel CBT for voice-hearing manual that Hearing the Voice has developed in collaboration with a local clinical psychologist, which encourages clinicians to tailor CBT to subtypes of voice-hearing, and discusses the promise and limitations of this kind of approach.

Professor Patricia Waugh: ‘Voices Becoming Characters: Insights from the Experimental Novel’, 7 May 2015

Abstract: From Defoe onwards, novelists have been fascinated by hearing the voice and, indeed, many novelists have written autobiographically about their own voice hearing experiences. Foregrounding the functional role and the nature of voice in narrative fiction, Professor Patricia Waugh explores how experiment with voice, from Daniel Defoe to David Foster Wallace, has been a major source of the novel’s capacity to generate new insights into human existential and socio-cognitive capacities.

Professor Charles Fernyhough: ‘The Voices in Our Heads’, 4 June 2015

Abstract: A dominant psychological model of voice-hearing holds that it involves a disturbance to the process by which inner speech—our ordinary internal dialogue—is attributed to the self. Accounting for the phenomenological richness and varied pragmatics of voice-hearing requires, however, an equally nuanced conception of the functional and structural heterogeneity of the ordinary voices in our heads. Professor Fernyhough reviews some key recent findings on voice-hearing and inner speech, and explores their implications for three main areas of enquiry: the paradox of the apparent ubiquity of inner speech, the value of reading some forms of voice-hearing as inner dialogue rather than as atypical communicative acts, and the dynamic interaction in voice-hearing of inner speech and memory.

If you would like to listen to more recorded lectures from Hearing the Voice, please visit our podcast page or follow us on Soundcloud.

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