Dr Charles Fernyhough, MA, PhD
In a series of studies my colleagues and I have been testing Vygotskian hypotheses about the development of verbal mediation of cognition and behaviour. In one study (Fernyhough & Russell, 1997), we found evidence that children's private speech plays a role in their establishment of themselves as thinking agents. Another study (Fernyhough & Fradley, 2005) tested hypotheses about the relations among self-regulatory private speech, task difficulty and task performance, adding to the body of research that suggests that private speech can enhance children's cognition. In a cross-cultural study conducted in Saudi Arabia and the UK (Al-Namlah et al., 2006), we examined links between children's self-regulatory private speech and their use of phonological recoding on short-term memory tasks, concluding that private speech may be involved in an across-the-board shift to verbal mediation in the early school years. With my colleagues Adam Winsler and Nacho Montero I have edited a book for CUP on the topic of private speech (Winsler, Fernyhough, & Montero, 2009).
I am interested in one specific implication of Vygotsky's ideas about private and inner speech: namely, that thinking has a dialogic quality. In my first publication in this area (Fernyhough, 1996), I set out some of the implications of a dialogic approach to the higher mental functions for the development of executive functioning and theory of mind. I have since developed these ideas in BBS commentaries on Carpendale and Lewis (2004) and Tomasello et al. (2005). A new full statement of this position appeared in Developmental Review. I have also applied these ideas to the study of auditory verbal hallucinations (Fernyhough, 2004; Jones & Fernyhough, 2007).
With my colleague Elizabeth Meins I have been studying individual differences in parental mind-mindedness and their implications for children's development. Our aim in developing this construct has been to rethink maternal sensitivity in line with Mary Ainsworth's original conception (Meins et al., 2001). We were the first group to establish a longitudinal connection between security of attachment in infancy and children's later mentalising abilities (Fernyhough et al., 1995; Meins et al., 1998). To date we have published findings from two separate longitudinal studies linking maternal mind-mindedness to children's mentalising development (Meins et al., 1998; Meins & Fernyhough, 1999; Meins et al., 2002; 2003). In both samples we have found that mind-mindedness accounts for the observed relation between attachment security and children's later theory of mind performance. We have also found that maternal mind-mindedness at 6 months predicts security of attachment at 12 months more strongly than typical measures of maternal sensitivity (Meins et al., 2001). Recently we have begun to study individual differences in mind-mindedness in children, finding that such differences are unrelated to children's mentalising abilities (Meins et al., 2006). Coupled with findings of temporal stability in mothers' mind-mindedness (Meins et al., 1998; 2003), this suggests that mind-mindedness is a trait-like measure of individuals' motivation to deploy their mentalising abilities, rather than a measure of those abilities themselves (Meins et al., 2006). I am involved in the ESRC-funded Tees Valley Baby Study, a longitudinal study based in Stockton-on-Tees, in which we are examining developmental relations among a range of variables including child and adult attachment behaviours, mind-mindedness, and internal working models.
We have also been considering whether our understanding of disorders that are typically viewed in the context of adult psychopathology can be enhanced by a cognitive-developmental approach. In collaboration with colleagues in Bangor and Manchester, I have been developing theoretical developmental models of specific symptoms such as delusions and hallucinations (e.g., Bentall et al., 2007). My main collaborator in this respect is Richard Bentall. A theoretical statement on this topic recently appeared in Schizophrenia Bulletin. With my graduate student Simon Jones I have been investigating cognitive correlates of hallucination-like experiences in clinical and non-clinical samples. In studies conducted in collaboration with colleagues from MACCS (Sydney, Australia), we have been investigating similar experiences in schoolage children (Fernyhough et al., 2007), as well as assessing typical inner speech in patients with schizophrenia. I am involved in a consortium of researchers studying predictors of depression in the ALSPAC sample.
Indicators of Esteem
- Editorial board: Infant and Child Development
- Cognitive-developmental approaches to psychosis and other disorders
- Imaginary companions in childhood and adulthood
- Individual differences in theory of mind
- Private speech and the development of verbal self-regulation
- Vygotsky's theory
- Cognitive processes in literary reading and writing
- Winsler, A., Fernyhough, C. & Montero, I. (2009). Private speech, executive functioning, and the development of verbal self-regulation. New York: Cambridge University Press.
- Lloyd, P. & Fernyhough, C. (1999). Lev Vygotsky: Critical assessments. London: Routledge.
- Fernyhough, C. (2010). Inner speech. In Encyclopaedia of the Mind. Pashler, H. Sage.
- Fernyhough, C. & Jones, S. R. (2010). Thinking aloud about mental voices. In Hallucination. Macpherson, F. & Platchias, D. Cambridge University Press.
- Fernyhough, C. (2009). Dialogic thinking. In Private speech, executive functioning, and the development of verbal self-regulation. Winsler, A., Fernyhough, C. & Montero, I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Pawlby, S. & Fernyhough, C. (2009). Enhancing the relationship between mothers with severe mental illness and their infants. In Keeping the baby in mind: Prevention in practice. Barlow, J. & Svanberg, P. O. London: Routledge.
- Fernyhough, C. & Meins, E. (2009). Private speech and theory of mind: Evidence for developing interfunctional relations. In Private speech, executive functioning, and the development of verbal self-regulation. Winsler, A., Fernyhough, C. & Montero, I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Fernyhough, C. (2009). Voices of the mind. In Thinking about almost everything: New ideas to light up minds. Amin, A. & O'Neill, M. London: Profile Books.
- Fernyhough, C. (2009). Vygotsky, Luria, and the social brain. In Self- and social-regulation: Exploring the relations between social interaction, social cognition, and the development of executive functions. Carpendale, J., Iarocci, G., Mueller, U., Sokol, B. & Young, A. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Fernyhough, C. (2006). Private speech, executive functioning and theory of mind: A Vygotskian-Lurian synthesis. In Current research trends in private speech: Proceedings of the First International Symposium on self-regulatory functions of language. Montero, I. Madrid: University Press of Universidad Autónoma of Madrid.
- Fernyhough, C. (1997). Vygotsky’s sociocultural approach: Theoretical issues and implications for current research. In The development of social cognition. Hala, S. London: Psychology Press.
Journal papers: academic
- Al-Namlah, A. S., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (Published). Self-regulatory private speech relates to children’s recall and organization of autobiographical memories. Early Childhood Research Quarterly
- Meins, E, McCarthy-Jones, S., Fernyhough, C., Lewis, G., Bentall, R. P. & Alloy, L. B. (2012). Assessing negative cognitive style: Development and validation of a short-form version of the Cognitive Style Questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences 52(5): 581-585.
- Waters, F., Allen, P., Aleman, A. Fernyhough, C., Woodward, T., Badcock, J. C., Barkus, E., Johns, L. Varese, F., Menon, M., Vercammen, A. & Larøi, F. (2012). Auditory hallucinations in schizophrenia and nonschizophrenia populations: A review and integrated model of cognitive mechanisms. Schizophrenia Bulletin 38(4): 683-693.
- Alba-Ferrara, L., Fernyhough, C., Weis, C., Mitchell, R. L. C. & Hausmann, M. (2012). Contributions of emotional prosody comprehension deficits to the formation of auditory verbal hallucinations in patients with schizophrenia. Clinical Psychology Review 32: 244-250.
- Pearson, R., Fernyhough, C., Bentall, R. P., Evans, J., Heron, J., Joinson, C., Stein, A. & Lewis, G. (2012). Intergenerational correlation of depressogenic cognitive style: The association between maternal cognitive style during pregnancy and child cognitive style 18 years later. American Journal of Psychiatry
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Leekam, S. & de Rosnay, M. (2012). Mind-mindedness and theory of mind: Mediating roles of internal state language and symbolic play. Child Development
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., de Rosnay, M., Arnott, B., Leekam, S. R. & Turner, M. (2012). Mind-mindedness as a multidimensional construct: Appropriate and non-attuned mind-related comments independently predict infant–mother attachment in a socially diverse sample. Infancy 17: 393-415.
- Al-Namlah, A. S., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2012). Self-regulatory private speech relates to children’s recall and organization of autobiographical memories. Early Childhood Research Quarterly 27: 441-446.
- Larøi, F., Sommer, I. E., Blom, J.-D., Fernyhough, C., ffytche, D. H., Hugdahl, K., Johns, L. C., McCarthy-Jones, S. R., Preti, A., Raballo, A., Slotema, C. W., Stephane, M. & Waters, F. (2012). The phenomenological features of auditory verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia and across clinical disorders: A state-of-the-art overview and critical evaluation. Schizophrenia Bulletin 38: 724-733.
- Lidstone, J. S. M., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2012). Verbal mediation of cognition in children with Specific Language Impairment. Development and Psychopathology 24(2): 651-660
- McCarthy-Jones, S., Barnes, L. J., Hill, G. E., Marwood, L., Moseley, P. & Fernyhough, C. (2012). Words and pictures come alive: Relating the modality of intrusive thoughts to specific types of hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations. Personality and Individual Differences
- Fernyhough, C. (2011). Even ‘internalist’ minds are social. Style
- Lidstone, J. S. M., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2011). Individual differences in children’s private speech: Consistency across tasks, timepoints, and contexts. Cognitive Development
- Davis, P., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2011). Self-knowledge in childhood: Relations with children’s imaginary companions and understanding of mind. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 29(3): 680-686.
- McCarthy-Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2011). The varieties of inner speech: Links between quality of inner speech and psychopathological variables in a sample of young adults. Consciousness and Cognition 20(4): 1586–1593.
- Jones, S. R., Fernyhough, C. & Larøi, F. (2010). A phenomenological survey of auditory verbal hallucinations in the hypnagogic and hypnopompic states. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9: 213-224.
- Meins, E., Leekam, S. R., Arnott, B. , Fernyhough, C., Vittorini, L., Parkinson, K. & Turner, M. (2010). Individual differences in infants’ joint attention behaviors with mother and a new social partner. Infancy
- Pawlby, S., Fernyhough, C., Meins, E., Pariante, C. M., Seneviratne, G. & Bentall, R. P. (2010). Mind-mindedness and maternal responsiveness in infant–mother interactions in mothers with severe mental illness. Psychological Medicine 40(11): 1861-1869
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Leekam, S. & Turner, M. (2010). Mother- versus infant-centered correlates of maternal mind-mindedness in the first year of life. Infancy
- Arnott, B., McConachie, H., Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Le Couteur, A., Turner, M. Parkinson, K. Vittorini, L. & Leekam, S. (2010). The frequency of restricted and repetitive behaviours in a community sample of 15 month-old infants. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 31(3): 223-229.
- Lidstone, J. S. M., Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2010). The roles of private speech and inner speech in planning during middle childhood: Evidence from a dual task paradigm. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 107(4): 438-451
- Lidstone, J. S. M., Fernyhough, C., Meins, E. & Whitehouse, A. J. O. (2009). Brief report: Inner speech impairment in children with autism is associated with greater nonverbal than verbal skills. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 39: 1222-1225.
- Laing, S. V., Fernyhough, C., Turner, M. & Freeston, M. H. (2009). Fear, worry, and ritualistic behavior in childhood: Developmental trends and interrelations. Infant and Child Development 18: 351-366.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2009). In a dark time: Development, validation, and correlates of the Durham Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Hallucinations Questionnaire. Personality and Individual Differences 46: 30-34.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2009). Rumination, reflection, intrusive thoughts, and hallucination proneness: Towards a new model. Behavior Research and Therapy 47: 54-59.
- Langdon, R., Jones, S. R., Connaughton, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2009). The phenomenology of inner speech: Comparison of schizophrenia patients with auditory verbal hallucinations and healthy controls. Psychological Medicine 39(4): 655-663.
- Fernyhough, C. (2009). What can we say about the inner experience of the young child? (Commentary on Carruthers). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32: 143-144.
- Corriveau, K., Harris, P. L., Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Arnott, B., Elliott, L, Liddle, B., Hearn, A., Vittorini, L. & de Rosnay, M. (2009). Young Children’s Trust in Their Mother’s Claims: Longitudinal Links With Attachment Security in Infancy. Child Development 80(3): 750-761.
- Jones, S. R., Fernyhough, C., de-Wit, L. & Meins, E. (2008). A message in the medium? Assessing the reliability of psychopathology e-questionnaires. Personality and Individual Differences 44: 349-359.
- Jones, S. R. , de-Wit, L., Fernyhough, C. & Meins, E. (2008). A new spin on the Wheel of Fortune: Priming of action-authorship judgements and relation to psychosis-like experiences. Consciousness and Cognition 17: 576-586.
- Meins, E., Jones, S. R., Fernyhough, C., Hurndall, S. & Koronis, P. (2008). Attachment dimensions and schizotypy in a non-clinical sample. Personality and Individual Differences 44: 1000-1011.
- Fernyhough, C. (2008). Getting Vygotskian about theory of mind: Mediation, dialogue, and the development of social understanding. Developmental Review 28(2): 225-262.
- Bentall, R. P. & Fernyhough, C. (2008). Social predictors of psychotic experiences: Specificity and psychological mechanisms. Schizophrenia Bulletin 34(6): 1012-1020.
- Fernyhough, C., Jones, S. R., Whittle, C., Waterhouse, J. & Bentall, R. P. (2008). Theory of mind, schizotypy, and persecutory ideation in young adults. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 13: 233-249.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2008). Thought suppression and persecutory delusion-like beliefs in a non-clinical sample. Cognitive Neuropsychiatry 13: 281-295.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). A new look at the neural diathesis-stress model of schizophrenia: The primacy of social-evaluative and uncontrollable situations. Schizophrenia Bulletin 33(5): 1171-1177.
- Fernyhough, C., Bland, K. A., Meins, E. & Coltheart, M. (2007). Imaginary companions and young children’s responses to ambiguous auditory stimuli: Implications for typical and atypical development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 48: 1094-1101.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Neural correlates of inner speech and auditory verbal hallucinations: A critical review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review 27(2): 140-154.
- Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Preschoolers’ understanding of multiple orientations to reality: The Adjectives task. Cognitive Development 22: 289-297.
- Bentall, R. P. Fernyhough, C. , Morrison, A. P. Lewis, S. W. & Corcoran, R. (2007). Prospects for a cognitive-developmental account of psychotic experiences. British Journal of Clinical Psychology 46: 155-173.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Reliability of factorial structure of the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI-21). Personality and Individual Differences 43: 647-656.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Talking back to the spirits: The voices and visions of Emanuel Swedenborg. History of the Human Sciences 21: 1-31.
- Jones, S. R. & Fernyhough, C. (2007). Thought as action: Inner speech, self-monitoring, and auditory verbal hallucinations. Consciousness and Cognition 16: 391-399.
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Johnson, F. & Lidstone, J (2006). Mind-mindedness in children: Individual differences in internal-state talk in middle childhood. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 24(1): 181-196.
- Al-Namlah, A. S., Fernyhough, C. & Meins, E. (2006). Sociocultural influences on the development of verbal mediation: Private speech and phonological recoding in Saudi Arabian and British samples. Developmental Psychology 42(1): 117-131.
- Fernyhough, C & Fradley, E (2005). Private speech on an executive task: Relations with task difficulty and task performance. Cognitive Development 20(1): 103-120.
- Fernyhough, C (2005). What is internalised? Dialogic cognitive representations and the mediated mind (Commentary on Tomasello et al.). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28: 698-699.
- Fernyhough, C (2004). Alien voices and inner dialogue: Towards a developmental account of auditory verbal hallucinations. New Ideas in Psychology 22: 49-68.
- Fernyhough, C. (2004). More than a context for learning? The epistemic triangle and the dialogic mind (Commentary on Carpendale & Lewis). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27: 104-105.
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Wainwright, R., Clark-Carter, D., Das Gupta, M., Fradley, E. & Tuckey, M. (2003). Pathways to understanding mind: Construct validity and predictive validity of maternal mind-mindedness. Child Development 74(4): 1194-1211.
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Wainwright, R., Das Gupta, M., Fradley, E. & Tuckey, M. (2002). Maternal mind-mindedness and attachment security as predictors of theory of mind understanding. Child Development 73(6): 1715-1726.
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Fradley, E. & Tuckey, M. (2001). Rethinking maternal sensitivity: Mothers' comments on infants' mental processes predict security of attachment at 12 months. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 42(5): 637-648.
- Meins, E. & Fernyhough, C. (1999). Linguistic acquisitional style and mentalising development: The role of maternal mind-mindedness. Cognitive Development 14: 363-380.
- Meins, E., Fernyhough, C., Russell, J. & Clark-Carter, D. (1998). Security of attachment as a predictor of symbolic and mentalising abilities: A longitudinal study. Social Development 7: 1-24.
- Fernyhough, C. & Russell, J. (1997). Distinguishing one's own voice from those of others: A function of private speech? International Journal of Behavioral Development 20: 651-665.
- Fernyhough, C. (1996). The dialogic mind: A dialogic approach to the higher mental functions. New Ideas in Psychology 14: 47-62.
- Robbins T W, Anderson E J, Barker D R, Bradley A C, Fernyhough C, Henson R, Hudson SR & Baddeley A (1996). Working memory in chess. Memory and Cognition 24: 83-93.
- Information on my fiction and non-fiction writing
- My blog on memory, Pieces of Light
- My essay-writing blog, Essay Heaven
- My psychology homepage
- My Psychology Today blog, The Child in Time
- 2008: ‘Depression at 17: ALSPAC.’ £648,184, Wellcome Project Grant (grant number WT084268MA)
- 2008: ‘The development of repetitive behaviours in young children.’ £78,300, ESRC-funded (grant number RES-000-22-2771)
- 2005: ‘Internal working models and young children’s social-emotional development.’ £332,365, ESRC-funded (grant number RES-000-23-1073)
- 2003: INFANT-MOTHER INTERACTION (£41999.12 from Esrc)