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Centre for Medical Humanities

Current Research Projects

The following major research projects are currently underway at CMH:

‘Hearing the Voice’ (HtV 2)

The Wellcome Trust has awarded ‘Hearing the Voice’ another five-years of research as one of two projects to be the first of its Humanities and Social Science Collaborative Awards. ‘Hearing the Voice’ will continue with its innovative work in exploring the experience of voice hearing through unique insights from the humanities and social sciences.

The Life of Breath: a project on breathlessness and COPD

‘The Life of Breath’ is a five year project jointly hosted by The Centre for Medical Humanities and the University of Bristol. It is the result of a successful joint Senior Investigator Award application to the Wellcome Trust by Jane Macnaughton (Durham) and Havi Carel (Bristol). This project was in development for around two years, and was stimulated by Jane’s interest in the phenomenology of smoking and Havi’s groundbreaking work on the experience of illness.

Wandering Minds

Wandering Minds is an experimental project, led by researchers at Durham, Cardiff and York Universities, and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig. Mind wandering - having only recently become an object of major study in psychology and neuroscience - is today positioned as key to understanding many aspects of human cognition and psychological wellbeing. However, researchers are still puzzling over how best to concretely define mind-wandering and related phenomena (e.g. daydreaming, self-generated thought, fantasy, or spontaneous cognition). Such clarification is critical to developing neuroimaging paradigms to investigate these states. In this project we want to experimentally entangle neuropsychological data, fMRI data, and rich qualitative data, in order to design an innovative, interdisciplinary mind-wandering paradigm.

What Works Centre for Wellbeing: Evidence Programme on Community

Sarah Atkinson leads the Durham partnership on the ESRC What Works Centre for Wellbeing evidence programme on community wellbeing. The Durham contribution is to host one of our consultation workshops with stakeholders in the region to inform the work programme, to lead on secondary data analysis relevant to the work programme themes (coordinated at Durham by Professor Sarah Curtis) and to produce a conceptual review of the nature and debates relating to the notion of community wellbeing (work led by Sarah Atkinson). The work at Durham will be supported through the inputs of research assistance over twelve months. Professor Sarah Atkinson is the co-applicant on a consortium led by PI Peter Kinderman at the University of Liverpool and supported by the ESRC with a £1m grant that will take place over three years, starting July 2015 through 2018.

For information on upcoming events for each of these projects, please visit our Events and News page.

Contact Details

Centre for Medical Humanities
Caedmon Building
Leazes Road

Tel: +44 (0)191 33 48277