Hearing the Voice is a large interdisciplinary study of voice-hearing led by researchers 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.
So far there have been two distinct phases of our research. The first phase of our project, which ran from 2012 to 2015, was funded by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust. In addition to exploring the subjective experiences of voice-hearing, we investigated their underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms, and the ways in which hearing voices has been interpreted and represented in different cultural, historical and religious contexts.
We are presently funded by a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award in Humanities and Social Science, which will enable us to continue our research into voice-hearing until 2020. The second phase of our project will extend our initial enquiry into voice-hearing into seven new research domains. In addition to shedding light on the relations between hearing voices and everyday processes of sense perception, memory, language and creativity, we will explore 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.
Our project will continue to develop new methods for interdisciplinary research into human experience, and transform the way in which voice-hearing is managed, treated and understood through a comprehensive online resource for voice-hearers and mental health professionals, as well as an ambitious arts-led programme of public engagement.
News Feed: Hearing the Voice Blog
- The Mental Health Act: A Human Rights Perspective (27 April) (16 Mar 2018)
- Call for Papers: Twenty-five years of Madness and Modernism (11 May) (9 Mar 2018)
- Call for Review: ‘It’s All in My Head!’ by Mick (9 Mar 2018)
- Charles Fernyhough at the British Museum: Reading Margery Kempe’s Inner Voices (9 March) (7 Mar 2018)
- Therapies for Voice-Hearers Workshop (27 June 2018) (2 Mar 2018)