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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

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IAS Public Lecture - Such Stuff as Psychoses are Made on?

7th October 2020, 17:30 to 18:30, Dr Armando D'Agostino, University of Milan

Public Lecture by Dr Armando D'Agostino, University of Milan

The phenomenological similarity between dreams and psychosis fueled the interest of countless investigators in modern psychopathology. Eugen Bleuler, who coined the term Schizophrenia for patients with the most severe and enduring psychotic disturbances, believed that “most of the characteristics of schizophrenic thinking (particularly delusional thinking) are explained by the differences between the dreaming and the wakefulness way of thinking.”

Defined as the purest form of phenomenality, dream consciousness emerges when the brain is largely detached from the external world. In this condition, a full–fledged multimodal hallucinatory environment is experienced as reality, similar to the subjectivity of untreated or treatment–resistant individuals with overwhelming psychoses. However, the neurophysiological evidence assembled since the second half of the 20th Century failed to confirm the early hypothesis that waking hallucinations reflect intrusions of sleep–related neural activity into waking consciousness.

This lecture will guide the audience from the multidisciplinary history of this concept up to the past decade of neurobiological research on sleep in patients with psychosis. Technological advances including the computational management of high–density electrical scalp signals from the brain have begun to reveal novel, compelling findings that might shed light on the biological basis of this highly complex and distressing subjective experience.

This lecture is free and open to all.


Details about Dr Armando D'Agostino

The Lecture will take place on Zoom. To register please click here.

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.