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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Previous Events

List of months

Monday 26 March 2018

En'Light'en Project - Delirium, Light and Well-being

11:00am to 4:00pm, Seminar Room HDU, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough

Re-arranged date due to the adverse weather

Delirium is a clinical syndrome in HDU which is difficult to define exactly but involves abnormalities of thought, perception and levels of awareness. It typically is of acute onset and intermittent. Both hypoactive and hyperactive delirium states are recognised and often patients exhibit features of both.

This project will explore possible links between the occurrence of delirium and the disorientating experience of the physical environment in HDU.

Please join us to discuss thoughts around this topic – drop in between 11am and 4pm, seminar room HDU. We will present our ideas for the project and would love to hear your thoughts.

The importance of light…

Changes in daylight regulate our Circadian rhythms with direct and multiple impacts on our health and wellbeing. We sense the time of day from the colour and quality of daylight and position of the sun.

When we spend our hours and days in hospital we often have little sense of the time of day or changes in the weather.

HDU lighting is mainly from cool white ceiling panels. If we were to change this to lighting that follows the rhythms and shift in hue of natural light, would it make a difference to how we feel?

Please click here to view the flyer in full

Contact for more information about this event.

Thursday 22 March 2018

Hearing the Voice Public Lecture: Cognitive neuroscience tapping inner language: prediction and perception

5:30pm to 7:00pm, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Dr Hélène Lœvenbruck,French National Centre for Scientific Research, Université Grenoble Alpes

Dr Hélène Lœvenbruck (French National Centre for Scientific Research, Université Grenoble Alpes) will talk about ‘Cognitive neuroscience tapping inner language: prediction and perception’. The lecture will focus on neurocognitive predictive framework of inner language and auditory verbal hallucinations, and will take place tomorrow (22 March) from 5.30pm-7pm in the Birley Room, Hatfield College. This event is free and all are welcome to attend.


The diversity of introspective descriptions of inner language has led some scholars to consider it as an abstract phenomenon, while others view it as a concrete experience, involving auditory, proprioceptive, tactile and visual sensations and presumably recruiting the motor system. The use of cognitive neuroscience methods provides objective data which may give ground and context to the alleged sensory and motor qualities of inner language and which may help reconciling abstract and concrete views.

With both introspective descriptions and empirical data in mind, I will present a neurocognitive predictive control account, in which deliberate expanded inner language is considered as deriving from the transformation of multisensory goals arising from sensory cortices. An inverse model transforms this desired multisensory state into motor commands which are specified in motor regions and inhibited by prefrontal cortex. The efference copy of these motor commands is transformed by a forward model into simulated multimodal acts (inner phonation, articulation, gesture) which themselves provide predicted multisensory percepts (in the mind’s ear, tact and eye) that are processed in sensory regions. These predicted signals are perceived as an inner voice or sign unfolding over time. I speculate that the comparison between the desired sensory state and the end state of the predicted sensory product provides the sense of agency relevant to feeling in control of one’s inner language. I will argue that three types of inner verbalisation can be accounted for in this framework: abstract unbidden thoughts, concrete wilful inner language, and auditory verbal hallucination.