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In the Real was supported creatively and financially by Durham University’s Hearing the Voice: an interdisciplinary research project, led by Charles Fernyhough and Angela Woods, which aims to provide a better understanding of what it is like to hear voices when no one is speaking.

Usually associated with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and psychosis, voice-hearing can also be an important aspect of many ordinary people’s lives. Hearing the Voice seeks to examine this phenomenon from as many different relevant perspectives as possible. In addition to exploring subjective experiences of voice-hearing, the researchers are examining their underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms, and the ways in which voice-hearing has been interpreted and represented in different cultural, religious and historical contexts.

The international research team includes academics from cognitive neuroscience, cultural studies, English literature, medical humanities, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and theology, working closely with artists, voice-hearers and other ‘experts by experience’.

Hearing the Voice is funded by a Strategic Award from the Wellcome Trust.

More information about the project can found on the Hearing the Voice website and blog.

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