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Neuroscience of inner experience

Our team has pioneered the integration of Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES), one of the most powerful methods for assessing the subjective qualities of experience, with fMRI neuroimaging.
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Neuroimaging scans of the brain from a study using Descriptive Experience Sampling

Ambient music

We are interested in the cognitive and emotional effects of ambient music, defined by its pioneer Brian Eno as music targeted at the periphery rather than at the centre of conscious experience.
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Equipment used in intensive care unit


Our collaborations are exploring how the science of inner experience can be applied in game design.
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Summary of accolades for the video game Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice


We work with theatre companies interested in how scholarly research into conscious experience can be used to enhance the immersive experience of a theatre production.
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Poster for the theatre production of The Birthday Party

Consciousness reading group

We run an interdisciplinary reading group on consciousness in Durham, meeting at regular intervals during the year. Please get in touch to find out more.
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open book

Subjective experience of remembering

Combining perspectives across academic disciplines, we conduct research on what memories feel like to the person doing the remembering, and the brain mechanisms that underpin those subjective qualities.
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Spiritual minds

We collaborate across disciplines to conduct research on spiritual experience, bringing together perspectives from anthropology, art history, religious studies, theology, philosophy, social studies, psychology and neuroscience.
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Virtual reality

Our researchers use virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality technologies to investigate aspects of inner experience.
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A person interacting with VR

Inner speech

We study the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying inner speech: the silent conversation in the head that many people report as a fundamental part of their conscious experience.
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Cartoon of a head

Lived Experience Academy

The Lived Experience Academy is a new initiative to support people with lived experience of distress to become research leaders.
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InnerScape is a pre-incorporation company bringing the science of inner experience to the creative industries.
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Music and memory

Our research explores how we remember music, both voluntarily and involuntarily, and how in some cases music can be seen as an exceptional memory phenomenon.
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We work with experts in artificial intelligence to understand how inner experience can be modelled in non-human systems.
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Service robot

The Perception Census

Do you see what I see? The Perception Census is a new online citizen-science study of individual differences in perceptual experience, led by the Universities of Sussex and Glasgow. The Perception Census involves a series of fun, interactive tasks playing with colour, illusion, sound and more. More than 25,000 people from over 100 countries have already taken part. Join them to help advance the science and learn more about your own powers of perception.
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Logo of the Perception Censu

Visions and visual hallucinations

We lead an international, multidisciplinary network of researchers interested in visions and visual hallucinations.
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Hearing the Voice

Hearing the Voice is an interdisciplinary study of the experience of hearing voices in the absence of any speaker, funded by the Wellcome Trust from 2012–2022. Its work continues in various funded research projects, particularly on the therapeutic management of distressing voices.
Project website


Hubbub was an interdisciplinary project investigating rest and its opposites. It held the first residency at the Hub at Wellcome Collection in London.
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Child looking at the logo for Hubbub on a device