Dr Christine Mohr
Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
Magical thinking and/or belief is one of the productive symptoms reported from patients with schizophrenia, and is, at the same time, a common experience in the general population. In both instances, this thinking style has been related to an attenuated left hemispheric dominance for language, and a consecutive disinhibition of remote associative processing in the right hemisphere. While this right hemisphere contribution to language processing in the patient population might impinge normal conversational capacities, the same processes in the general population might facilitate creative thinking. Studies using neuropharmacological manipulations (dopamine agonistic treatment) support the view that magical belief in the general population is not simply on the continuum to psychosis, but might reflect a well-adapted personality dimension showing evolutionary advantages.
Dr. Mohr did her PhD on the "neuropsychology of magical belief" at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and continued working in this field ever since. In 2004, she joined the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol as a lecturer where she teaches Neuropsychiatry. With respect to paranormal belief, she mainly investigates and publishes on the neuropsychological correlates of these beliefs, and aims to understand why some individuals with such "bizarre" beliefs are considered by most as absolutely healthy (but spiritual), while in others it is considered pathological (psychotic). This is particularly relevant, because the dimensional, or rather quasi-dimensional view of psychosis would indicate that the healthy expression might have evolutionary advantages.
SEMINARS ARE HELD ON TUESDAYS AT 4:10 PM IN ROOM 308, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths.
All talks are open to staff, students and members of the public. Attendance is free and there is no need to book in advance.
For further information, contact Sally Marlow (email: [email protected]).
Official Website: http://www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/apru/speakers.php
Added by sitp on November 11, 2007