Friday, 30 May 2014

Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society: A postgraduate conference

Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society:  A postgraduate conference 

This one-day conference run by the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University, is designed to give postgraduate students from all disciplines who are interested in psychoanalysis an opportunity to present and discuss their research in an informal and intellectually stimulating setting.

The conference takes place at the Hendon Campus of Middlesex University between 9:30 and 5:30 on Saturday, 14 June, 2014. Tea, coffee and a light lunch will be provided. The conference fee is £40 for presenters and attendees. The fee for Middlesex University staff and students is £20.

For further details, please contact David Henderson,

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Middlesex PhD student Kate Brown runs workshop: 'Psychosis from an Attachment Perspective'

On Saturday 14th June 2014, Middlesex PhD student Kate Brown will run a workshop at the Bowlby Centre entitled 'Psychosis from an Attachment Perspective' 

The aim of this workshop is to equip those working with psychotic symptoms with a deeper understanding of its traumatic roots and its relational contexts.

For further details and booking:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Professor Mandeep K. Dhami on the 'star track' in Decision Psychology

Many congratulations to Professor Mandeep K. Dhami - she has been featured as being on the 'star track' in her discipline of Decision Psychology.

Read more here:

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Visiting speaker: Angela Clow, University of Westminster

Date and time: Tuesday 29th May, 4:00pm, room CG01.

Title: “Links between physical activity, cortisol secretion and cognitive function."

Increased physical activity is linked with positive benefits for cognitive function as well as physical health.  This talk will explore proposed mechanisms behind this association.  In particular it will examine the role of neuroendocrine function and the impact of stress and well-being.  New findings linking the cortisol awakening response (CAR) with improved cognitive function following an exercise intervention for Mild Cognitive Impairment as well as evidence linking the CAR with brain plasticity will be presented. As the CAR is regulated by the central ‘master’ clock (the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus) the impact for cognition of cortisol as regulator of peripheral ‘slave’ clocks will be discussed.

Angela Clow is a Professor of Psychophysiology based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Westminster.   Angela is trained in neuroscience and psychology and likes to work at the interface of these disciplines.  For her PhD (Institute of Psychiatry, London) she explored the mechanism of action of antipsychotic drugs, during her post-doctoral studies (Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London) she developed an interest in the biochemistry of stress. In 1989 she joined the University of Westminster where she became a founder member of the interdisciplinary Psychophysiology and Stress Research Group.

Her current research investigates the physiological pathways by which stress and well-being can affect health and performance.  In particular she studies daily patterns of cortisol secretion, a hormone important in the regulation of day-night cycles as well as stress responding.  She is particularly interested in the ways exercise, light and season can affect health and performance.  Her work has been funded by the Wellcome Trust, ESRC, NIHR, the British Academy and the Nuffield Trust.  She has published over 125 peer-reviewed papers, 5 books, and 28 book chapters or reviews.  Angela is a National Teaching Fellow and a frequent public speaker.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

OUPS Annual Psychology Conference 2014: 'The new neuroscience - friend or foe?'

Every year OUPS holds an applied psychology conference, inviting top psychologists to talk on a specific area of psychology. The aim is to provide delegates with the opportunity to hear a number of experts in the field presenting up to date research on a specific area of psychology. It aims to present a range of different perspectives on the topic and provide a forum for informed discussion.  
These OUPS conferences have a reputation for attracting speakers of international standing and are attended by a range of delegates including undergraduates, graduates, academics and practitioners. The Conference is open to anybody who has an interest in the particular topic and not just to Open University students and tutors. Students attending the OUPS mini Summer Schools, which are run in parallel at Warwick University, are welcome to attend some of the conference talks with no extra charge.

The Annual Conference for 2014 will be on July 4th  -6th at Warwick University on 'The new Neurosciences - friend or foe?' The conference is designed to stimulate discussion on the social relevance of this rapidly-developing science. Some questions to be discussed are:
  • Is the all hype about neuroimaging justified?
  • Is it misguided to hope to find the answers to our problems by probing the brain? Do they not lie in the social environment?
  • As we build up more-and-more knowledge about the working of the brain does this change our image of us as humans?
  • Is psychopathology best treated as a brain disorder?
  • What are the implications of genetic determinism?
  • What are some of the implications of evolutionary psychology in the context of the new neurosciences?
  • Does neuroscience prove that free-will is a myth? What are the ethical implications of associating complex mental and behavioural traits with activity of particular parts of the brain?
  • Is consciousness produced by the brain? If not, what are the implications of this?

Speakers who are now confirmed for the conference are:  
 - Frederick Toates (Open University): Introduction to conference
 - Lance Workman (Bath Spa University), author of the widely respected textbook Evolutionary Psychology
 - Gina Rippon, Professor of Psychology, Aston University
 - Raymond Tallis, celebrity and best-selling author (including Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity)
 - Morten Kringelbach, Professor of neuroscience, University of Oxford, director of Hedonia.

 - Simon Thorpe, cognitive scientist, paranormal commentator, director CNRS laboratory, Toulouse, France
 - Iain McGilchrist, author of best-selling The Master and his Emissary

 - Adrian Raine ( University of Pennsylvania) author of The Anatomy of Violence
 - David Lorimer, Scientific and Medical Network, author of Thinking Beyond the Brain: A Wider Science of Consciousness

Further details and booking information can be found here:

Monday, 5 May 2014

Visiting speaker: Stewart Guthrie, Fordham University, USA

Date and time: Tuesday 13th May, 4:00pm, room C219 (Corporate boardroom).

Title: “A cognitive theory of religion: biology, anthropomorphism and evolutionary epistemology"

A classic theory of religion dating to the 1600s is consistent with current knowledge. The theory is that religion is an aspect of anthropomorphism (the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman things and events) and that anthropomorphism is built into human cognition. Scholars including Spinoza, Hume, Feuerbach, Nietzsche, Freud and Tylor have proposed forms of this theory, which now is widely deployed in the cognitive science of religion. Yet its proponents disagree on a central question: how can we explain anthropomorphism itself? Present writers answer with such diverse notions as “projection,” “wishful thinking” and “counter-intuitivity.” These notions, however, not only differ but also are inconsistent with an evolutionary view of cognition. My answer, in contrast, joins Pascal with Darwin and with disciplines from anthropology and ethology to neurobiology, to hold that anthropomorphism is a byproduct of an evolved perceptual and cognitive strategy. The strategy in question employs the principle of Pascal’s Wager: bet first on the possibility that matters most.

Stewart E. Guthrie (Ph.D. Yale 1976) is Prof. Emeritus of Anthropology at Fordham University and a founding member of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion. His fieldwork has been mostly in Japan (e.g., A Japanese New Religion). The central propositions of his 1980 “A cognitive theory of religion” have been widely adopted in cognitive studies of religion:  that religion is anthropomorphism; that the latter stems from an evolved perceptual strategy, producing hair-trigger judgments that persons (or their traces) are present; and that viewing things and events as personal provides the most significant and powerful interpretation possible. Guthrie elaborates these ideas in Faces in the Clouds and elsewhere.


Friday, 2 May 2014

Qualitatively-Driven Approaches to Mixed Methods Research Design and Analysis

Middlesex PhD candidate Deborah Rodriguez will be facilitating a workshop next month on 'Qualitatively-Driven Approaches to Mixed Methods Research Design and Analysis'. This workshop will be useful both to researchers new to using mixed methods and to those interested in extending their use of this approach.  The workshop will show participants how to construct research questions that benefit from qualitatively driven mixed methods research design and provide opportunities for them to work with data generated with this approach. There will be ample opportunity for small group work, questions and answers and dialogue throughout. 

The conference takes place from Friday 27th June to Sunday 29th June, with the workshops taking place on Sunday 29th June – in Boston, Massachusetts! Here is the link to the conference: and more specifically the workshop descriptions: