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Monday, 14 March 2022, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Psychosis: Our Default Mental State?

Professor Peter Woodruff

Psychosis is a mental state where people experience a 'different' world. If, as clinical psychiatry and neuroscience suggests, it is our 'default mental state' why isn't everyone psychotic? Psychosis does not arise de novo; external sensory input and cognition actively inhibit its expression. It is important to understand: how thin the boundary is between sanity and madness and what leads from one to the other; and to appreciate the frailty of rational thought.


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Peter Woodruff

Professor Peter Woodruff was Professor of Psychiatry at Sheffield University in the UK from 1999 to 2015, where he set up and directed the internationally renowned Sheffield Cognition and Neuroimaging Laboratory (SCANlab) and where he continues as Visiting Professor.

He was Chair of Psychiatry at Hamad Medical Corporation from May 2015 to 2020. He was responsible for implementing the National Health Strategy which involves a complete overhaul and transformation of the Psychiatric Services, together with the training and research that is essential to sustain those services.

He trained in Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London, UK; Johns Hopkins Hospital and as a Fulbright Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA. He has also worked in Egypt and Southern Sudan where he described the first case of HIV in that country.

His research interests include the aetiology, pathophysiology and treatment of mental disorder, particularly the psychoses and in the phenomenology and mechanisms of hallucinations. His achievements are acknowledged globally and are listed in ‘Who’s Who in the World’.

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