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Dr Shalmali Joshi

Former Research Student

Shalmali Joshi

Research overview

Our sense of being a stable and coherent ‘self’ is a fundamental part of human self-consciousness.  Stable self-consciousness is mediated by the successful integration of multiple sources of sensory information.  However, these psychological processes are not error proof, can break down, and can underlie striking distortions/hallucinations in self-consciousness.  Such instances are now known to occur in neurotypical (i.e., non-clinical) populations – placing them firmly on the mainstream scientific agenda. What is interesting is that because of the spontaneity of these hallucinations/dissociative- like experiences, predominant theories suggest that the entire healthy population falls on a spectrum (based on frequency and intensity of these occurrences) and is referred to as the ‘continuum’ theory. 


My research area focusses on exploring the underlying neural and sensory breakdown that occurs in individuals that are susceptible to these dissociative- like experiences, by studying autonomic response to body-specific aversive stimuli and relating this to the ‘continuum’ theory. To test this, the overall aim in my thesis is to tackle accounts of emotional ‘numbing’ that is a common report of dissociation. This will help further understand this relatively novel research area and provide explanation to the neural network that drives these experiences in the sub-clinical population. Moreover, findings from this research could then be applied to assess impacts of emotional processing as a result of dissociative experiences, in terms of different aspects of developmental and criminal psychology, artificial intelligence research or borderline personality disorders.


University of Birmingham, United Kingdom- MSc. Psychology with Merit

University of Pune, India- B.A. (Hons.) Psychology with Distinction

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