Date: 10/11/09
Speaker: Professor Chris French
Title: Something Wicked This Way Comes: Causes and Interpretations of Sleep Paralysis

Abstract
This presentation will describe the phenomenon of sleep paralysis, including numerous first-person accounts. In its most basic form, sleep paralysis simply involves being half-awake and half-asleep and realising that, for a short time, one cannot move. This experience is very common with around 40% of the population reporting that they have experienced it. Around one in twenty people report having experienced terrifying hallucinations during their episodes of sleep paralysis. The underlying psychophysiological causes of the fascinating phenomenon will be described, as will the different interpretations of the experience cross-culturally.

Biography
Chris French is Professor of Psychology and Head of the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit in the Psychology Department at Goldsmiths. He has published over 100 articles and chapters covering a wide range of topics within psychology. His main current area of research is the psychology of paranormal beliefs and anomalous experiences. He frequently appears on radio and television casting a sceptical eye over paranormal claims. He is the editor of The Skeptic magazine (UK version).

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