Emily Holmes

Professor at Department of Women's and Children's Health, Percept

Visiting address:
MTC-huset, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14B, 1 tr
752 37 Uppsala
Postal address:
Akademiska sjukhuset
751 85 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Emily Holmes, PhD, DClinPsych has a core interest in mental health science, and the translation of basic findings to create innovations to improve psychological treatments.

My driving force is improving mental health through science. My specialism is mental imagery.

Holmes received her BA (Hons) in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, UK, and her Masters in Social Sciences at Uppsala University, Sweden. She is also a clinician and completed a clinical psychology training doctorate at Royal Holloway University of London, and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. She became Professor in 2010 at the University of Oxford. She is the recipient of several international awards, including from the American Psychological Association, the German Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the Rudbeck Medal from Uppsala University. Holmes serves on the Board of Trustees of the research charity "MQ Foundation". She became a Fellow of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Kungl. Vetenskapsakademien) in 2018. She was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts UK in 2023.

Holmes' field within psychology is experimental psychopathology in the areas of memory and emotion. Under the umbrella of "mental health science", her interdisciplinary research places cognitive science alongside clinical psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience for psychological treatment innovation. Work in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and bipolar disorder is linked by an interest in mental imagery and emotion.

Her research has demonstrated that mental imagery has a more powerful impact on emotion than its verbal counterpart. This is of clinical relevance given the historical focus on verbal thoughts (rather than imagery) in therapy. Her group’s particular interest is intrusive memories—imagery that springs to mind unbidden. An imagery focus opens up treatment innovations to help mood stability in bipolar disorder, and potential new methods to prevent intrusive memories after trauma. It also holds fundamental relevance to the science of mental life and the nature of human memory.

Holmes' Google Scholar publications can be found here.

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Emily Holmes