Emily Holmes

Professor at Department of Psychology, Emotion Psychology

Visiting address:
Von Kraemers allé 1A och 1C
752 37 Uppsala
Postal address:
Box 1225
751 42 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Emily Holmes, PhD, DClinPsych leads the Emotional Mental Imagery Lab (EMIL) at Uppsala University. Her research group is underpinned by a core interest in mental health science, and the translation of basic findings to create innovations to improve psychological treatments.

In addition to being a Professor at the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Holmes is affiliated to Karolinska Institutet’s Department of Clinical Neuroscience. She is also a visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, UK.

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 completed a clinical psychology training doctorate at Royal Holloway University of London, and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK. She became Professor in 2010 at the University of Oxford. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

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 citations can be found here.

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Emily Holmes