Metaphors for the mind
What does dementia feel like? What impact does it have on a person’s sense of self? This project will collect the visual, textual & linguistic metaphors used to describe dementia and provide an opportunity for people affected by dementias to respond to these descriptions. By empowering and integrating the multiple and unique voices of people living with dementias into public and scientific descriptions, we can help inform more inclusive representations.
There is a common assumption that people experiencing dementia become rapidly unable to engage in meaningful conversation. Talking life is a series of hosted podcast conversations with a person, or people, living with a dementia about their relationships with topics such as: desire, beauty, purpose, connectedness, and sleep.
The idea is for listeners to engage in collective conversations with people experiencing dementias about everyday subjects, challenging them to reconsider their initial assumptions about dementias.
The art of conversation
We will explore qualitatively (through interviews, observation and natural language processing models) the verbal and non-verbal communication between care professionals and people with dementia, in particular people with advanced dementia. We hope to conduct an in-depth analysis of the role of communication in improving the experiences of people with dementias and the people that care for them.
Brains in a dish
Using ground-breaking techniques, researchers will transform skin cells from people with and without dementias into brain cells (neurons). We hope to demonstrate what the cells of a healthy- if ageing- brain look like, how these compare to the brain cells in someone with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), and explore whether this kind of research can increase our understanding of degenerative brain diseases. We hope this will inspire further scientific, personal and creative observation and reflection.
A story of dementias
Working with the Wellcome Library, we will explore how ideas, attitudes to, and perceptions of dementias have been documented from the 19th century through to the present day. We will explore and contrast the perspectives and judgements of dementias from a variety of historical accounts; both traditional medical texts and lived, personal experiences.
Dementias in the media
We will use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to identify and analyse the language used by media platforms to discuss dementias. This will help us reflect on the language we should be using when communicating about dementia. We will explore representations in traditional media (e.g. BBC, The Daily Mail, Guardian, Sun) and social media (e.g. Twitter Reddit).
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts
Created Out of Mind will combine the main findings from each of the People and Perceptions projects, exploring the challenges, differences and similarities between them. It will explore how and where these projects can inform and influence perceptions and understanding of dementias and how they might be used in future to shape future communications; ultimately enriching the experiences of those living with dementias.