Psychologist to give Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Experimental psychologist Professor Bruce Hood, director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre at the University of Bristol, will give this year’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.

Under the title ‘Meet Your Brain’, Professor Hood will explore how our brains work and just what makes us truly human. He will explain how we create your own version of reality, what makes our brains decide what information to trust and what to ignore (without our even knowing) and why we are programmed to read other people's minds.

The three-part series will be broadcast on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 27, 28 and 29 December.

Commenting on his appointment, Professor Hood said:

“I am truly thrilled to be asked to present the 2011 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. I am honoured to follow in the very large footsteps left by all the great scientists who have made this event part of this nation's Christmas tradition.”

Upon hearing that psychology would be part of this year's lectures Dr Carole Allan, President of the Society, said:

"The wider psychological community is really very pleased that these prestigious annual science lectures will this year feature psychology. Communicating our evidence-based science to a wider public audience is has an important part to play in keeping the subject lively and relevant for everyone. This is essential viewing this Christmas for anyone with an interest in psychology".

Richard Klein, controller of BBC Four, said:

“I am delighted that once again BBC Four is televising this year's Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures. This year's theme, on the human mind and how it works, promises to be an unmissable addition in the series.”

The Royal Institution Lectures were inaugurated by Michael Faraday in 1825 and have long been seen as one of the most important events in the scientific calendar.

Professor Hood will be the subject of the 'One on One' in January's issue of The Psychologist, which will be published later this month.