Hugo Critchley is Professor of Psychiatry at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and co-director of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex. Hugo’s research focuses on brain mechanisms supporting normal and abnormal emotion, with particular emphasis on bidirectional brain-body interactions. Hugo’s research encompasses basic and clinical investigation of emotions and their disorders. Hugo moved to Sussex as foundation Professor of Psychiatry at BSMS in 2006. He set up the Neurobehavioral clinical services, which supports specialist multidisciplinary diagnostic evaluation of adults with neurodevelopmental disorders (including autism, Tourette Syndrome and ADHD) at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. He is vice chair of the academic faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Hugo trained in Physiology and Medicine at the University of Liverpool before completing a Doctorate in Psychological Studies at the University of Oxford. He trained in psychiatry at St Georges London and KCL Institute of Psychiatry, then in neuropsychiatry at the UCLH and the UCL Institute of Neurology where, through a series of research fellowships, he developed a research programme integrating psychiatry and cognitive psychology with autonomic neuroscience and neuroimaging.
Hugo has collaborated on arts-science projects with Mark Ware over a number of years. Outcomes include joint presentations at academic and public events (including the British Science Festival), and a 2017 peer reviewed research publication in the journal PLoSOne of a study examining the health-promoting effects of immersive natural soundscapes on brain and heart. Hugo’s discussions with Mark reflect shared interests in ‘making a real difference’ to health and society through harnessing what we know about well-being, aesthetics, artistic process and biomedical evidence. The Charity represents an interdisciplinary platform combining knowledge from the humanities and science to achieve these joint aims.