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David Oakley

Honorary Professor

+44 (0)29 2087 4007
Tower Building, 70 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AT


Research summary

My earliest research was into the cortical and subcortical substrates of learning and memory (primarily in the context of Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning).  More recently I have been interested in hypnosis and suggestion as topics in their own right, as therapeutic techniques, as a means of exploring pain, consciousness and the voluntary control of action, and in the creation of experimental analogues of clinical conditions, such as conversion disorder and functional pain.  A number of the later studies have involved neuroimaging in the search the relevant underlying neurocognitive mechanisms.

Full list of publications

Publications can be found here.


Undergraduate education

1961-65: University College, University of London. B.Sc. 1st Class Honours Psychology

Postgraduate education

1965-76: Ph.D. University of London. "Decorticate Learning" 
1983-88: BPS Diploma in Clinical Psychology.


1968-76: Member of Research Staff.  MRC Unit on Neural Mechanisms of Behaviour, London.
1976-78: Lecturer in Psychology.  Department of Social Sciences and Humanities. The City University, London.
l978-87: Lecturer in Psychology. Department of Psychology, University College London.
1987-2005: Senior Lecturer in Psychology.  Department of Psychology, University College London.
1989-92: Director of Schools and Colleges Liaison.  Registrar’s Division, University College London (Full-time secondment).
1993-2003: Director of Diploma and MSc programmes in Applied Hypnosis, Department of Psychology, University College London
1993- Director of Hypnosis Unit, Department of Psychology, University College London
2004-: Director of Modular Programmes in Hypnosis Studies.
2005-07: Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, University College London.
2007-: Emeritus Professor, Department of Psychology, University College London,. 
2007-: Honorary Professor, School of Psychology, University of Cardiff

Honours and awards

Awards/external committees

1982-: Fellow of the British Psychological Society
2000-: Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine
2004: BMA Medical Book Competition Award (Malingering and Illness Deception, OUP)
2004: Henry Guze Award for best research paper, awarded by American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis . (BLAKEMORE, S.-J., OAKLEY, D.A. & FRITH, C.D.  Delusions of alien control in the normal brain. Neuropsychologia, , 2003)