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Dr James Carney

Dr James Carney
Research Fellow II


Currently, I am employed on a Wellcome Trust Medical Humanities Fellowship. This involves using machine learning to evaluate the therapeutic effects of fiction on individuals who suffer from depression and anxiety. The goal is is train a neural network to be able to read large numbers of narratives and assess their likely impact on the populations of interest; the training will be based on clinical data from real-world readers. This interdisciplinary project is situated at the intersection of the humanities, experimental psychology and computational linguistics, and forms part of a wider move towards blending interpretive and empirical methodologies.  

Areas of expertise:

  • Cognitive cultural studies
  • Medical humanities
  • Literary studies
  • Data science
  • Computational linguistics
  • Coding (python)
  • Machine learning
  • Discourse analysis
  • Semantics and pragmatics
  • Evolutionary psychology

Newest selected publications

Carney, J. and Robertson, C. (2018) 'People Searching for Meaning in Their Lives Find Literature More Engaging'. Review of General Psychology, 22 (2). pp. 199 - 209. ISSN: 1089-2680 Open Access Link

Journal article

Carney, J. and Mac Carron, P. (2017) 'Comic-Book Superheroes and Prosocial Agency: A Large-Scale Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Cognitive Factors on Popular Representations'. Journal of Cognition and Culture, 17 (3-4). pp. 306 - 330. ISSN: 1567-7095

Journal article

Carney, J. and Dávid-Barrett, T. (2017) 'What is the naturalistic basis of theological interpretation?'. Religion, Brain & Behavior, 7 (4). pp. 1 - 4. ISSN: 2153-599X

Journal article

Carney, J. (2017) 'The Space between Your Ears: Construal Level Theory, Cognitive Science, and Science Fiction', in Troscianko, Emily. and Burke, M. (eds.) Cognitive Literary Science: Dialogues between Literature and Cognition. New York : Oxford University Press. pp. 73 - 92. ISBN 10: 019049686X. ISBN 13: 9780190496869.

Book chapter

Dunbar, RIM., Launay, J., Wlodarski, R., Robertson, C., Pearce, E., Carney, J. and et al. (2016) 'Functional benefits of (modest) alcohol consumption'. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, 3 (2). pp. 118 - 133. ISSN: 2198-7335 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(27)