Brain Sketch

Dr Paul Keedwell

Psychiatrist, author, podcaster and commentator

Welcome to my personal website. Now more than ever, there is a face and personal brand behind the media, which is just as important as the content itself. It is my hope that this website will give you a taste of both.

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About me

I write about the latest findings in psychology and mental health and the ways in which we can maximise our wellbeing, as individuals and as a species. I like to examine how behavioural science can contribute to wider debates about other human-focused activity like architecture and the design of our cities. As well as publishing books I have contributed articles to the national Press, and contributed to debates on national TV and Radio.



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Why the long face?

Discussions about depression over a beer.


TV stuff

BBC Breakfast with Alistair Campbell

BBC News discussion on antidepressants

BBC News at Ten: Antidepressant use in adolescents



Maybe we can learn a lot from how our ancestors lived?

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Surprising ways in which buildings affect how we think, feel and perceive.

March 2017

Starting with the home and reaching out to the street, neighbourhood and wider city, this book asks how urban architecture affects our wellbeing, and how we can adapt or change things for the better.


Why is depression so common in the human race? Are our brains designed for a different kind of life?

March 2008

Does depression have an evolutionary basis? Were the brain mechanisms behind depression adaptive in the past, when we were freer to escape stressful environments?

Serious Man

21st Century Male

In development

What makes modern man tick, and are we ignoring male misery? 75% of suicides are male. Most drug deaths are male. Men have triple the rate of alcoholism. Males are said to have half the rate of depression that women suffer, but is it being missed? Men are still much less in touch with their emotions than women and are less likely to share how they feel. What are the causes and what can we do about it?



A sample of my research in to the brain mechanisms behind depression

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Imaging white matter tracts.

Altered connections between the emotional limbic system and the more controlling frontal lobe might be a vulnerability factor for depression. This research demonstrated some differences in the major white matter connections between these regions in people with a family history of depression.

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Happy faces and happy memories

Positive stimuli light up pleasure centres in healthy volunteers but not in depressed individuals who struggle to experience pleasure. I also showed that visual areas light up more to sad faces in depressed individuals, and this is not under conscious control.


Brain activity that changes with antidepressants

Activity in a part of the brain that connects the gut feeling part of the brain to the higher centres changes depending on how much depressed individuals improve with antidepressant treatment.

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Emotional stroop

Te integrity of a major white matter tract relates to how well we can manage the conflict between a word and an image when it comes to processing emotions.


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