Professor Lisa Bortolotti has been awarded a European Research Council Consolidator Grant (ERC-2013-Co-G) for a project called PERFECT, that is, Pragmatic and Epistemic Role of Factually Erroneous Cognitions and Thoughts.
The ERC Consolidator Grant is a very prestigious grant (EUR 2 million for five years), awarded for ground-breaking research projects to highly talented, promising young research leaders with between 7 and 12 years of experience after completing their PhD. The grant is obtained after an extended competition (in 2013 there were 3673 applicants from all over Europe).
PERFECT will involve three Post-doctoral researchers and two PhD students. It will also involve the participation of Dr Michael Larkin from the School of Psychology. PERFECT aims to establish whether cognitions that are inaccurate in some important respect can ever be good for us from an epistemic point of view. Can delusional beliefs, distorted memories, confabulatory explanations, which are frequent in the non-clinical population and also listed as symptoms of psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and dementia, have redeeming epistemic features?