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Baland Jalal


Baland Jalal has previously been a Research Fellow at Harvard University and a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at San Diego. He has worked closely with the renowned neuroscientist VS Ramachandran (TIME magazine 100 most influential people in the world) since 2012. He was listed on the media outlet Van Winkle's  "15 Most Interesting People in Sleep" (list of researchers, writers, and cultural figures). His work has been featured widely in the international press (USA, UK, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Spain, Australia, Portugal, Greece, Brazil, Romania, Ukraine, Estonia, Russia, China, Czechoslovakia, Mexico, Chile, Honduras, Venezuela, Nigeria, Vietnam, Cyprus, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Polen, Japan, Jordan, India, Singapore etc.), including The Today Show, The Guardian, New York Magazine, Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine, Fox News, Discovery, New Scientist, Discover Magazine, VICE, Science Daily, International Business Times, YAHOO!, The Times of India, Fusion, Business Insider, Daily Mail and  many more. He has appeared on podcasts shows and radio stations shows such as NPR, Science Vs, and Futureproof. 

Departments and Institutes


Research Interests

Baland Jalal's research focuses on neuropsychiatry and cognitive neuroscience. He is an expert on sleep paralysis and has explored this phenomenon in various countries around the world, including USA, Denmark, Egypt, Italy and Turkey. He recently designed one of the first ever treatments for sleep paralysis called Meditation-Relaxation Therapy, or MR Therapy for short. Moreover, with Devon E. Hinton, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, he has designed and co-authored a mindfulness-based CBT (transdiagnostic) treatment manual for patients suffering from anxiety and mood disorders. 


  • experimental medicine
  • cognitive
  • behaviour
  • psychiatry
  • neuroscience

Key Publications

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (In press). The twin vantage point paradox: a thought experiment. The Journal of Mind and Behavior.

Ramachandran, V. S., Jalal, B. (In press). The evolutionary psychology of envy and jealousy. Frontiers in PsychologyDetails.

Jalal, B., Kruger, Q., and Hinton, D. E. (In press). Adaptation of CBT for traumatized South African indigenous groups: examples from Multiplex CBT for PTSD. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2017). Sleep paralysis, "the ghostly bedroom intruder" and out-of-body experiences: the role of mirror neurons. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 11:92. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00092. Details.

Jalal, B. (2017). Response: "Commentary: How to make the ghosts in my bedroom disappear? Focused-attention meditation combined with muscle relaxation (MR therapy)—a direct treatment intervention for sleep paralysis". Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00760 Details

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2017). “I feel your disgust and relief”: can the action understanding system (mirror neuron system) be recruited to induce disgust and relief from contamination vicariously, in individuals with obsessive–compulsive disorder symptoms? Neurocase. Details.

Jalal, B. (2016). How to make the ghosts in my bedroom disappear? Focused-attention meditation combined with muscle relaxation (MR therapy)—a direct treatment intervention for sleep paralysis. Frontiers in Psychology. 7:28. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00028 Details

Jalal, B. & Hinton D. E. (2016) Lifetime presence and rates of sleep paralysis in Denmark of ethnic Danes and non-ethnic Danes. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. Details  

Jalal, B., Samir, W. S., & Hinton D. E. (2016). Adaptation of CBT for traumatized Egyptians: Examples from culturally adapted CBT (CA-CBT). Cognitive and Behavioral Practice. Details

Jalal, B., Krishnakumar, D., & Ramachandran, V. S. (2015). “I feel contaminated in my fake hand”: Obsessive-compulsive-like disgust sensations arise from dummy during rubber hand illusion. PLoS one, 10(12), e0139159. Details

Jalal, B., Romanelli, A., & Hinton, D. E. (2015). Cultural explanations of sleep paralysis in Italy: The pandafeche attack and associated supernatural beliefs. Culture Medicine and Psychiatry39(4), 651-664. Details

Jalal, B. & Hinton, D. E. (2015). Sleep paralysis among Egyptian college students: Association with anxiety symptoms (PTSD, trait anxiety, pathological worry). The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 203(11), 871-875. Details

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2014). Sleep paralysis and the shadowy bedroom intruder: The role of the right superior parietal, phantom pain and projection of body image. Medical Hypotheses, 83(6), 755-757. Details

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2014). A pilot investigation of “metaphor blindness” in a college student population. Medical hypotheses82(6), 648-651. Details

Jalal, B., Settlage, B. L., & Ramachandran, V. S. (2014). Science, epistemology, and future prospects for psychoanalysis. Neuropsychoanalysis16(2), 115-127. Details

Abuhamdeh, S., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Jalal, B. (2014). Enjoying the possibility of defeat: Outcome uncertainty, suspense, and intrinsic motivation. Motivation and Emotion39(1), 1-10. Details

Jalal, B [Baland], Simons-Rudolph, J., Jalal, B [Bamo], & Hinton, D. E. (2014). Explanations of sleep paralysis among the general population in Egypt and Denmark. Transcultural Psychiatry51, 158-175. Details

Jalal, B. & Hinton, D. E. (2013). Rates and characteristics of sleep paralysis in the general population of Denmark and Egypt. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 37, 534-548. Details

Jalal, B. & Amir, N. (2013). Semantic priming and interpretation bias in social anxiety disorder. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 38, 23-32. Details


Other Publications

Acarturk, Z., C., Abuhamdeh,, S., Jalal, B., Unaldi, N, Alyanak,, B., Cetinkaya, M, Gulen, B, Hinton, D.E. (In Press) Culturally adapted transdiagnostic CBT for SSRI-resistant Turkish adolescents: A pilot study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Becker, M., Vignoles, V. L., Owe, E., Easterbrook, M., Brown., R Smith, P. B.,...& Abuhamdeh, S. (2017). Being Oneself Through Time: Bases of Self-Continuity Across 55 Cultures. Self and Identity. Details

Vignoles, V. L., Owe, E., Becker, M., Smith, P. B., Easterbrook, M., Brown., R...& Bond, M. H. (2016). Beyond the 'East-West' dichotomy: Global variation in cultural models of selfhood. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Details

Smith, P. B., Vignoles, V. L., Becker, M., Owe, E., Easterbrook, M. J., Brown, R…. Harb, C. (2016). Individual and culture-level components of survey response styles: A multi-level analysis using cultural models of selfhood. International Journal of Psychology. Details

Jalal, B. (2016). Sleep paralysis. In World Book studentDetails 

Jalal, B. (2016). Lucid dreams. In World Book studentDetails 

Jalal. B. (2015). Further thoughts on “metaphor blindness”: Implications and future avenues of research. Medical hypotheses, 85(6), 1044. Details

Hinton, D. E. & Jalal, B. (2014). Parameters for creating culturally sensitive CBT: Implementing CBT in global settings. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 21, 139-144. Details

Hinton, D. E., Ojserkis, R., Jalal, B., & Hofmann, S. G. (2014). Loving kindness to treat traumatized refugees and minority groups: A typology of mindfulness and nodal network model of affect. Journal of Clinical Psychology69, 817-828. Details

Hinton, D. E. & Jalal, B. (2014). Guidelines for the implementation of cultural sensitive CBT among refugees and globally. Intervention, 12, 78-93. Details

Jalal, B. (2014). Evidence for tai chi as a therapeutic mind-body intervention for sleep: A commentary on Raman et al.  Journal of Sleep Disorders and Therapy, 3, 2167-2177. Details

Jalal, B., Taylor, C. T., & Hinton, D. E. (2013). A comparison of self-report and interview methods for assessing sleep paralysis: A pilot investigation in Denmark and the United States. Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment and Care, 3, 9-13. Details

Owe, E., Vignoles, V. L., Becker, M., Brown, R., Smith, P. B., Lee, S. W… & Jalal, B. (2013). Identifying the belief component of individualism-collectivism: Contextualism across 36 national groups. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 24-45. Details

Amer, M. & Jalal, B. (2011). Individual psychotherapy/counseling: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral and humanistic-experiential models. In Ahmed, S. & Amer, M. (Eds). Counseling Muslims: Handbook of Mental Health Issues and Interventions. New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 87-117. Details

Jalal, B. (2011). [Review essay of the film Rushmore]. Fort da 17, 104-109. Details


Essays and Literature 

Jalal, B. The Neuroscience of Sleep Paralysis (2017). Thrive GlobalDetails

Jalal, B. The Candle (2017). Thrive Global. Details


Selected Press 

Newstalk (future proof) - Sleep Paralysis (radio/podcast interview), November 2017. Details

The Pulse (NPR) - Sleep Paralysis: How a Deep-Sleep Glitch Can Conjure the Boogeyman, July 2017. Details

Van Winkle's - The Most Interesting People in Sleep, May 2017. (List of 15 most interesting people in sleep [researchers, writers and cultural figures]). Details

Van Winkle's - The Sleep Habits of Great Minds: Baland Jalal, Neuroscientist, February 2017. Details

New York Magazine - A Neuroscientist Tried to Help Me Overcome My Sleep Paralysis, July 2016. (On MR-Therapy for sleep paralysis). Details

Van Winkle's - Is There Finally a Solution to the Nightmare of Sleep Paralysis?, January 2016. (On MR-Therapy for sleep paralysis). Details

Discover Magazine - To Study OCD Scientists get Their (Rubber) Hands Dirty, December 2015. (On OCD and the rubber hand illusion). Details