Dr Baland Jalal PhD


Dr Baland Jalal's research interest is neuropsychiatry, with a focus on how technology (e.g., smartphone apps) and innovative treatments can make psychiatry more transportable and accessible (the theme of his PhD done at Cambridge University - with research partly completed at Harvard).

Dr Jalal has done research on sleep paralysis around the world (USA, Denmark, Egypt, Italy, Turkey and Poland). He designed one of the first ever treatments for sleep paralysis called Meditation-Relaxation Therapy (MR Therapy).

With Devon Hinton of Harvard Medical School, he designed a treatment for anxiety and mood disorders ("Transdiagnostic Multiplex CBT for Muslim Cultural Groups: Treating Emotional Disorders" - book published by Cambridge University Press, 2020).

With colleagues at Cambridge University he invented two smartphone apps to reduce symptoms of OCD. With colleagues at UC San Diego and Harvard he proposed the use of the "rubber hand illusion" to treat OCD.

Research Focus




personalized medicine


sleep paralysis

Clinical conditions

Anxiety disorders

Depressive disorders

Obsessive compulsive disorder


Post-traumatic stress disorder

Sleep disorders

Sleep paralysis


Behavioural analysis

Neuropsychological testing

Proof of concept trials

Randomised control trials



Sam Chamberlain

Claire O'Callaghan

Trevor Robbins

Barbara Sahakian


Devon Hinton Web: https://ghsm.hms.harvard.edu/faculty...

Richard J McNally Web: https://psychology.fas.harvard.edu/people/...

VS Ramachandran Web: http://cbc.ucsd.edu/ramabio...

Associated News Items

Key publications

Hinton, D. E. & Jalal, B. (2020), “Transdiagnostic multiplex CBT for Muslim cultural groups: Treating emotional disorders. ” Cambridge University Press

Jalal B, Moruzzi L, Zangrandi A, Filardi M, Franceschini C, Pizza F, Plazzi G (2020), “Meditation-Relaxation (MR Therapy) for Sleep Paralysis: A Pilot Study in Patients with Narcolepsy ” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11, 922

Jalal B, Samuel RC, Robbins TW, Sahakian BJ (2020), “Obsessive-compulsive disorder—contamination fears, features and treatment: Novel smartphone therapies in light of global mental health and pandemics (COVID-19) ” CNS Spectrums.

Jalal, B., McNally, R. J., Elias, J., & Ramachandran, V. S. (in press), “"Vicarious exposure”—"spooky action” at a distance in obsessive-compulsive disorder.” Journal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Jalal, B., McNally, R. J., Elias, J., Potluri, S., & Ramachandran, V. S. (2020), “Contaminating rubber hands ("multisensory stimulation therapy”) to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder. ” Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 13, 414.

Jalal, B. (2018), “The neuropharmacology of sleep paralysis hallucinations: Serotonin 2A activation and a novel therapeutic drug” Psychopharmacology 235(11), 3083-3091

Jalal, B., Bruhl, A., O’Callaghan, C., Piercy, T., Cardinal, R.N., Ramachandran, V. S., & Sahakian, B. J. (2018), “Novel smartphone interventions improve cognitive flexibility and OCD symptoms in individuals with contamination fears” Scientific Reports 8, 14923.

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 23(1), 31-35.

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.



Jalal, B., Eskici, H. S, Acarturk, Z. C., Hinton, D. (2020), “Beliefs about sleep paralysis in Turkey: Karabasan.” Transcultural Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1363461520909616

Jalal, B., Kruger, Q., & Hinton, D. E. (2020), “Culturally adapted CBT (CA-CBT) for traumatised indigenous South Africans (Sepedi): A randomised pilot trial comparing CA-CBT to applied muscle relaxation. ” Intervention 18(1), 61-65.

Jalal, B., Romanelli, A., & Hinton, D. E. (2020), “Sleep paralysis in Italy: Frequency, hallucinatory experiences, and other features. ” Transcultural Psychiatry https://doi.org/10.1177/1363461520909609

Wróbel-Knybel, P., Karaku?a-Juchnowicz, H., Flis, M., Rog, J., Hinton, D. E., Boguta, P., Jalal, B. (2020), “Prevalence and clinical picture of sleep paralysis in a Polish student population. ” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, 3529


Acarturk, C., Alyanak, B., Cetinkaya, M., Gulen, B., Jalal, B., Hinton, D., E. (2019), “Adaptation of transdiagnostic CBT for Turkish adolescents: Examples from Culturally Adapted Multiplex CBT (CA Multiplex CBT). ” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 26(4), 688-700

Acarturk, Z. C., Abuhamdeh, S., Jalal, B., Unald?, N., Alyanak, B., Cetinkaya, M., ... & Hinton, D. (2019), “Culturally adapted transdiagnostic CBT for SSRI-resistant Turkish adolescents: A pilot study. ” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 89(2), 222-227.

Hinton, D. E. & Jalal, B. (2019), “Dimensions of culturally sensitive CBT: Application to Southeast Asian populations. ” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 89(4), 493-507


Becker, M., Vignoles, V. L., Owe, E., Easterbrook, M. J., Brown, R., Smith, P. B., ... & Camino, L (2017), “Being oneself through time: Bases of self-continuity across 55 cultures” Self and Identity 17 (3), 276-293.

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 8, 760.

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2017), “The twin vantage point paradox: a thought experiment. ” The Journal of Mind and Behavior 38(2), 111-118

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

Jalal, B., Kruger, Q., & Hinton, D. E. (2017), “Adaptation of CBT for traumatized South African indigenous groups: Examples from Multiplex CBT for PTSD” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 25(2), 335-349.

Jalal, B., Samir, W. S., & Hinton D. E. (2017), “Adaptation of CBT for traumatized Egyptians: Examples from culturally adapted CBT (CA-CBT)” Cognitive and Behavioral Practice 24(1), 58-71

Ramachandran, V. S. & Jalal, B. (2017), “The evolutionary psychology of envy and jealousy. ” Frontiers in Psychology 8, 1619.


Jalal B (2016), “Sleep paralysis. ” In World Book student. [encyclopaedia entry] http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar756513

Jalal B (2016), “Lucid dreams” In World Book student. [encyclopaedia entry] http://www.worldbookonline.com/student/article?id=ar756512

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 70(6), 253-253.

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 51(6), 453-463.

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 145(8), 966-1000.


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.

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.

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 Psychiatry 39(4), 651-664.

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


Abuhamdeh, S., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Jalal, B. (2014), “Enjoying the possibility of defeat: Outcome uncertainty, suspense, and intrinsic motivation. ” Motivation and Emotion 39(1), 1-10.

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

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

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 Psychology 69, 817-828

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.

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 Psychiatry 51, 158-175.

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

Jalal, B. & Ramachandran, V. S. (2014), “A pilot investigation of “metaphor blindness” in a college student population.” Medical Hypotheses 82(6), 648-651.

Jalal, B., Settlage, B. L., & Ramachandran, V. S. (2014), “Science, epistemology, and future prospects for psychoanalysis. ” Neuropsychoanalysis 16(2), 115-127.


Haddara, N., Jalal, B., Anderson, W., Amer M., & Simons-Rudolph, J. (2013), “Profile and predictors of voluntary civic engagement at a university in Egypt. ” The Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice 4, 1-10

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

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.

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.

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.


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.

Jalal, B. (2011), “[Review essay of the film Rushmore].” Fort da: The Journal of the Northern California Society for Psychoanalytic Psychology 17, 104-109