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Cognitive, Affective, & Contemplative Neuroscience Research

Mind and Life’s Summer Research Institute 2012: A brief review

Imagine munching on oatmeal and scones, sitting on pillows, walking barefoot down quiet stony halls, and doing sun salutations with Buddhist monks, scientists, and other academics, all working towards integrating eastern and western philosophy in a way that may better our relationship with ourselves and with the world. More than a usual conference, more than…
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Why Mindfulness can help the Immune System

Stress is immunosuppressive. Research into this pernicious relationship between stress and disease has piqued interest in the ways that contemplative practices might positively influence the immune system. According to a large body of evidence, meditation appears to have profound effects on immune function in health and disease because of its ability to reduce stress. Why…
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A new contributing editor

Hello readers! My name is Emily Epstein, and I’ll be posting on behalf of Dave this summer. I am interning with him at the Functional Neuroimaging Lab. I’m a Neuroscience major at Colorado College, currently working on my undergraduate thesis involving the benefits of body-based contemplative practices for women with sexual abuse-induced pelvic pain. I’m…
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The Science of Compassion: Origins, Measures & Interventions – Teluride, Co (July 18-22)

The Science of Compassion: Origins, Measures & Interventions July 18-22, Telluride, Colorado Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education present The Science of Compassion. This first large-scale conference of its kind held on the science of compassion brings together an outstanding group of world experts in the fields of altruism, compassion, and service to present their latest research.  The conference is open…
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Presenting to His Holiness The Dalai Lama – Probably the highlight of my life (after meeting my wife and the birth of my baby girl)

Mind and Life XXIV: Latest Findings in Contemplative Science The Brochure [ML24_Brochure] Why is this meeting interesting? B/C we represent how the younger generation of scientists arewilling to examine some of the more difficult and even taboo aspects of deep contemplative transformation – topics the first generation of more cautious researchers were never explicit about.…
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The Wandering Mind vs. Mindfulness

Neuroimaging Research has grappled with the concept of a “resting brain”. Researchers interested in Consciousness have grappled with localizing subjective states of awareness and the elusive “self”. It seems that contemplative science is bringing both concepts to the table given the profound interest in tracing neurophenomenological states associated with “the self” and intentional, meditative practices.…
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Using Mindfulness for Caregivers

The development of mindfulness as a state and trait may not only be helpful for reducing stress and improving attention-related processing, but also for improving empathic ability. This is a critical skill that all caregivers could benefit from. A recent NY Times article [Link] discusses the implications of training for caregivers like MDs and two…
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Mechanisms of Mindfulness – Deconstructing the concept into psychological and neurobiological terms

A new paper has come out in the November issue of Perspectives in Psychological Science [Link] This paper is one of the first to begin deconstructing the concept into component processes for investigation both at the clinical and basic science level. Previous attempts at operationalizing the concept have relied on the most widely cited definition:…
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Some Statistics RE: explosion of research in Contemplative Sciences

Hi all, Through my work with the Mind and Life Institute, I kept some statistics on the number and types of grants that were being awarded in the area of contemplative science. I also kept track of publication records. Here are some of those statistics (through 2010) to give you a sense of where this…
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The 2011 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute

The Mind & Life Summer Research Institute was yet again a successful week-long venture into the depths of contemplative science. For a description of the program and its purpose see [Link]. For pictures see picasa [Link] or Flikr [Link] and a montage with Ottmar Liebert is on youtube [Link]. (photos by Dave Vago and Dave Womack)…
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