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Category: Blog

Cognitive, Affective, & Contemplative Neuroscience Research

The Mind of the Meditator

Scientific American Just put out a decent summary of the current neuroscience research on meditation written by friends, Matthieu Ricard, Antoine Lutz, and Richie Davidson. I enjoyed reading the article and thought I’d share it here with some commentary. The article uses the same distinctions in meditation practice we outlined in our S-ART paper – That is…
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New model of self-regulatory mechanisms for Yoga

How does yoga work? Is there a benefit to doing a bunch of postures, breathing, and meditation techniques while being crammed in a room full of Lululemon Athletica? A group of interdisciplinary researchers gathered at Kripalu Yoga center to discuss the potential mechanisms associated with yoga practice in contemporary settings, while also acknowledging the traditional,…
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Vedana – Affective Feeling Tone or simply Sensation?

Hi all, I was recently having this conversation with Martine Bachelor, a Buddhist teacher and a few of my colleagues, Judson Brewer and Willoughby Britton. I thought it would be helpful to open it up to the public. I look forward to hearing your comments. There is certainly confusion amongst many Buddhist translations and psychological…
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Can Enlightenment be traced to specific correlates of the Brain, Cognition, or Behavior?

The term “Enlightenment” is quite a big word with a lot of semantic baggage. It’s really an imprecise construct for the field of contemplative neuroscience. Friend and colleague, Jake Davis, a Buddhist scholar and I comment in a recent issue of Frontiers in Consciousness about the forseeable future of unpacking the concept into clearly observable…
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Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, & Self-Transcendence (S-ART): A Framework for Understanding the Neurobiological Mechanisms of Mindfulness

Hi all, I wanted to take this space-time to introduce you to an integrative systems-based neurobiological model and theoretical framework for understanding the mechanisms by which mindfulness functions to reduce attention-specific and affective biases related to self processing and creates a sustainable healthy mind. The model attempts to integrate findings from the extant empirical literature…
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His Holiness The Dalai Lama is Coming to MIT – Oct. 14-16th

The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics is sponsoring an event with His Holiness to confront important issues of contemporary society. Check out the link [Link] or [Link] Some videos related to the talks can be found Here [Link] Event Details: Beyond Religion, Ethics, Values and Well-being | October 14, 1:30pm A Talk by His Holiness…
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Contemplative Practices and Mental Training: Prospects for American Education

The Mind and Life Education Research Group met regularly for 4 years (2007-2011) to create a research agenda for contemplative education. A scholarly white paper manifested as a result drawing on research in neuroscience, cognitive science, developmental psychology, and education, as well as scholarship from contemplative traditions concerning the cultivation of positive development, to highlight a set of mental…
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Contemplative Education supported by the 1440 Foundation

Hi Everyone, I wanted to share some great videos explaining the benefits of contemplative education and the research being conducted around the world supported by the 1440 Foundation. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/44255731 w=500&h=281] David Vago on Contemplative Science from 1440 Foundation on Vimeo. [vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/44142663 w=500&h=281] Dr. Robert Roeser on Supporting the Support System from 1440 Foundation…
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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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