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Category: research

Cognitive, Affective, & Contemplative Neuroscience Research

Critical Analysis of the Efficacy of Meditation Therapies for Acute and Subacute Phase Treatment of Depressive Disorders: A Systematic Review

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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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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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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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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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 use of Mindfulness training for acute and chronic pain

There have been a number of studies investigating the effects of mindfulness and other forms of meditation training on the experience of pain, acutely or in chronic states. Below are just a few examples from 2009-2010 1. Brown, C. A. & Jones, A. K. P. (2010). Meditation experience predicts less negative appraisal of pain: Electrophysiological…
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