Contemplative Neurosciences Research


Brigham and Women's Hospital

This Blog serves as a cyber space for news dedicated to contemplative research in the cognitive neurosciences, clinical sciences, and digital health technology space.


The comments I am expressing are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School or its administration

David Vago, PhD is a research associate of the the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He is former visiting Associate Professor at University of Virginia in the Contemplative Sciences Center. He is also formerly Associate Professor of psychology at the Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Vanderbilt University, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was the Research Director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. He has held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering dialogue and research at the highest possible level between modern science and the great living contemplative traditions. He is currently a scientific consultant for the digital health and wellbeing technology industry and contemplative neurosciences.

He received his Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1997 from the University of Rochester. In 2005, David received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences with a specialization in learning and memory from the department of Psychology, University of Utah. Dr. Vago’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology, to better predict outcomes and potential biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness and chronic pain. Through mixed research methods of systems biology, neuroimaging, predictive computational modeling, connectomics, genomic and neuroendocrine science, innovation, cognitive-behavioral and first-person phenomenological analyses, Dr. Vago focuses on one basic question – “What are the basic neurobiological and physiological components that constitute adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric settings?” Dr. Vago has a number of research initiatives that are ongoing, including Mapping the Meditative Mind, in which he has partnered with contemporary meditation teachers and scholars to investigate states of meditation across the spectrum of formal meditative expertise. Another initiative leverages innovation to optimize contemporary tools for electronic delivery of integrative medicine and utilize neurofeedback for patient-centered mental training.

3 Responses

  1. Nisha says:

    Dear David,
    I just discovered this amazing web-site! Thank you for putting it up. I do have a question: what may be an appropriate outcome measure for the Buddha Relic tour? (Maitreya Project). Ordinary people visiting the tour experience unconditonal loving-kindness and healing of emotional and physical domains. Mindfulness may not be the best outcome measure. I am open to your thoughts.
    Many thanks again. Nisha

  2. Nice website Vago! Very useful information. Is this your only site?

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