Contemplative Neuroscience

A webinar with Richard J. Davidson, Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

This webinar provided an introduction to the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience.  This emerging field is harnessing the concepts and methods from the modern study of neuroplasticity and applying them to the alterations that might be produced through contemplative practice.  While the field is in its infancy, there are several promising findings that have emerged that suggest that the regular practice of certain forms of meditation produces changes in brain function, brain structure and behavior.  Collectively, this new corpus of research suggests that qualities like happiness, kindness and equanimity should be regarded as the product of trainable skills that can be enhanced through contemplative practice.

Note: Due to a glitch during the presentation, we were unable to view or record Dr. Davidson’s PowerPoint slides beyond his first slide. The audio from his talk is available below.

Recommended Reading: The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the Dalai Lama