Change Your Brain by Transforming Your Mind

Dr. Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at University of Wisconsin-Madison

The 2013-2014 Witherspoon Memorial Lecture in Religion and Science

Meditation produces changes in brain function that promote well-being, foster certain forms of positive affect and virtuous dispositions and impact physical health and illness.  Through research with both long-term practitioners and novices studied longitudinally, this talk will illustrate some of key findings and challenges in the nascent field of contemplative neuroscience.

Dr. Davidson is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, and Founder and Chair and the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center - all at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a PhD from Harvard University in Psychology and his work has focused on the neural bases of emotion and emotional style and methods to promote human flourishing including meditation and related contemplative practices. His research involves range of methods including different varieties of MRI, positron emission tomography, electroencephalography and modern genetic and epigenetic methods.

Related links:
Groundbreaking neuroscientist Richard Davidson to explore emotion and the brain for Assembly Series
Meditation on the brain
On well-being: Richard Davidson interviewed for the Washington University Magazine

Reception and book-signing to follow in Goldfarb Hall in the Danforth University Center (DUC). This lecture is co-sponsored by the Assembly Series and is free and open to the public.

The Witherspoon Memorial Lectures in Religion and Science are made possible through the generosity of the late Mr. William Witherspoon, a longtime benefactor of Religious Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Mr. Witherspoon was a distinguished economist and investment counselor with a deep interest in the link between religion and science.

Related event: "Order and Disorder in the Emotional Brain," Psychology colloquium, March 6, 4 pm, Wilson 214