November 2014

Neuroscience Reveals the Secrets of Meditation’s Benefits


When the Society for Neuroscience asked Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (the leader of Tibetan Buddhism), to address its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in 2005, a few hundred members among the nearly 35,000 or so attending the meeting petitioned to have the invitation rescinded. A religious leader, they felt, had no place at a scientific meeting. But this particular leader turned out to have a provocative and ultimately productive question to pose to the gathering. “What relation,” he asked, “could there be between Buddhism, an ancient Indian philosophical and spiritual tradition, and modern science?”

2014 Neuroscience of Mindfulness Conference at Bangor University ~ April 2014


Day 1 - Introduction to Neuroscience
Day 2 - Mindfulness and the Brain
Day 3 - Coming Home to Ourselves
Day 4 - Cognitive Neuroscience of Mindfulness: State of the Field and Recommendations for Future Research

Despite major advances in neuroscience, understanding the brain remains one of the most important scientific challenges of our time. Increased knowledge of the brain and nervous system will enhance the scientific community’s ability to promote and protect brain health; optimize learning strategies and educational paradigms; and develop treatments for the devastating disorders that afflict every age group and segment of society.


A broad and comprehensive approach to basic and applied neuroscience research will also improve scientists’ understanding of how animals and humans respond and adapt to
changing environmental conditions.


The BRAIN Initiative is launching with approximately $100 million in funding for research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget.



By Philippe Goldin, PhD


Mindfulness meditation has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance. Scientists have also begun to examine how meditation may influence brain functions. This talk examines the effect of mindfulness meditation practice on the brain systems in which psychological functions such as attention, emotional reactivity, emotion regulation, and self-view are expressed. The talk also covers how different forms of meditation practices are being studied using neuroscientific technologies and are being integrated into clinical practice to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.