September 16, 2008

Mindfulness and Cognitive Flexibility

Mindfulness meditation has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility, as well as induce overall well-being and emotional balance. And scientists and consciousness researchers are increasingly examining how meditation influences all kinds of brain functions.

This February, 28 2008 Google Tech Talk explores 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 instantiated. The lecture also discusses how different forms of meditation practices are being studied using neuroscientific technologies and are now being integrated into clinical practice to address symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress.

The presenter is Philippe Goldin. Goldin is a research scientist and heads the Clinically Applied Affective Neuroscience group in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. Goldin spent 6 years in India and Nepal studying various languages, Buddhist philosophy and debate at Namgyal Monastery and the Dialectic Monastic Institute, and serving as an interpreter for various Tibetan Buddhist lamas. He then returned to the U.S. to complete a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Rutgers University.

Goldin’s National Institute of Health funded clinical research focuses on (a) functional neuroimaging investigations of cognitive-affective mechanisms in adults with anxiety disorders, (b) comparing the effects of mindfulness meditation and cognitive-behavioral therapy on brain-behavior correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation, and (c) training children in family and elementary school settings in mindfulness skills to reduce anxiety and enhance compassion, self-esteem and quality of family interactions.

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