April 30, 2014
Museum of Science
1 Science Park Boston, MA 02114
Richard J. Davidson, PhD, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director, Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience; and founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center University of Wisconsin-Madison; and author, The Emotional Life of Your Brain.
When "closet meditator" and pioneering neuroscientist Richard Davidson met the Dalai Lama in 1992, he made a commitment to step out of the closet and, in a very deliberate way, use ancient meditative tools to solve modern medical problems and put compassion and kindness squarely on the scientific map. Rooted in the breakthrough insights of neuroplasticity - the discovery that our brains change throughout our lives in response to experience - his lab is now investigating how different meditative techniques affect us, change our behavior, change the brain, and the body. Can we cultivate greater altruism in individuals and our society through compassion training? Can we change the expression of our genes by training our minds? Davidson's research has shown that even relatively brief training can alter neural functioning in brain areas associated with empathic understanding of others' distress and ultimately dissolve artificial social distinctions such as ethnicity, religion, and ideology that often divide us.
Advance registration begins at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday April 16 (Monday April 14 for Museum members) at mos.org/events.