Exploring Neuroplasticity Part III

Exploring Neuroplasticity Part III


This session delved further into the brain circuits underlying emotion and social behavior, exploring how neuroscientists approach these topics. Richard Davidson first introduced the field of affective neuroscience and focus on brain mechanisms of emotional learning and emotion regulation. He discussed the involvement of these circuits in producing craving and attachment, and how contemplative training can impact these circuits while cultivating emotional balance. Tania Singer complemented this view by introducing the field of social neuroscience, focusing on the questions of how people relate to and understand each other. She distinguished cognitive perspective taking from concepts of emotion contagion, empathy and compassion; the former represents a cognitive route to the understanding of others, the latter a motivational and affective one. Compassion is closely linked to a motivational system routed in affiliation and care, which in turn is associated with specific brain systems that help increase trust and reduce fear. Geshe Dadul Namgyal offered remarks from the Buddhist perspective on issues relating to affective and social neuroscience findings.

  • Dialogue 26
    27 sessions
  • January 19, 2013
    Drepung Monastery, Mundgod, India
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Geshe Dadul Namgyal

Geshe Dadul Namgyal began his Buddhist studies in 1977 at the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics, Dharamsala, and completed them at Drepung Loseling Monastic University, South India, earning the Geshe Lharampa Degree in 1992. He also holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India. He represented his monastery on two year-long tours across the Americas. Later, he was Principal of Drepung Loseling School for five years. He then joined Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath, India, as Lecturer in the Department of Indian Buddhism for seven years. He has also served for several years as one of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s religious translators in English. During this period, he traveled extensively with His Holiness as an entourage member on visits both within India and abroad. Since early 2010, he has been serving as Senior Resident Teacher at Drepung Loseling Monastery in Atlanta, USA. He also serves in the team of translators for the Emory-Tibet Science Initiative, engaged in preparing a 6-year science curriculum in Tibetan to be used in Tibetan monasteries and nunneries. He has published a Tibetan translation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s Power of Compassion, a language manual, Learn English through Tibetan, and a critical edition of Tsongkhapa’s Speech of Gold, among others. His translation into Tibetan of Professor Jay Garfield’s Western Idealism and Its Critics was published by CUTS under the title nub phyogs pa’i sems gtso’i grub mtha’ dang der rgol ba rnams kyi lugs, and formally released in December, 2010.