Meditation-Based Clinical Interventions: Science, Practice, and Implementation Part III

Meditation-Based Clinical Interventions: Science, Practice, and Implementation Part III


Mind-brain-body interaction and meditation

Many peripheral biological systems exist within a network of neural and humoral connections that mediate the influence of the brain on peripheral biological function. Afferent connections to the brain are reciprocated in most of these systems. This anatomical and func­tional arrangement permits the mind to influence the body and vice versa. Meditation is a form of mental training that involves the vol­untary alteration of patterns of neural activity that can produce con­sequences for peripheral biology through these mechanisms.

Examples from recent and ongoing studies of the neural, immune and endocrine changes produced by meditation will be presented to illustrate possible mechanisms via which meditation can promote increased mental and physical health.


Richard Davidson

Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the founder and chairman of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, and the director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience and the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, both at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He was educated at New York University and Harvard University, where he received his bachelor’s of arts and PhD degrees, respectively, in psychology. Over the course of his research career, he has focused on the relationship between brain and emotion. He is currently the William James professor and Vilas research professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin. He is co-author or editor of 13 books, including Visions of Compassion: Western Scientists and Tibetan Buddhists Examine Human Nature, The Handbook of Affective Science, and The Emotional Life of Your Brain. Davidson has published more than 300 chapters and journal articles, and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his work, including the Research Scientist Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served on the board of directors for the Mind & Life Institute since 1992. In 2006, Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, and he received the first Mani Bhaumik Award from UCLA for advances in the understanding of the role of the brain and the conscious mind in healing.