Imagine feeling intense stress: palms sweaty, heart racing, breathing shallow. Sensations of the body often come to the forefront when describing experiences of emotion or stress, yet these physiological changes are separate from the subjective ‘feeling’ of these states that we experience mentally. My previous work has shown that individuals whose subjective experience tracks strongly with physiological changes in their body (i.e., mind-body coherence) tend to have higher psychological and physical well-being. This proposed research seeks to address two important follow-up questions to previous research: 1) Is awareness of the body (e.g., the ability to accurately report on one’s heart rate) necessary for strong coherence between physiology and subjective experience? and 2) Can contemplative practice cultivate stronger mind-body coherence?

Sasha Sommerfeldt


“But how does meat get contents?” My favorite philosophy professor would repeatedly shout at our class. He was echoing the hard problem of consciousness – how can a physical substance such … MORE