Brianna earned an M.A. in Psychological and Brain Sciences with additional coursework in Religious Studies and Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2016 after having obtained a B.A. in Neuroscience, Psychology, and Chinese from Macalester College in 2013. Combining phenomenological and experimental methods with perspectives from both the humanities and social sciences, she researches “ego death” or selfless, non-dual experiences, particularly how meditation and other Buddhist practices contribute to the transformation of the “ego” or sense of “self,” as well as how these changes manifest as pro-social and pro-environmental behavior. Throughout summer 2016, Brianna will serve as an Assistant Specialist through the Department of Religious Studies at UCSB, conducting research through the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center with the support of Mind and Life’s Varela Award at a Humanistic Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
This profile was last updated on February 27, 2020