Catherine Kerr, PhD was director of translational neuroscience at the Contemplative Studies Initiative at Brown University. Her neuroscience research focused on neural dynamics underlying embodied attention and the sense of touch. Her team was the first to publish results showing how embodied attention changes cortical rhythms in the “touch cortex” (primary somatosensory cortex) and how mindfulness is associated with enhanced modulation of these embodied attentional rhythms. In addition to these neurophysiological studies, she drew on her background as a qualitative researcher and investigator of placebo effects to pioneer methods for linking quantitative, neural studies with qualitative studies of patient experience. Her last research project focused on isolating neurophysiological, immunological and experiential mechanisms underlying cancer survivors’ reports of “energy” and vitality in contemplative practice.

Cathy Kerr passed away in 2016. Her sister, Sarah Kerr, wrote this obituary.

The Mind & Life Catherine Kerr Award for Courageous and Compassionate Science was established in 2016 in her memory.

This profile was last updated on December 9, 2020

Mind & Life Connections

2016

2016 Summer Research Institute Session

Interdisciplinary Panel & Small Groups

Moderators:
Panel: Andreas Roepstorff, Catherine Kerr, Laurence J. Kirmayer, David McMahan, Martijn van Beek, Carol Worthman

Topics: Interconnection | Self & Other

2016 Summer Research Institute Session

Panel Discussion: Movement-Based Contemplative Practices

Moderators:
Panel: Catherine Kerr, Catherine Shaddix, Peter Wayne

Topics: Body-based Practices | Contemplative Wisdom

2015

Mind & Life Videos

Mind & Life XXX – Session 3

Mind and Life Institute • December 17, 2015

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Contemplative Wisdom | Self & Other

2014

Mind & Life Videos

ISCS 2014 – Master Lecture – Catherine Kerr

Mind and Life Institute • November 1, 2014

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Mindfulness

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Master Lecture – Contemplative Practice Starts with The Body

Catherine Kerr

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Mindfulness

Audio AvailableVideo Available

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Concurrent Session 1 – Can We Measure Mental Balance? Scientific and Contemplative Perspectives On Equanimity

Gaelle Desbordes, Dusana Dorjee, Elizabeth A. Hoge, Catherine Kerr, Sara Lazar, Andrew Olendzki, David Vago

Topics: Brain & Cognitive Science | Contemplative Wisdom | Mindfulness

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Concurrent Session 3 – Movement-Based Embodied Contemplative Practices: Current State-of-the-Art and Future Research Directions

Dav Clark, Eva Henje Blom, Catherine Kerr, Philip Nessel, Laura Schmalzl, Peter Wayne

Topics: Body-based Practices

Think Tanks

Mindfulness Media Hype

Marieke van Vugt

Topics: Mindfulness

2013
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