Brain Research Gets Boost

The Dalai Lama is donating money to support scientific research into “healthy qualities of mind like kindness and compassion.” 

The Dalai Lama’s personal trust has given $50,000 to the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, directed by professor of psychology and psychiatry Richie Davidson. The center uses state-of-the-art tools from neuroscience and biology to observe how the brain and body changes when we express positive emotions. Recent research at the center continues to support the idea that the brain and its functions are plastic (adaptable and changeable) throughout life.

The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds is America’s leading lab studying the effects of meditation on the brain. Davidson says that studying people who do systematic mental training like meditation helps neuroscientists learn more about what the human mind is capable of. One of the things the laboratory is studying is how mindfulness can increase the brain’s powers of attention and its ability to respond more flexibly to stressful events.The center held its grand opening on November 1.