Richard J. Davidson, one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, is the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, and Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Psychology and has been at Wisconsin since 1984. He has published more than 275 articles, many chapters and reviews and edited 13 books. He has been a member of the Mind and Life Institute’s Board of Directors since 1991. He is also the author of The Emotional Life of Your Brain.
In this episode of Office Hours, Dr. Davidson discusses his research and how we can exercise our minds – and change our brains – through meditation to be happier and more compassionate.
We found that just two weeks of [meditation] training actually produces reliable differences in the brain that were clearly measurable using our MRI procedures. And we found that participants actually engaged in more altruistic and compassionate behavior as a consequence of the two weeks of training.