Can something as simple as focused breathing drastically change our brains?
Exciting studies in the last decade have shown that practicing mindfulness can bring a variety of mental and physical health benefits. Mindfulness has become the latest trend in today’s society, but what does the research really say about it and why should we care? In this talk, I will describe how and why our brains are wired to regulate our thoughts and emotions, what happens when our ability to regulate fails, and how mindfulness can be used as a tool to maintain self-regulation. We will explore how mindfulness changes the brain across the lifespan and what questions remain to be answered in this burgeoning field.
Meriah DeJoseph is a Project Coordinator for the Neuroscience and Education Lab (led by Drs Clancy Blair and Cybele Raver) at New York University. In this role, she oversees multiple NIH-funded studies examining the relationships between poverty and development. Prior to joining NYU, she worked as a research assistant in an EEG lab at Columbia University, investigating attention in kindergarten children from a Bronx school post-completion of a mindfulness program. She has spent several years as a child mindfulness teacher, teaching mindfulness to children in California and New York City public schools. Her past research experience includes various projects that explored the neuropsychological effects of early intervention programs for children experiencing poverty-related adversity. Meriah holds a B.S. in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of California, San Diego and a M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology where she can continue her work on the protective effects of early-childhood mindfulness interventions.