Free the Mind: Rewiring the Brain with Contemplative Neuroscience

In an article published last week, a team at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge recognized signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in writings dating as far back as 1300 BC. Though they of course did not use that term, recovered accounts of soldiers from ancient Mesopotamia described the familiar symptom of being visited by “ghosts they faced in battle” long after their return from war. Today, approximately 7.7 million war veterans and other adults in the US are impacted by PTSD and the long term health concerns it carries.

Seeking to ease their pain, Dr. Richard Davidson, named as one of Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people in 2006, conducted a seven day experiment to investigate whether short-term meditation exercises could be used to help alleviate the anxiety and anger that often arises with PTSD. His findings were showcased last week at NYC’s Rubin Museum of Art in a documentary entitled “Free the Mind.” The research took place at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, founded by Davidson, as part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also a faculty member of the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. The institute’s founder, Dr. Joseph Loizzo, introduced the documentary at the Rubin Museum with a few remarks on his determination to “weave mind science into everyday work.” Loizzo has published many scientific articles covering Indo-Tibetan mind and health science, the role of mind-body methods in modern medicine, and meditative approaches to psychotherapy.

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Treating Post-Traumatic Stress: Public Briefing

Through the support of the Dana Foundation, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is hosting a public luncheon briefing on treating post-traumatic stress.

Post-traumatic stress (PTS) or post-traumatic stress disorder can afflict individuals after a trauma or life-threatening event. It affects more than five million adults per year and is a particular concern for the military. Come hear about how PTS affects service members and veterans and how researchers are treating PTS through different styles of therapy:

Friday, May 9, 2014
12:00-1:30 p.m.
2168 Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC

The Honorable Chaka Fattah, D-PA
General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army (Retired), CEO, One Mind
Kathleen Chard, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati
JoAnn Difede, PhD, Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
Moderator Alan Leshner, PhD, CEO of AAAS

For questions, please contact Sara Spizzirri at 202-326-6789 or by email at

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