I am currently an Instructor (research faculty) at the
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)-Harvard-MIT
Center for Biomedical Imaging, and a visiting scholar
at the Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural
Technology (CompNet) at Boston University. My main
research interest is in the investigation of different types of
meditation practices (e.g. mindful attention, compassion)
from a neuroscientific perspective. I am also collaborating
on scientific studies of other mind-body practices such as
acupuncture and yoga.
My current main study is a clinical trial of Mindfulness-Based
Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for major depression, with functional
MRI brain scans before and after the intervention. This study
is funded by
NIH grant K01AT008225.
Another study that I've been working on since 2009 is
part of a multisite investigation
of meditation and mind-body health
and Attention Longitudinal Meditation (CALM) study),
which is a collaboration between the Martinos
Center, Boston University, Emory University,
and the University of Arizona.
Our first results were published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (full article) and have received press coverage in the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, the Harvard Gazette, the Epoch Times, the Philippine Star, the French magazine Science&Vie, and others, and were featured as an NIH Research Spotlight.
I and other colleagues in the field of meditation research recently published an opinion paper entitled "Moving beyond mindfulness: Defining equanimity as an outcome measure in meditation and contemplative research" (preprint).
I am also collaborating with David DeSteno and Paul Condon to investigate how meditation training increases compassion. Our first results were published in the journal Psychological Science (preprint) and have been featured in the New York Times and on WBUR.
Before joining the field of human brain imaging
I was a postdoctoral fellow in computational neuroscience,
working in Garrett
Stanley's group on neuronal population
coding in the early visual pathway (2006-2009).
See my Research Interests
for more details.