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Visualizing the Wonders of The Brain


Dr. Richard J. Davidson




Dr. Richard J. Davidson discusses perspectives from neuroscience, focusing on visualizing the wonders of the brain. He likely explores topics such as brain function, neural pathways, and possibly touches on how imaging techniques reveal insights into cognitive processes and emotional regulation. Davidson is known for his research on emotions, well-being, and the neural bases of mindfulness practices, so his talk probably integrates these themes with recent advancements in neuroscience.


Thank you, Jeffrey, to welcome. Thank you all. I began my career with a simple question. Why is it that some people are more vulnerable to life's slings and arrows than others. And I studied the brain mechanisms. In the early part of my career, I studied the brain mechanisms of why some people are more vulnerable to adversity, to depression, to fear to stress. And then my life changed very dramatically in 1992. And what happened in 1992, is that I first met His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. And this is a picture of the Dalai Lama in our laboratory, and if we can get the slides on this monitor, so I can see them too, that would be great. I first met the Dalai Lama in 1992. And he asked me a simple question at that time. He said, Why can't we use the same tools of modern neuroscience that we had been using to study stress and anxiety and adversity, and study kindness, and study compassion? And I didn't have a very good answer for His Holiness on that day.

Other than that, it's hard. But you know, when we first began to study, fear and anxiety, that was hard to and I think most scientists would agree, we've made a little bit of progress. And that was a really important wake up call for me. And then a few years later, when I saw him again, he was more direct. And he said, Please take the practices from my tradition, turn them into a form that anybody would feel comfortable practicing. Investigate them with the tools of modern science. And if you find them to be valuable, disseminate them widely. That is my assignment for the remainder of my time on this planet. And it is why I'm here.

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