The Brain in the News


Read Dr. Hanson’s study on positive brain change published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Positive Psychology, December 6, 2021.

Below you will find the latest news about the brain, psychology, and the science of well-being, mindfulness, and meditation. And I invite you to send me news items, including scientific studies, great video clips, social implications of brain science, etc., that you find yourself.

Largest Brain Wiring Diagram to Date Is Published

Diana Kwon, Scientific American, January 22, 2020

Screen Use Tied to Children’s Brain Development

Perri Klass, M.D., New York Times, November 4, 2019

Learning Not to Fear

MGH News and Public Affairs, The Harvard Gazette, October 15, 2019

A Successful Artificial Memory Has Been Created

Robert Martone, Scientific American, August 27, 2019

Virtual Reality as Therapy for Pain

Jane E. Brody, New York Times, April 29, 2019

Huge Brain Study Uncovers “Buried” Genetic Networks Linked to Mental Illness

Linda Geddes, Scientific American, December 14, 2018

With Brain Implants, Scientists Aim to Translate Thoughts into Speech

Sharon Begley, STAT, Scientific American, November 20, 2018

Reprogrammed Stem Cells Implanted into Patient with Parkinson’s Disease

David Cyranoski, Nature Magazine, November 15, 2018

Mindfulness Could Be the Key to Stopping Technological Misery

Andrew Griffin, Independent, February 24, 2018

Neuroscience Has a Lot to Learn from Buddhism

Matthieu Ricard and Wolf Singer, The Atlantic, December 17, 2017


Anderson Cooper, 60 Minutes, December 14, 2014

What Does Mindfulness Meditation Do to Your Brain?

Tom Ireland, Scientific American, June 12, 2014

Spine Tuning: Finding Physical Evidence of How Practice Rewires the Brain

Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, April 16, 2012

Neural Responses Reveal Our Optimistic Bent

Andrea Anderson, Scientific American, April 10, 2012

A Neuroscientist’s Quest to Reverse Engineer the Human Brain

Gareth Cook, Scientific American, March 20, 2012

Buddhism, Cosmology and Evolution

John Stanley and David Loy, Huffington Post, February 26, 2012

How the Internet is Changing Our Brain

Shaahin Cheyene, Huffington Post, February 12, 2012

How to Have More Insights

David Rock, Huffington Post, February 8, 2012

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought

Jeff Gordinier, New York Times, February 7, 2012

How Exercise Benefits the Brain

Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times, November 30, 2011

Decoding the Brain’s Cacophony

Benedict Carey, New York Times, October 31, 2011

Regimens: Noise Canceling, Without Headphones

Roni Caryn Rabin, New York Times, May 2, 2011

How Meditation May Change the Brain

Sindya N. Bhanoo, New York Times, January 28, 2011

Searching the Brain for the Roots of Fear

Joseph Ledoux, New York Times, January 22, 2011

Buddhism Beats Depression

Ed Halliwell, January 5, 2010

Brain Is a Co-Conspirator in a Vicious Stress Loop

Natalie Angier,  New York Times,  August 17, 2009

Adult Brain Can Change Within Seconds

ScienceDaily,  July 30, 2009

Lotus Therapy

Benedict Carey, The New York Times, May 27, 2008

Meditation May Increase Gray Matter

ScienceDaily, May 13, 2009

Compassion Meditation Changes The Brain

ScienceDaily, March 27, 2008

How Your Brain Looks at Race

Sharon Begley, Newsweek, March 3, 2008

Mental Reserves Keep Brains Agile

Jane E. Brody, December 11, 2007

Faith in the Brain

Juju Chang and Michael Pressman, May 10, 2007

The Brain on the Stand

Jeffrey Rosen, March 11, 2007

The Brain’s Secret Plans

Max Planck Society, February 12, 2007

Happiness 101

D.T. Max, January 7, 2007

The Mystery of Consciousness

Steven Pinker, January, 2007

Speaking in Tongues

Benedict Carey, November 7, 2006

A Week of Silence

Daniel Siegel, November, 2006

Femme Mentale

Joe Garofoli, August 6, 2006

Finding Reality through Meditation

Ansley Roche, January 18, 2006

Meditation Builds Brain Muscles

Alison Motluk, November 15, 2005

The Brain Tells Time

Robert Roy Britt, October 28, 2005

The Movie in Your Head

Christof Koch, September 21, 2005

The Evolving Human Brain

Melissa Lee Phillips, September 9, 2005

Meditation ‘Brain Training’ Clues

BBC News, June 13, 2005

Religious Practice May Slow Alzheimer’s

Science Daily, May 1, 2005

Meditation Alters Brain Structure

By Sharon Begley, November 5, 2004

New Brain Studies and Meditation

Punnadhammo Bhikku, June, 2003

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, and expert on the impact of toxic narcissism. She is a Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, and also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

The focus of Dr. Ramani’s clinical, academic, and consultative work is the etiology and impact of narcissism and high-conflict, entitled, antagonistic personality styles on human relationships, mental health, and societal expectations. She has spoken on these issues to clinicians, educators, and researchers around the world.

She is the author of Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist, and Don't You Know Who I Am? How to Stay Sane in an Era of Narcissism, Entitlement, and Incivility. Her work has been featured at SxSW, TEDx, and on a wide range of media platforms including Red Table Talk, the Today Show, Oxygen, Investigation Discovery, and Bravo, and she is a featured expert on the digital media mental health platform MedCircle. Dr. Durvasula’s research on personality disorders has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and she is a Consulting Editor of the scientific journal Behavioral Medicine.

Dr. Stephen Porges is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He is a former president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and has been president of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, and Cognitive Sciences, which represents approximately twenty-thousand biobehavioral scientists. He’s led a number of other organizations and received a wide variety of professional awards.

In 1994 he proposed the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that links the evolution of the mammalian autonomic nervous system to social behavior and emphasizes the importance of physiological states in the expression of behavioral problems and psychiatric disorders. The theory is leading to innovative treatments based on insights into the mechanisms mediating symptoms observed in several behavioral, psychiatric, and physical disorders, and has had a major impact on the field of psychology.

Dr. Porges has published more than 300 peer-reviewed papers across a wide array of disciplines. He’s also the author of several books including The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation.

Dr. Bruce Perry is the Principal of the Neurosequential Network, Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, and a Professor (Adjunct) in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago and the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. From 1993 to 2001 he was the Thomas S. Trammell Research Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and chief of psychiatry at Texas Children's Hospital.

He’s one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of trauma in childhood, and his work on the impact of abuse, neglect, and trauma on the developing brain has impacted clinical practice, programs, and policy across the world. His work has been instrumental in describing how traumatic events in childhood change the biology of the brain.

Dr. Perry's most recent book, What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing, co-authored with Oprah Winfrey, was released earlier this year. Dr. Perry is also the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children, and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. Additionally, he’s authored more than 300 journal articles and book chapters and has been the recipient of a variety of professional awards.

Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith is a child clinical psychologist who specializes in trauma and issues of race. She earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard and then received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She performed postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. She has combined her love of teaching and advocacy by serving as a professor and by directing mental health programs for children experiencing trauma, homelessness, or foster care.

Dr. Briscoe-Smith is also a senior fellow of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is both a professor and the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Wright Institute. She provides consultation and training to nonprofits and schools on how to support trauma-informed practices and cultural accountability.

Sharon Salzberg is a world-renowned teacher and New York Times bestselling author. She is widely considered one of the most influential individuals in bringing mindfulness practices to the West, and co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts alongside Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein. Sharon has been a student of Dipa Ma, Anagarika Munindra, and Sayadaw U Pandita alongside other masters.

Sharon has authored 10 books, and is the host of the fantastic Metta Hour podcast. She was a contributing editor of Oprah’s O Magazine, had her work featured in Time and on NPR, and contributed to panels alongside the Dalai Lama.

Rick Hanson, PhD is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His books have been published in 29 languages and include NeurodharmaResilient, Hardwiring HappinessBuddha’s BrainJust One Thing, and Mother Nurture – with 900,000 copies in English alone. His free newsletters have 215,000 subscribers and his online programs have scholarships available for those with financial need. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, NPR, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and is the founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom. He and his wife live in northern California and have two adult children. He loves wilderness and taking a break from emails.

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