The Metro-Area Research Group on Awareness & Meditation (MARGAM) at New York University has presented researchers and scholars discussing their current and emerging studies on contemplative practice and consciousness since 2010. MARGAM aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and scholars engaged in research on consciousness, contemplative practice, and related topics.
Check our ARCHIVES page for MARGAM’s previous talks.
The Unified Context of Consciousness
The phenomenal unity of consciousness has been a much-debated topic. Many disparate processes in the brain appear to be unified in moments of conscious experience. But this unity does not seem to be a fixed property. Our conscious experiences can be more or less fragmented, so that on one end of the spectrum we can have dissociative states with a relatively low level of unity, while on the other end we can have states of consciousness such as those experienced through contemplative practices, which appear to have a very high degree of unity. I will present findings that point to the network in the brain that may facilitate these enhanced states of unity, and is, perhaps, involved in all unified conscious experiences.
Zoran Josipovic, PhD is a research scientist at the Cognitive Neurophysiology Lab, NYU School of Medicine, and an adjunct faculty in the Psychology Dept. NYU. He is the founding director of Nonduality Institute, an independent center for the theory and practice of nondual meditation. He co-founded the Margam series of talks at NYU that showcases current research on meditation and consciousness.
Zoran Josipovic, PhD
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Psychology
New York University
Social and Affective Neuroscience, Mindfulness, Emotions, Interoception, Self-Reference and Regulation
Norman studies the neuroscience of human identity and emotion, with a focus on how cognitive biases shape emotional reactions that determine well-being. For example, some people seem to shrug off stressful encounters, whereas others cannot let them go. What distinguishes these people? Is it something about how they construe themselves and the world? What consequences do habitual patterns of self-reference have for well-being? How can we measure seemingly ephemeral constructs such as self-reference and emotion? To these ends, my work employs multiple levels of analysis, including first and third-person qualitative reports, behavioral task performance, physiological responses, and patterns of neural activity and connectivity derived primarily through functional MRI. In my research, I am particularly interested in how cognitive training practices such as mindfulness meditation foster resilience against stress, reducing vulnerability to affective disorders such as depression.
Norman Farb, PhD
Assistant Professor, Psychology
University of Toronto, Mississauga
ALL TALKS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
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