I'm in the process of reading your paper on time.  It written with 
meticulous care to follow the scientific process.  Why then would you 
be drawn into this kind of psuedo-science?

For just one example, the first fatal flaw in this experiment is the 
assumption that Matthieu Ricard is representative of Buddhis monks, 
and that Buddhist monks as a group have 'developed a greater  
capacity for forgiveness and compassion'.  I know that's the popular 
consensus, certainly on this forum, and it's even my belief - BUT, 
that doesn't make it a valid assumption on which to base a scientific 

Or...were you forwarding this to us to share it as a joke?


--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> Can love change your mind? New project explores neuroscience of  
> 'positive qualities'
> Wearing a 128-channel geodesic sensor net, Buddhist monk Matthieu  
> Ricard sits in a soundproof room and talks with Richard Davidson  
> (right) before participating in an electroencephalography (EEG) 
> at the EEG facility at the Waisman Center in June. Davidson, 
> of the Waisman Lab for Brain Imaging and Behavior, recently 
> a grant to create a new research initiative on the neuroscience of  
> compassion, love and forgiveness, where he will investigate how 
> virtues work in the human mind. Photo: Jeff Miller
> What is happening in the minds of people who have developed a 
> capacity for forgiveness and compassion? Can a quality like love 
> whether it's shown toward a family member or a friend â€" be  
> neurologically measured in the brain?
> A new research project at UWâ€"Madison offers the opportunity to 
> hard science to these seemingly ethereal questions. UWâ€"Madison  
> psychology professor Richard Davidson, director of the Waisman  
> Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, has received a $2.5  
> million grant from the Michigan-based Fetzer Institute to create a  
> new research initiative on the neuroscience of compassion, love 
> forgiveness, investigating how these virtues manifest themselves 
> the human mind and whether we have the ability to nurture and 
> them through practice.
> Davidson already has the foundation for probing these questions  
> through his decade-long work exploring brain function and 
> Davidson works with a population of Tibetan monks and lay  
> practitioners who have incorporated meditation practices into 
> daily lives, looking into how that practice impacts their mental 
> physical health.
> Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques,  
> Davidson has been able to demonstrate that significant positive  
> changes in brain behavior can be activated through meditation and  
> other "contemplative practices." The research has been very  
> influential in providing evidence of "neuroplasticity," the idea 
> brain function changes throughout life in response to experience 
> purposeful training.
> "This is totally uncharted territory," says Davidson of the Fetzer  
> project. "This grant is really meant to launch a new field where 
> wisdom of the contemplative traditions can intersect with hard-
> mainstream science to understand how the brain can be transformed,  
> through certain exercises, to strengthen these kinds of positive  
> qualities."
> Davidson's ultimate goal is build a deep base of scientific 
> not only of the neurological machinery that supports these 
> but of specific practices that can have an impact on mental health  
> and point the way to new techniques to cultivate these virtues in  
> children and adults, including those with disabilities.
> "Most commentators agree that if the world contained more people 
> more often displayed qualities such as love, forgiveness, 
> and related characteristics, some of the myriad problems that 
> modern society would be less severe," Davidson says.
> Davidson's research team has already done studies on compassion, 
> which they examined how specific mental training exercises were 
> to elicit changes in a brain region called the insula, an area 
> is directly tied to interactions between the mind and body. When  
> subjects are asked to respond to stimuli that depicts human  
> suffering, for example, there are often parallel physical 
> in the body that can be measured. Those reactions may serve as  
> motivators for the propensity to help others, Davidson says.
> One big challenge will be how to define, isolate and measure what  
> responses in the brain are directly connected with a construct 
> as love or forgiveness. Davidson says a great deal of their 
> will depend on whether specific studies can be designed to really  
> hone in on a particular virtue. Adding to the challenge is the 
> that many of these virtues may be related neurologically.
> The question of measuring love may be especially challenging, but  
> Davidson says there are some intriguing options. For example, when  
> people talk about immediate family members â€" parents, children,  
> spouses â€" it's easy to identify qualities that most people would  
> agree constitute love, such as a selflessness and a sense 
one "would  
> do anything" for that person. But it's much harder to explain 
> immediate family.
> "It may well be that for most people, the experience of love is  
> something that is pretty restricted to that close circle of 
> he says. "If that's true, it actually allows us to see how a 
> response to people inside that sphere are different from those  
> outside the sphere."
> As part of the Fetzer initiative, Davidson has named two graduate  
> students who are working in the general area of contemplative  
> neuroscience as Fetzer Fellows. The first two fellowships are held 
> Daniel Levinson, a first-year graduate student who completed his  
> undergraduate studies at Stanford University, and third-year 
> Helen Weng, who completed her undergraduate work at Columbia 
> Levinson says he will study the ways in which meditation 
> emotion and attention, and understand the brain processes that 
> people to excel at those behaviors. Those same brain processes 
> inform work on love, compassion and forgiveness.
> "It is a rare gift to be funded to do what you care about most  
> deeply," Levinson says.
> Davidson adds that the Fetzer Institute work will be part of a 
> center in development called the Center for Creating a Healthy 
> which will open in about a year in newly renovated space at the  
> Waisman Center.
> The Fetzer Institute, based in Kalamazoo, Mich., is devoted to  
> fostering awareness of the power of love and forgiveness in the  
> emerging global community.
> "The Fetzer Institute is pleased to join professor Davidson and 
> colleagues at the University of Wisconsin in this exciting new  
> program," says Tom Beech, Fetzer president and CEO. "It will bring  
> the powerful methods of neuroscience to bear on one of the most  
> pressing and fundamental issues that humanity faces today â€" 
> our capacity to love and forgive. We expect that this work will 
> us understand the fundamental nature of compassion and how to  
> cultivate it in our daily lives."
> Source: University of Wisconsin
> http://www.physorg.com/news140272241.html


Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are 
reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
    mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] 
    mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

Reply via email to