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Talk by Prof. Dr. Marieke van Vugt

Assistant Prof. at the Institute of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Engineering (ALICE) of the University of Groningen

21 Sep 2017 14:00
21 Sep 2017
Building 15.9V, Room 4001b

The cognitive mechanisms underlying mindfulness – and why we need models to understand that

While mindfulness and meditation practices are increasingly popular, relatively little is known about their mechanisms. In this talk, I will first review some studies I have done to examine the effects of meditation practice on cognition. Meditation seems to enhance clarity of perception, and affect attention allocation and the dynamics of thought processes. I will then demonstrate how we can use computational modelling to simulate some of these effects on the basis of the simple assumption that a meditator learns to observe the contents of their own mind-wandering, and thereby shift the balance between mind-wandering and paying attention to a task. Together, this helps us to develop a firm theoretical understanding of the mechanisms underlying mindfulness and meditation.


Dr. Sacha van Albada