Center for Investigating Healthy Minds

Led by world-renowned neuroscientist Dr. Richard J. Davidson, the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, UW-Madison, conducts rigorous scientific research on healthy qualities of mind such as kindness, compassion, forgiveness and mindfulness.

Welcome video for the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds

Perhaps best known for studying emotion and the brain, the Center has significantly expanded its portfolio of research projects in recent years to explore a wide range of ideas, from the impact of a kindness curriculum in schools to the effectiveness of yoga and breathing exercises in reducing the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in military veterans.

It is pioneering a number of cutting-edge endeavors, such as designing digital games to foster pro-social behavior in middle school aged kids and unlocking the ability to influence the expression of our genes – through our minds.

Dr. Davidson is the world’s most cited expert in scientific publications on the topics of meditation and mindfulness. The Center is a prolific contributor of published papers in scientific and academic journals, significantly advancing the body of scientific evidence in this emerging field of study.

The Center’s founding in 2008 marked a personal and professional triumph for Dr. Davidson, who in 1992 had been challenged by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, to apply the rigors of science to study positive qualities of mind. Dr. Davidson has since devoted his life to uncovering scientific discoveries that can help people live happier, healthier lives through mental skills training.

A New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Davidson has been featured widely in popular media, including ABC’s Nightline, National Public Radio, Time magazine, Newsweek, O, the Oprah magazine, PBS’s the Charlie Rose Show, Harvard Business Review, and many other national and international news outlets.

While the Center is fortunate to receive some government and foundation funding for its basic science (laboratory-based) research, its novel “translational” research projects (those involving real people in real life settings), rely on philanthropic funding from individuals like you.

Your support is needed to advance this work. With a larger body of scientific evidence, we can work toward influencing policy in our schools, health care system and other institutions. With your support, we can help reduce suffering and increase happiness throughout the world. Together, we can, indeed, change the world.

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