Dr. Ulrich Ott
Breathing, Feeling, Equanimity: Involved Brain Structures
Meditation techniques train the mind. Any kind of mental training depends on the activation of distinct brain regions required for concentrating, perceiving, memorizing, monitoring and adjusting actions etc. And any kind of mental training results in structural changes due to the plasticity of the brain. This talk gives an overview of common mindfulness practices and their neural bases.
Which brain structures are involved in the mindful observation of breathing sensations, in scanning bodily feelings systematically, and in cultivating equanimity? The empirical evidence for structural changes in brains of meditation practitioners is reviewed. Concluding remarks point to applications of mindfulness techniques in the fields of psychotherapy, stress prevention, education, and work, and to their relevance for the development of a new culture of consciousness in modern society.
Dr. Ulrich Ott
studied psychology at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main, Germany (degree: diploma). In 2000 I finished my doctoral thesis on EEG correlates of deep meditation states. From 1998 until 2005 I was research associate in the project „Psychophysiology of Altered States of Consciousness” at the Liebig-University Giessen.
Since 2005 he was staff scientist of the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, working at the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging at the Liebig-University (see www.bion.de for a detailed CV and an up-to-date list of publications). His current work includes the investigation of meditation and altered states of consciousness with magnetic resonance imaging.