Moscow, Russia: For the first time, the results of a series of unique psychophysiological and physiological studies in the Buddhist Tibetan monasteries in the south of India were presented at the IOP-2021 World Congress of Psychophysiology. An international symposium titled “Psychophysiology of Meditations” that attracted participants from Russia, the USA and India was held as part of the congress on September 9, 2021. The symposium was organized by Prof. Svyatoslav Medvedev, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and founder of N. P. Bekhtereva Institute of the Human Brain of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
A world-renowned researcher of meditation practices and the co-chair of the symposium Dr Richard J. Davidson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, did a presentation on “The Emergence of Contemplative Neuroscience”. Dr. Davidson provided an overview of major developments in contemplative neuroscience over the past 15 years. “This research allows us to conclude that meditation practices designed to cultivate awareness and long term practices produce specific changes in brain function”, – the scientist declared. He also described his own research findings that illustrate these changes.
In his scientific report entitled “Influence of Traditional Buddhist Meditations on the Error Detection Mechanism,” Prof. Svyatoslav Medvedev analyzed the results of the studies that his group conducted at the Buddhist Tibetan monasteries of India in 2019–2020. The investigation of 94 monk-practitioners during single-pointed concentration has shown that this type of meditation affects the basic mechanisms of the brain. The studies were organized and supported by Academician Natalia Bekhtereva Foundation in cooperation with Save Tibet Foundation, Moscow and Tibet Culture and Information Center, Moscow. Monk-researchers who took part in the studies co-authored the report.
In her report on “Integrating Tibetan and Western Psychophysiological Approaches to Meditation,” Dr. Tawni Tidwell (co-authored by Richard J. Davidson and John D. Dunne – University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) built a bridge to the traditional Buddhist understanding of meditation.
Reports by Tenzin Loden, Tibetan Astro-science Practitioner (TSAP) of Men-Tsee-Khang, and Dr. Ngawang Jinpa, Men-Tsee-Khang, Dharamsala (India), were also presented at the symposium. They gave the traditional Buddhist explanation of the specific features of the phenomena studied by Western scientists.
“I have been taking part in the Congresses of Psychophysiology for over thirty years, but I have never seen such a symposium before, – Svyatoslav Medvedev said. – However, its appearance is expectable – after all, both psychophysiology and Buddhism study the so-called psychophysiological problem that is the relationship, the interaction of mind and body. Today, primarily thanks to the support of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we are trying to combine our approaches, and namely the methods of modern Western science and Buddhist practices that had been formed in the course of more than two millennia”.
The World Congress of Psychophysiology IOP-2021 is followed by the publication of the report abstracts.
-Filed by OOT, Moscow