Change Your Mind, Change the World

Center for Healthy Minds

University of Wisconsin–Madison
625 W. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703-2637
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FAQs

We get a lot of questions. Here are answers to our most popular.

News: Research Findings

Brain Mechanical Web
Healthy Minds Brief: Meditation, Sleep, Emotion, Awareness
December 8, 2016

Does meditation change the brain, even during sleep? Does awareness shape how we perceive emotions?

Mri Scan Patient Researcher
Mind Over Matter? Mapping the Two-Way Street of the Brain and Immune System
September 1, 2016

Center for Healthy Minds studies explore the influence of the brain on inflammatory diseases such as asthma

Man Breathing Eyes Closed seb_ra iStock Web
Intensive Meditation Practices Linked to Slower Respiration Rate
August 15, 2016

How can long-term meditation practice - and especially intensive training - have a lasting impact on practitioners in their everyday lives?

Fire Web
Raising Body Temperature Relieves Depression Symptoms, Small Study Finds
May 11, 2016

A study led by Center faculty member Charles Raison suggests that raising body temperature to the point of a mild fever reduces depression symptoms for up to 6 weeks following a single treatment

Ocean Bridge Stormy I Stock Phattana Web
Unique Trauma Calls for Unique Treatments – Backed by Neuroscience
April 28, 2016

Center scientists use brain imaging to reveal the complexity, range of response, and symptoms for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Illustration of hands connecting by Grzegorz Wójcik via iStockPhoto
A Compassionate Approach Leads to More Help and Less Punishment
December 17, 2015

Compassion – and intentionally cultivating it through training – may lead us to do more to help the wronged than to punish the wrongdoer

Picture of a sunset above water by Moyan Brenn via Flickr
Keeping Up That Positive Feeling
July 23, 2015

New research on the relationship between savoring positive emotions and overall well-being

Photo of preschool children doing crafts by Barnaby Wasson via Flickr
The Growing Mind
July 23, 2015

Lying, fighting with others and acting disobediently are behaviors sometimes seen in preschool classrooms, but what sets the brains of children who behave this way apart from those who don’t?

Hand-reaching-out -5 Flickr CC-WEB
Feeling the Happiness – Not Pain – of Others Predicts Helpful Behavior
February 24, 2015

Empathy with both positive and negative emotions may be equally effective in inspiring altruism

Young kids participate in mindful movement as part of Kindness Curriculum
‘Kindness Curriculum’ Boosts School Success in Preschoolers
January 23, 2015

Over the course of 12 weeks, twice a week, prekindergarten students learned their ABCs - attention, breath and body and caring practice

Breathe-WEB
To Practice Mindfulness, Start by Counting Your Breaths
October 15, 2014

Research suggests breath counting may be one route to improving attention and well-being

Brain-WEB
Early Life Stress can Leave Lasting Impacts on the Brain
June 27, 2014

Scientists at the Center are exploring how stressors like poverty, neglect and physical abuse experienced in early life may alter critical areas of the brain later in life

Photo of  couple sitting on couch with arms crossed via istock
It’s Not All Wedded Bliss
April 25, 2014

Research suggests people who experience chronic marital stress are less able to savor positive experiences – a hallmark of depression

Abstract photo of people and colors by SeRGioSBoX from Flickr
New Study Reveals Critical Role of Conscious Awareness in Regulating Emotional Responses
December 6, 2013

Can cues in our environment we're unaware of shape our behavior and emotions toward others?

Abstract photo of Genome by Marc from Flickr
Study Reveals Gene Expression Changes with Meditation
December 4, 2013

New research suggests mindfulness meditation may alter how genes are expressed in the body

Photo of a man looking out at water via  Istock
Having a Purpose in Life May Be Protective Against Exposure to Life’s Unpleasantness
November 15, 2013

Finding meaning from life’s experiences may play a role in our ability to regulate our emotions, research suggests

Photo of woman with eyes closed by Nial Bradshaw from Flickr
Study Shows Mindfulness Training can Help Reduce Teacher Stress and Burnout
August 28, 2013

Teachers who practice mindfulness may be better able to reduce their own levels of stress and prevent burnout

Hand with happy face drawn on by Ben Smith via Flickr
Brain Can Be Trained in Compassion, Study Shows
May 22, 2013

Can compassion be learned?

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Response and Recovery in the Brain May Predict Well-Being
February 4, 2013

How long the brain takes to recover from a threat may be an indicator of personality traits like neuroticism

meditation pose woods Mitchell-Joyce Flickr CC-WEB
Mindfulness Meditation May Provide Relief From Chronic Inflammation
January 16, 2013

A Center study suggests mindfulness meditation may provide relief from chronic inflammation

Photo of thorn by Girlguyed via Flickr
Meditation Expertise Changes Experience of Pain
November 15, 2012

Meditation can change the way a person experiences pain, according to a new study by the Center

Photo of girl laying on a couch by Sodanie Chea via Flickr
Early Stress May Sensitize Girls’ Brains for Later Anxiety
November 11, 2012

High levels of family stress in infancy are linked to differences in everyday brain function and anxiety in teenage girls

stressed boy by Megan Skelly via Flickr
Stress May Delay Brain Development in Early Years
June 6, 2012

Stress may affect brain development in children, according to new research from the Center

Parts of the brain by Allan Ajifo via Flickr
Changing Brains for the Better
April 17, 2012

There are practices that can change our brains for the better, according to new Center research

Photo of a man looking up and daydreaming by benprks via Flickr
A Wandering Mind Reveals Mental Processes and Priorities
March 15, 2012

What are the costs when our minds wander?

Photo of shadows in the night by stuart anthony via Flickr
Stress, Anxiety Both Boon and Bane to Brain
January 18, 2011

Stress from immediate threats may negatively affect our ability for more complex thinking

Photo of tree with no leaves in winter by Renee Mcgurk via Flickr
Depression Saps Endurance of the Brain’s Reward Circuitry
December 21, 2009

Are individuals with depression able to sustain activity in brain areas related to positive emotion?

Photo of shadow of woman meditating by Nadir Hashmi via Flickr
Can Meditation Sharpen Our Attention?
November 13, 2009

What does science say about our ability to train attention?

Brain Heart Illustration by Yasmeen via Flickr Cc
Can Love Change Your Mind? New Project Explores Neuroscience of ‘Positive Qualities’
September 10, 2008

Grant from Fetzer Institute allows Davidson's lab to explore the impact of love, other positive qualities on the brain

Photo of Richard Davidson and Matthieu Ricard fMRI lab Web
Study Shows Compassion Meditation Changes the Brain
March 25, 2008

Brain scans of practicing monks reveal impact on circuits used to detect emotions and feelings and others

Brain Circuits Illustration Samarets1984 I Stock
Clinical Depression Linked to Abnormal Emotional Brain Circuits
August 15, 2007

Center Founder Richard Davidson is senior author on a study examining differences in the neural circuits responsible for emotional regulation in depressed individuals

fMRI Scan Screen Machine
Brain Scans Show Meditation Changes Minds, Increases Attention
June 25, 2007

Center Founder Richard Davidson, researchers find meditation increases activity in brain regions associated with attention, decision-making

Focus Car Path photo by Talha_shahzad_photography I Stock Web
Meditation May Fine-Tune Control Over Attention
May 8, 2007

Center Founder Richard Davidson, research group find meditation may have lasting impact on brain's ability to regulate attention

Brain Puzzle Piece Wildpixel I Stock
Brain’s ‘Fear Center’ May Underlie Autistic Behaviors
December 12, 2006

Center Founder Richard Davidson is the senior author of paper on the link between the size of the amygdala and social deficits associated with autism

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Study: Brain Structures Contribute to Asthma Attack Severity
August 29, 2005

Center Founder Richard Davidson is a co-senior author of study revealing link between brain's emotional processing centers and physiological symptoms of asthma

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Study: Eye Contact Triggers Threat Signals in Autistic Children’s Brains
March 7, 2005

Center Founder Richard Davidson is senior author of a study revealing the over-activation of the brain's emotion processing center associated with negative feelings in children with autism

Brain Computer Circuits Lexaarts I Stock Web
Study: Meditation Changes the Brain’s Electrical Pattern
October 16, 2004

Study led by Center Founder Richard Davidson comparing brain-oscillation patterns shows higher frequency in brains of long-term Buddhist meditation practitioners than novice students in both meditative and resting states.

Woman Sneezing Subway Photo Manuel Faba Ortega iStock WEB
Study Shows Brain Activity Influences Immune Function
September 2, 2003

Center Founder Richard Davidson is the senior author of a study exploring possible direct link between increased activity in the brain region associated with positive affect and an increase in immune system response

Woman Smiling Railing Outside Ridofranz I Stock
Meditation Produces Positive Changes in the Brain
February 6, 2003

Center Founder Richard Davidson leads study that finds lasting changes in brain, immune system due to participation in short mindfulness meditation program

Magnifying Glass Pills Toeytoey2530 I Stock WEB
Brain Images Reveal Effects of Antidepressants
February 6, 2003

Center Founder Richard Davidson is co-author of a study on brain activity in clinically depressed individuals that could be used to predetermine the effectiveness of antideppressants

Lightning Beach Photo by gerlos via Flickr  Cc
Brain Study Sheds Light on Impulsive Violence
July 27, 2000

Study finds breakdown in emotion regulation may lead to impulsive acts of violence

Blurry People Painting Se Rgio Svo X Flickr Cc
Mind-Body Research Highlights
September 29, 1999

Richard Davidson oversees study exploring differences in brain circuitry and the resulting physiological and emotional responses due to stress in older women