Interested in the Cognitive Science of Meditation, Mindfulness, Intelligence and Cognitive Function?
I recently discovered a great blog on ScienceBlogs entitled Developing Intelligence. Produced by University of Colarado at Boulder Cognitive Neuroscience graduate student, Chris Chatham, Developing Intelligence profiles fascinating current Cognitive Science research on mindfulness meditation and other means of training attention. Specifically, Chatham discusses demonstrated effects of mental training techniques on attention, meta-cognition and executive function (e.g., the ability to sustain attention on a desired reference point, to monitor and control one’s cognition, etc.), memory (i.e., how much information one can hold in mind and operate on at one time), psychological wellness (i.e., profile of positive and negative affect), and various other aspects of cognitive function pertaining to intelligence and cognitive control. This is cutting edge research into cognitive processes that play determining roles in our ability to be happy, wise, and effective people who sit in life’s driver’s seat.
Developing Intelligence has received its fair share of early accolades, receiving acclaim and/or citations from Scientific American Mind, Nature (one of the world’s two leading scientific journals), The Atlantic Online, Blogger.Com, Business Week, Metafilter, Mental Floss, Lifehacker, and has been featured on the sought after front pages of Digg, Fark and Reddit. If you are interested in learning about what empirical science is finding with regard to proven effective and promising methods of enhancing various highly important branches of cognitive function, Developing Intelligence is a blog you’ll definitely want to visit.
A bit of relevant personal info on Chatham. As can be viewed on his personal academic page, Chatham’s research focuses on developmental cognitive neuroscience – the study of the development of cognitive function at the levels of behaviour (or cognitive performance) and the brain. His graduate advisor is Yuko Munakata. I attended a colloquiem given by Munakata a few years ago at the University of Toronto. Munakata is a very successful early-career researcher in cognitive neurological development, particularly in the area of the development of executive function (i.e., the ability to be aware of and exert control over one’s cognition).