Professor Richard Davidson on Changing Your Brain

That Professor Richard Davidson found time to write a book at all is a feat in itself: his titles at UW-Madison include the William James & Vilas Professor of Psychology, Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, Founder and Chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, and Director of the Laboratory for Effective Neuroscience. But with the help of science journalist Sharon Begley, “The Emotional Life of Your Brain” was published this month by Penguin to rave reviews. In it, Davidson explores the six emotional ‘styles’ that make up each individual’s personality, and explores ways we can change our brains and how they (and we) meet life’s challenges. This concept of neuroplasticity holds hope not only for self-help, but for the treatment of mental illnesses from depression to autism to attention deficit disorder.

Davidson is also an editor of “The Mind’s Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation,” as well as the author of scores of scientific articles.

Check out his website for more about the book and for video of Davidson speaking about his research:

Technician Michael Anderle (left with eyeglasses) and co-principal investigators Richard J. Davidson (center wearing jacket) and Antoine Lutz (right) prepare Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard for a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) test at the MRI facility in the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (photo by Jeff Miller and courtesy of UW Communications).