Investigating healthy minds | Krista Tippett • Richard Davidson

We are always changing, learning, growing. It’s not a question of if, but a question of how. Neuroplasticity is the study of the brain’s plasticity, or its ability to adapt over an individual’s lifetime. Along with scientific research on contemplative practices, neuroplasticity is giving us new maps of what is possible in the exploration of human development.

TIPPETT: Once upon a time, we had the nature-versus-nurture debate. And we assumed that the brain stops developing at some finite point when we’re young. With recent science, things have gotten more interesting than that, and more hopeful. The neuroscientist Richard Davidson has helped reveal a surprising give and take between emotion, behavior, and biology at every age…

DAVIDSON: Based upon everything we know about the brain in neuroscience, the change is not only possible, but change is actually the rule rather than the exception. And it’s really just a question of which influences we’re going to choose for our brain…

We know now that these contemplative practices can change brain function and brain structure. And if that’s true, then perhaps we can use these methods…to change the mind and, through that, change the brain in ways that may be beneficial…

I think that most people still don’t think of qualities like happiness as being a skill rather than it’s typically conceptualized as a fixed trait… But if you think about it more as a skill, then it’s something that can be enhanced through training.

Investigating healthy minds | Krista Tippett • Richard Davidson

Center for Healthy Minds