WSU Neuroscience Lecture Series Promotes Mindfulness

OGDEN, Utah– This fall, Weber State University’s Neuroscience Lecture Series will dive into the topic of mindfulness and its effects on addiction, anxiety and an individual’s overall health. The first lecture will be held virtually Sept. 16 at 1 p.m. via Zoom conferencing.

The Neuroscience Lecture Series aims to engage students, faculty and staff in meaningful conversations about the field of neuroscience with insightful lectures from industry experts. The program is sponsored by the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, the College of Health Professions, the College of Science and the Office of Academic Affairs.

Joel Skaria, a WSU psychology and neuroscience professor, will kick off the lecture series with a presentation about the importance of mindfulness practice in times of uncertainty on Sept. 16 at 1 p.m via Zoom conferencing.

“Mindfulness practice allows us to take action with regard to things we can control, rather than what we can’t,” Skaria said. “I’m hoping my presentation will help individuals find tools and techniques to improve their well-being and focus on the present moment.”

Aminda O’Hare, WSU neuroscience program director, will also present at the lecture series Oct. 6 at 3 p.m. via Zoom conferencing. O’Hare’s presentation will teach students tips and techniques for applying to graduate school. This will be an interactive workshop with time for questions and answers.

The lecture series will feature Judson Brewer, an author and expert in the science of self-mastery. He will discuss his research on mindfulness programs for habit change Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. via Zoom conferencing.

Brewer’s book, “The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Cupcakes to Smartphones, the Mechanisms Underlying How Mindfulness Helps Change Habits and Overcome Addiction,” discusses topics such as why bad habits are so hard to overcome and is willpower more myth than muscle. In his book, Brewer also explains the use of meditation and mindfulness in relation to overcoming addiction.

Brewer was a featured Ted Talk speaker in 2015. In his presentation, “A simple way to break a bad habit,” Brewer discussed his research on mindfulness and how people can use it to better understand themselves.

“The paradox here is that mindfulness is just about being really interested in getting close and personal with what’s actually happening in our bodies and minds from moment to moment,” Brewer said in his Ted Talk.

Jason Cowell, assistant professor and vice-chair of psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay will be the final speaker of the series. Cowell’s presentation will explore the neural dynamics of young children’s cognition, with an emphasis on morality and empathy. Cowell will present on Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m. via Zoom conferencing.

To register for the first presentation, visit weber.zoom.us/webinar/register. For more information on the lecture series, visit weber.edu/neuroscience/NSLectureSeries.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:

Aminda O'Hare, neuroscience program director
801-626-6729 •  amindaohare@weber.edu

Author:

Emily Rupp, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
801-626-7948 •  emilyrupp@weber.edu