The Metro-Area Research Group on Awareness & Meditation (MARGAM) at New York University presents researchers and scholars discussing their current and emerging studies on contemplative practice and consciousness. MARGAM aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and scholars engaged in research on consciousness, contemplative practice, and related topics.
All meetings are Thursdays at 7:00pm, located on NYU campus, unless otherwise noted.
NYU Stern – Tisch Hall
Room UC-15 (on lower level of Tisch Hall)
40 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
COMING UP THIS FALL, 2013:
The link between enhanced spiritual states and improved addiction outcomes has been observed for over 200 years. Williams James noted that some skid row alcoholics dramatically recovered through religious conversion, prompting his famous quote: ‘the best cure for dipsomania is religiomania.’
A recent meta analysis of 536 patients selected from the best designed trials of single dose administration of LSD versus placebo demonstrated a significant treatment effect with a doubling of improved alcohol outcomes in the LSD group versus placebo. Recent groundbreaking research with psilocybin at Johns Hopkins has demonstrated that psilocybin can occasion acute and enduring changes in the personality domain of openness. Together, this finding with the above mentioned link between spirituality and addiction and the historical LSD alcoholism data has prompted several groups to explore using psilocybin-assisted psychotherapies to treat addictive disorders, including a planned study at NYU to explore using psilocybin assisted motivational interviewing and twelve-step facilitation combined with entry into AA to treat alcoholics. Dr. Ross will discuss the rationale and design of the NYU psilocybin alcoholism study.
Stephen Ross, MD
Director, Addiction Psychiatry at NYU Tisch Hospital; Director, Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Opioid Overdose Prevention Program, Bellevue Hospital; Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine
Dr. Ross is the Director of the NYU Psychedelic Research Group, Principal Investigator of the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Project, and Director of an NIH funded addictive disorders laboratory at Bellevue Hospital. His research interests revolve around exploring novel diagnostic and treatment approaches to addictive spectrum illnesses and psychological distress in patients with advanced or terminal cancer. He is an expert on the therapeutic application of serotonergic hallucinogens to treat psychiatric and addictive spectrum illnesses. Future projects include: psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat alcohol use disorders; psilocybin-assisted spiritual enhancement; NYU Psychedelic Psychotherapy Training Program.
Ned Block is the Silver Professor of Philosophy, Psychology and Neural Science at New York University. Dr. Block works in philosophy of mind and foundations of neuroscience and cognitive science and is currently writing a book on attention. He is a past president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, a past Chair of the MIT Press Cognitive Science Board, and past President of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness. The Philosophers’ Annual selected his papers as one of the “ten best” in 1983, 1990, 1995, 2002 and 2010. He is co-editor of The Nature of Consciousness: Philosophical Debates (MIT Press, 1997). The first of two volumes of his collected papers, Functionalism, Consciousness and Representation, MIT Press came out in 2007.
Ned Block, PhD
Silver Professor of Philosophy, Psychology and Neural Science
New York University
Dr. Dennis will discuss her recent project, an experiment that is the subject of “Changing Minds at Concord High,” a documentary about at-risk high school students in Staten Island working with scientists from Mind & Life and Hunter College on a contemplative science experiment in their school.
Tracy Dennis is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College and in the Behavioral Neuroscience and Biopsychology Doctoral Program at The City University of New York. She uses the tools of psychology and neuroscience to study emotions and our ability to regulate emotions as core building blocks of our mental and physical health. Current research topics include: a novel intervention for anxiety that retrains patterns of attention to threat, a “stress vaccine” app, core neurobehavioral processes supporting our ability to regulate emotions, and mindfulness and relaxation techniques targeting at-risk teens to improve health and coping.
Tracy Dennis, PhD
Associate Professor, Psychology Department
Director, Emotion Regulation Lab
ALL TALKS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC