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 – Kaufman Management Center
New Location: Room 3-90, 3rd floor
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012

Spring 2014:
(Check back for our updated Spring schedule)

WendyHThursday, 6 March, 7pm
“Investigating mind wandering and attention during focused meditation”

Dr. Hasenkamp’s talk will describe a line of research that seeks to incorporate first-person subjective input into the analysis of meditation-related brain activity and connectivity. Using fMRI, Dr. Hasenkamp’s lab developed a paradigm to leverage subjective reports of awareness of mind wandering during focused attention meditation, using these reports to drive data analysis. These findings will be placed in the context of our larger understanding of identified brain networks, and future directions and applications will be discussed.

Download Dr. Hasenkamp’s lecture notes

Dr Hasenkamp received her PhD from Emory University in 2005. Her research examines the neural correlates of meditation, with a focus on the shifts between mind wandering and attention. She now serves as senior scientific officer at the Mind & Life Institute in Massachusetts.

Wendy Hasenkamp, PhD
Senior Scientific Officer, Mind & Life Institute, Massachusetts

HakwanLThursday, 10 April, 7pm
“Sensory Metacognition & Conscious Awareness”

Metacognition involves monitoring the effectiveness of one’s own ongoing cognitive processes. In psychological experiments, this can be reflected by one’s ability to place confidence ratings appropriately in each trial to indicate the likelihood of correct responses. Dr. Lau argues that 1) metacognition may reflect the subjective conscious experience in visual perception; 2) the neural mechanisms for visual and memory metacognition may be different, which means there may not be a single, domain-general self-monitoring system; 3) human metacognition is likely suboptimal from a strictly computational standpoint, and instead uses heuristical strategies to determine perceptual confidence.

Dr. Lau was born and raised in Hong Kong and is currently an associate professor of psychology at Columbia University. He got his doctorate from Oxford University, and has worked at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging. In Fall 2014 he will be starting a new lab at the University of California – Los Angeles.

Hakwan Lau, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
Columbia University

SallyBThursday, 17 April, 7pm
“Meditation, Hypnosis, and Dissociation: Similarities & Distinctions”

Ms. Bowden-Schaible is founder and Dharma leader of the Insight Community of Southern Maine. She is a psychotherapist in private practice and co-founder of Mind Meets Body Institute, LLC, an organization providing continuing education programs for mental health and healthcare professionals and educators integrating ancient wisdom with modern-day understanding and practices.

Sally Bowden-Schaible, LCPC, CCMHC
Founder & Director
Mind Meets Body Institute, Westbrook, ME

Werner DoyleMay TBD
“Complexity and Wellbeing”

Werner Doyle, M.D., is a neurosurgeon and a professor of neurosurgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. He specializes in epilepsy surgery and collaborates with neuroscientists at NYU studying brain mechanisms and understanding the etiologic substrates of the brain that cause epilepsy. His research interests include minimally invasive surgical approaches, computer applications to clinical neurosurgery, mathematical and computational applications to the treatment of epilepsy, and contemplative neuroscience. He is on the board of directors of Tricycle magazine and foundation.

Werner Doyle, MD
Neurosurgeon, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
NYU Langone Medical Center



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Email us at: margamnyc@gmail.com