Amishi P. Jha, PhD
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Miami

ajha AT



Welcome to the Mindfulness Based Attention and Training (MBAT) Project Homepage. This page provides an overview of the University of Miami-led study by Dr. Amishi P. Jha which began in the fall of 2012. The Jha lab has been supported by the Department of Army Medical Research and Materiel Command to conduct the Train the Trainer (TTT) Project over the next four years. This project aims to explore the possibility of training non-experts to deliver mindfulness training to facilitate large-scale rapid dissemination. We ask two main questions: 1) Does direct training offered to non-expert trainers by an expert mindfulness trainer alter the non-expert trainers’ neurobiological measures of attention, working memory, and emotion-regulation? 2) Is training offered by a non-expert trainer efficacious at altering these neurobiological metrics in end-users (ROTC cadets and active duty soldiers)? The MBAT course brings together fundamental mindfulness concepts and exercises derived from traditional mindfulness trainings and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, weaving them together with content relevant for military service members.

Left: Dr. Jha with CSF2 Director Colonel Riddle. Right: Dr. Jha with the Ft. Stewart and Ft. Gordon training teams.

University of Miami Research and Training Team

Dr. Amishi Jha Dr. Amishi Jha – Principal Investigator
Dr. Jha oversees all aspects of this project. She has been Associate Professor at the University of Miami since 2010, and was Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania from 2002-2010. She teaches courses on attention and memory, brain-bases of attention, and cognitive neuroscience. She has received several grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Dept. of Defense (Dept of Army, DCoE) to use functional MRI and brainwave recording to determine if and how the brain changes with resilience training.
Scott Rogers Scott Rogers – Co-Investigator | Program Developer
Scott Rogers is founder and director of the Institute for Mindfulness Studies and of the University of Miami School of Law’s Mindfulness in Law Program. He has practiced mindfulness and other contemplative practices for more than 20 years. His concentration on mindfulness is rooted in his belief that it offers one of the most effective means of encouraging meaningful inner work and growth. Scott received his masters degree in social psychology and his law degree from the University of Florida, graduating summa cum laude.
Ekaterina Denkova Dr. Ekaterina Denkova – Post-Doctoral Researcher
Dr. Denkova is a post-doc with research interests in the neural mechanisms of autobiographical memory and self-generated thoughts, and how these mechanisms are influenced by emotion and training techniques that rely on focused attention.
Tony-Zanesco Dr. Anthony Zanesco – Post-Doctoral Researcher
Dr. Zanesco is a post-doc with research interests in the mental training of sustained attention and the long-term cognitive consequences of continued meditation and mindfulness practice.
Lindsey Lindsey Slavin – Research Associate
Ms. Slavin is a post-baccalaureate research associate who completed her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2017.
Keith Chichester Keith Chichester – Research Associate
Mr. Chichester is a post-baccalaureate research associate who completed his B.A. in Psychology from the University of North Carolina Asheville in 2016.
Emily Schwartz Emily Schwartz – Research Associate
Ms. Schwartz is a post-baccalaureate research associate who completed her B.A. in Psychology from New York University in 2017.
Emily Schwartz Dr. Stephen Gonzalez – Mindfulness Trainer
Dr. Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Sport Studies, and Physical Education at the College at Brockport. He completed his Ph.D. in the Psycho-Social Aspects of Sport at the University of Utah, his M.S. in Sport Psychology at Georgia Southern University, and his B.S. in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to his current position, Dr. Gonzalez was the Lead Performance Expert for the United States Army’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program (CSF2) at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield in Georgia, where he trained and oversaw the delivery of performance enhancement and sport psychology training, resilience training, and leadership training to active duty infantry soldiers and aviators. He has also received over 100 hours of supervised training and supervised delivery of mindfulness and has collaborated with the Jha Lab since 2014.
Gus Castellanos Dr. Gus Castellanos – Mindfulness Trainer
Gus Castellanos, M.D. attended the University of Miami undergraduate and Medical School, receiving his M.D. degree in 1980. He trained at Emory, Georgetown Universities, and MD Anderson Tumor Institute, Houston. He received board certification in Neurology in 1987 and in Sleep Medicine in 1994. He practiced medicine in South Florida, until retiring in January 2007 to pursue his interests in meditation and metaphysical studies. He is a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction & meditation teacher, trained by the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. He currently teaches at the Palm Beach Cancer Institute’s Sari Asher Center, University of Miami Medical Wellness Center and Kula Yoga Shala.

Advisory Team

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., UMass Medical School
Developer of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Founding Director, UMASS Center for Mindfulness

Major General Walter Piatt, U.S. Army
Commanding General, 7th Army Joint Multinational Training
Grafenwoehr, Germany

Colonel Michael Brumage, M.D., U.S. Army
Medical Director Camp Zama, Japan
Delivers MBSR courses to military members, spouses, and community members

Sharon Salzberg
Co-Founder of Insight Meditation Society
Best-selling author and internationally acclaimed mindfulness expert

Charles Hoge, M.D., Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army
Military psychological health and trauma expert
Former director of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research on the psychological and neurological consequences of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars

Mike Gervais, Ph.D., Sports Psychologist
Mindfulness Meditation Trainer of Seattle Seahawks
Director of DISC’s Sport and Spine Center



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