Attention and working memory are two important cognitive systems that interact with each other to allow for fluid behavior. Whereas attention allows for selection between relevant and irrelevant information, working memory allows relevant information to be maintained and manipulated over time. In our lab we use behavioral methods, event-related potentials, and functional MRI to investigate attention and working memory. We are particularly interested in understanding how these systems work together to select and de-select information. In addition, we investigate how core selection processes may be modified with training (including mindfulness-based training techniques) and mental mode manipulations (including mood, self-focus, and creativity).
Our lab is within the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami, in Florida.
- June 24-30, 2013—Mindfulness Week, Mindhouse Park, Tallberg, Sweden.
- May 13, 2013—NY Academy of Sciences and Scientific American Mind Meeting, New York, NY. Speaker: “Social and Emotional Learning: Preparing Our Children to Excel”
- May 3-5, 2013—Learning & the Brain “Executive Skills for School” Conference, Arlington, VA.
- April 17-21, 2013—Center for Mindfulness Scientific Conference, Norwood, MA.
- April 16, 2013—Brown University Contemplative Studies Initiative, Providence, RI.
- February 6, 2013—NY Academy of Sciences and Nour Foundation Meeting, New York, NY. Speaker: “Becoming Conscious: Uncovering the Science of Mindfulness”
- January 23-27, 2013—IdeasLab Presentation, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland.
- November 9, 2012—34th Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Judges, Miami, FL.
- October 26, 2012—Superintendents Forum – 100 Public School Superintendents from 30 states, San Francisco, CA. Keynote Address: “Neuroscience and Technology”
- April 26-29, 2012—International Symposia for Contemplative Studies, Denver, CO. Master Lecture: “Meditation, Attention, and Neuroscience in the Military”
Panel: “Impact of Mindfulness on Brain Resting State Connectivity”
- March 28-April 1, 2012—Center for Mindfulness Scientific Conference, Norwood, MA. Co-chair, “Embodiment of Mindfulness: Neuroscience and Clinical Perspectives”
- March 16-18, 2012—Mindfulness in Education Network, Bryn Mawr College, PA. Keynote Address: “Improving Attention and Working Memory with Mindfulness Training” (see video)
- Feb 4-5, 2012—UC-San Diego. “From Dazed and Distracted to Attentive and Calm: What the Neuroscience of Mindfulness Reveals” (see video clip)
News of Interest
Mindfulness Training Featured on CBS Evening News
Watch Segment. Amishi discussed the neural effects of mindfulness training in a CBS evening news segment on mindfulness training initiatives at UM and in South Florida.
Mindfulness Research Presented at Fort Benning
Left: Col(P) Piatt, Mrs. Piatt, Mrs. Brown, MG Brown, Amishi, BG James. Right: Doughboy “Follow Me Statue.”
Recent Marine findings were presented on the topic of “Optimizing Warrior Attention with Mindfulness Training” at the Maneuver Center for Excellence Conference at Fort Benning, GA.
Groundbreaking for Neuroscience Building
Construction is underway on the Neuroscience building, which will have facilities for fMRI, EEG/ERP, and will serve as a collaborative workspace for the University of Miami Mindfulness Research and Practice Initiative (MRPI).
Jha Lab Receives Two New Grants
The Jha Lab has received a $900k grant from the US Dept. of the Army to investigate mindfulness training in ROTC cadets. In addition, we have received a grant from the 1440 Foundation to investigate the benefits of mindfulness training for military spouses with collaborator Margaret Cullen.
Center for Mindfulness Conference
The UMass Medical School, Center for Mindfulness John & Tussi Kluge Research Symposium at the Center for Mindfulness Conference in Norwood, MA, was co-chaired by Amishi and Philippe Goldin, also featuring presentations by Drs. Zindel Segal, Fadel Zeidan, and Katherine MacLean. Amishi presented on “Embodiment of Mindfulness: Neuroscience and Clinical Perspectives.”
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience
A Special Research Topics issue on the “Neural Effects of Mindfulness/Contemplative Training” in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience was recently guest-edited by Amishi. To access the articles, visit here and click “Articles.”
Spring 2012—Commandant of the US Army Infantry School Visits the Lab
The Commandant of the US Army Infantry School, Col. Walter Piatt, visited the Jha Lab to discuss our work on the neurobehavioral effects of mindfulness.
Winter 2011—Goldie Hawn visits the Jha Lab
Left: Amishi overviews EEG recording with Goldie, as Research Assistant Suzanne Parker serves as the participant.
Right: Cristina Garcia, Goldie Hawn, Justin Dainer-Best, Amishi Jha, Dean of UM Miller School of Medicine Pascal Goldschmidt, & Psychology Chair Rod Wellens. Photo Credit Byron Maldonado.
Goldie Hawn recently visited the Jha Lab to discuss research collaborations between our lab and the Hawn Foundation. Amishi is a scientific adviser for the Hawn Foundation, founded by Goldie to help cultivate mindful attention and optimism in children. The meeting focused on the Jha lab’s work on the cognitive neuroscience of mindfulness training and fruitful avenues for future research with the Hawn Foundation. Read more from UM.
Fall 2011—Amishi Briefs Brigadier General Rhonda Cornum
Amishi briefed BG Cornum, director of the US Army’s Comprehensive Fitness Program on the Jha Lab’s ongoing work on the impact of deployment cycle stress on working memory and the effects of Mindfulness Training. Learn more about the Jha Lab’s work in military cohorts here.