Once upon a time, we had the nature-versus-nurture debate. And we assumed that the brain stops developing at some finite point when we're young. With recent science, things have gotten more interesting than that, and more hopeful. The neuroscientist Richard Davidson has helped reveal a surprising give and take between emotions, behavior and biology at every age. He made his discoveries by studying the brains of meditating Buddhist monks. Now, he's testing new approaches to autism and ADHD, even to nurturing kindness and self-reflection in children and adolescents. He and others are shifting the psychological paradigm that focuses on fixing what is wrong. This is about practicing life-enriching behaviors and, in so doing, "rewiring" our minds.
Richard Davidson is William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior. He's also founder and director of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds. He is the co-author of the recently published The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live--and How You Can Change Them and is the co-editor of The Mind's Own Physician