Spirituality and the Brain

Panel Discussion October 21, 2009

Can contemplative disciplines such as yoga and meditation increase your brainpower? How should we define spirituality, and how is it different from religion? Four experts in the field of psychiatry discuss how techniques such as yoga, meditation and prayer can impact not just our beliefs and behavior but also the physiology of our brains.

Featured Speakers:

Daniel Amen, MD
CEO, Amen Clinics
Author, New York Times bestsellers Change Your Brain, Change Your Life and Magnificent Mind At Any Age

Daniel Amen, MD, is a physician, psychiatrist, brain imaging specialist, bestselling author, writer, producer and star of three highly successful public television programs, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and the CEO and Medical Director of Amen Clinics, a leader in applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice with the world’s largest database of functional scans related to behavior.

Paul DeBell, MD
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Author of Decoding the Spiritual Messages of Everyday Life:
How Life Shows Us What We Need to Know

Paul DeBell, MD, is a psychiatrist who has worked for over thirty years in community mental health clinics in the South Bronx. He has been on the faculty of Albert Einstein, Columbia, Cornell, and New York Medical College. He is currently in private author of Decoding the Spiritual Messages of Everyday Life, which is slated for publication by Sterling Ethos in October.

Rebecca Hedrick, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Associate Residency Training Director, University of California, Irvine

Rebecca Hedrick, MD, is Associate Residency Training Director and Assistant Clinical Professor for the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, Irvine, where she completed a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship as well as General Psychiatry Residency Training. She incorporates techniques of yoga, meditation, hypnosis, and lucid dreaming into her work with residents and patients at UCI.

Roger Walsh, MD, PhD
Professor of Psychiatry, Philosophy and Anthropology, University of California, Irvine
Author of Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices

Roger Walsh, MD, PhD, is professor of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology, and adjunct professor of religious studies at the University of California, Irvine. His interests include contemplative disciplines, the nature of psychological health and wellbeing, religion and spirituality, and the psychological roots of contemporary global crises. His publications include Paths Beyond Ego and Essential Spirituality: The Seven Central Practices.

Location: University of California, Irvine
The UCI Psychiatry and Spirituality Forum and
The UCI Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine