In this episode I speak with Jay Sanguinetti, Research Assistant Professor and Director of the NICE Lab (Non-Invasive Cognitive Enhancement Lab) at the University of New Mexico, and Science Director of the SEMA Lab (Sonification Enhanced Mindful Awareness) Associate Director of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Sanguinetti investigates the use of noninvasive brain stimulation to enhance cognition and well-being. We discuss Jay’s work investigating whether focused ultrasound can be used to augment meditation practice in the development of mindfulness. I found this conversation fascinating as it highlights how modern brain technologies could enhance wellbeing and also because the impact could be significant; while mindfulness is an effective intervention for pain, addiction, and mood disorders, many people don’t persist with mindfulness training long enough to experience the full benefits.
1:13 – What is Jay working on?
4:10 – How does Jay think about enhancing mindfulness?
8:30 – How does Jay measure mindfulness?
13:10 – Do the changes in the foundational attentional constructs tend to be correlated?
17:05 – How does Jay think about particular brain networks involved in mindfulness?
21:43 – Do the targets of brain stimulation change depending on the experience of the practitioner?
24:00 – What is the experience of brain stimulation while meditating like?
26:00 – How does the stimulation enhance people’s ongoing mindfulness practice?
29:05 – What is the meditation-stimulation protocol?
33:00 – What is the experience like for experienced meditators?
39:30 – How are they progressing with bringing the technology out of the lab and into the world?
43:30 – Is the close collaboration with a meditation teacher typical of contemplative neuroscience labs? And what has the experience been like?
46:00 – Jay’s advice for student pursuing similar interest to his.
Meditation researcher, Richard Davidson.
Meditation and habit researcher, Jud Brewer.