Train Your Mind

"We have no idea how much plasticity there really is in the human brain until we see what intense mental training, not some weekly meditation session, can accomplish. We've gotten this idea, in Western culture, that we can change our mental status by a once-a-week, forty-five minute intervention, which is completely cockamamy. Athletes and musicians train many hours every day. As a neuroscientist, I have to believe that engaging in compassion meditation every day for an hour each day would change your brain in important ways. To deny that without testing it, to accept the null hypothesis, is simply bad science."

"I believe that neuroplasticity will reshape psychology in the coming years. Much of psychology had accepted the idea of a fixed program unfolding in the brain, one that strongly shapes behavior, personality, and emotional states. That view is just shattered by the discoveries of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity will be the counterweight to the determanistic view (that genes have behavior on a short leash). The message I take from my own work is that I have a choice in how I react, that who I am depends on the choices I make, and that who I am is therefore my responsibility."

Richard Davidson, Ph.D University of Wisconsin-Madison quoted by Sharon Begley in her book Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain. [From Kit]