Student - November 15, 2012

Improved concentration

What? Studium Generale on mindfulness
When? 20 and 27 November
Where? Impulse (building 115) on campus
Entrance? Free

For two weeks Studium General will focus on the subject of mindfulness. This is a form of meditation in which you focus your attention on the here and now - or at least prod your distracted and caffeinated brain in that direction. Psychologists have been doing research since the 1970s on what mindfulness can do for people with psychological problems. These days, mindfulness practices have become increasingly mainstream and are by no means the preserve of a 'spiritual' or new-age community.
The first lecture is about this research. Professor Anne Speckens will talk about how mindfulness can help with depression, for example. And how it can help us in dealing with our everyday cares and setbacks. In the second lecture, neuroscientist Ester Aarts will talk about what mindfulness does to the brain. Aarts's own research will be of interest to nutrition scientists: she is studying whether mindfulness helps people prone to overeating. But these lectures are also relevant to stressed-out professors, unhappy students and all those with incurably enquiring minds.