GIAN Course on Science of Consciousness and Meditation


Consciousness is one of the fundamental problems in science. It has been a very difficult puzzle for scientists to arrive at methodologies to study consciousness. In the past 30 years, consciousness research has once again prominent in cognitive and neurosciences. The course will cover multiple methodologies and different theoretical approaches to consciousness. Meditation has been an established practice for mental training for thousands of years. However, the scientific studies of meditation started only in the last 50 years and have experienced significant growth in the last twenty years. The course will cover studies on cognitive and neural changes due to practice of meditation as well as effects of meditation on wellbeing. Meditation also provides us a way to study first person experience and understand consciousness and the course will address issues related to the study of consciousness using meditation as a tool. This course is primarily for PhD students and young researchers in Cognitive Science, Psychology, Neuroscience, and other allied disciplines interested in consciousness and meditation. Practitioners interested in scientific studies on meditation would also be considered. No previous knowledge of scientific studies on consciousness and meditation is assumed, although participants will benefit from a background in cognitive/experimental Psychology. As well as lectures, the course will also involve some laboratory classes where participants will gain hands-on experience on designing experiments to study consciousness and meditation.

Modules Course Duration (December 5-16, 2016)

Module 1: Introduction and Issues in Consciousness Studies (December 5-6, 3 Lectures)

Module 2: Cognitive Science and Neuroscience of Consciousness (December 6-9, 7 Lectures)

Module 3: Metacognition, Emotions, Self and Agency (December 9-10, 4 Lectures)

Module 4: Introduction to Meditation and Overview of Meditation Interventions (December 12-13, 4 Lectures)

Module 5: Cognitive Science and Neuroscience of Meditation (December 14-16, 6 Lectures)

You Should

Attend If…

§   You are a graduate student in cognitive science, cognitive psychology, or neuroscience interested in extending your knowledge into this fascinating but little-studied area.

§   You have an interest in including consciousness and meditation research in your studies in other related areas such as developmental or clinical psychology.

§   You have a professional interest in situations where the study of meditation and consciousness may be of practical importance.

Fees The participation fees for taking the course is as follows:

Participants from abroad: US $200

Industry/ Research Organizations: Rs. 15000

Academic Institutions (Faculty): Rs. 8000

Academic Institutions (Students): Rs. 5000

The above fee includes all instructional materials, computer use for tutorials and assignments, and laboratory equipment usage charges. The fee does not include accommodation or food costs.


The Faculty

Dr. Antonino Raffone is an Associate Professor at the Department of Psychology of Sapienza University of Rome. He completed a Master and a Doctorate in Psychology at Sapienza University of Rome, and the European Diploma in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. Both research and teaching of Dr. Raffone are mainly focused on consciousness, attention and mindfulness (meditation), and their neural correlates, with different methods of investigation, including behavioral, electroencephalographic, neuroimaging and computational studies. Dr. Raffone has been author of several international research articles on these topics and related aspects. In particular, he has edited a theme issue of “Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B” on perceptual awareness with Prof. Narayanan Srinivasan and Prof. Cees van Leeuwen. Dr. Raffone is active in promoting practice of mindfulness and meditation in several contexts, including prisons, and related research, and is Co-Founder and Chair of “Consciousness, Mindfulness, Compassion – CMC – International Association”. He directs the Master in “Mindfulness: Practice, Clinical Applications and Neuroscience” at Sapienza University of Rome.

Prof. Narayanan Srinivasan is currently Professor and Head at the Centre of Behavioural and Cognitive Sciences (CBCS), University of Allahabad. He has a Master degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Science and PhD in Psychology from University of Georgia. He has been working at CBCS for the past twelve years. He is interested in understanding mental processes especially perception, attention, and emotions. He has more than hundred and twenty publications. He has worked on the effects of attention on awareness, self, emotions and agency. He also studies the effects of meditation on cognition. Dr. Srinivasan is a fellow of Association for Psychological Science.