Links Containing Search Words: “Kozhevnikov”

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by Ewen Callaway If you're going to challenge the Dalai Lama to a memory game, don't do it just after he's meditated. New research finds that meditation boosts visual memory, but only in the short term. The findings counter the claims of some monks who say that years of practicing a meditation technique that centres on creating an elaborate mental picture of deities can offer long-lasting improvements in visual memory and processing. "They claim they can do it all the time – they cannot," says Maria Kozhevnikov, a neuroscientist at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, who travelled to several monasteries in Nepal to test the Buddhist monks' visual memory. Holy challenge In 2003, the Dalai Lama, who has a long-term interest in science and what he calls "the luminosity of being", attended a neuroscience conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There he challenged Kozhevnikov's then post-doctoral advisor, Stephen Kosslyn, to test the visual memory of Buddhist monks. Kosslyn and most other neuroscientists claimed that working memory was too short to maintain an image for more than a few seconds. He found no difference in visual memory between moderately practiced monks and non-meditators who came to his Harvard lab. The Dalai Lama suggested that Kosslyn test more experienced monks in Nepal, and Kozhevnikov took on the task while on sabbatical. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 17: Learning and Memory; Chapter 10: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development; Chapter 7: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Keyword: Learning & Memory
Link ID: 12812 - Posted: 06.24.2010