Catherine Kerr investigates the effects of mindfulness meditation, Tai Chi and other mind-body therapies on the brain. The underlying motivation for her brain science comes from her initial qualitative investigations of the experience of mindfulness and Tai Chi, which she has found share a common thread: both therapies address suffering by training a close, focused attention to body sensations during meditative practice. This qualitative insight has given the impetus for her investigations into the effects of moment-by-moment body-focused attention in Tai Chi and mindfulness meditation on electrical rhythms in somatosensory and motor areas in the brain that are now thought to modulate brain function in subtle, important ways. Her goal is to use these neuroscientific findings on brain rhythms and mind-body therapies to enhance currently available treatments for chronic pain, aging disorders and depression (since these are disorders where mindfulness meditation and Tai Chi have shown clearest positive therapeutic impacts).
Link: Dr. Catherine Kerr
Workshop 2009: Link to the video
Book Project: How does suffering emerge from chronic pain?