Dr. Willoughby Britton
Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Psychiatry Human Behavior, Brown University Medical School
Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health
Dr. Britton earned a B.A. in Neuroscience from Colgate University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology form the University of Arizona in 2007. She is the recipient of two National Research Service Awards (NRSA) and a Career Development Award (CDA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is currently the Director of Brown’s Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory) which investigates the psychophysiological (EEG, EMG, EKG) and neurocognitive effects of cognitive training and mindfulness-based interventions for mood and anxiety disorders. Research questions investigate which cognitive training practices are best or worst suited for which types of conditions and why, moderators of treatment outcome, practice-specific effects, and adverse effects. Current NIH-funded studies include a 3-armed RCT entitled “Dismantling Mindfulness” that compares the effects of three different types of meditation training programs on pre-frontal cortex functioning in depression; and a collaborative infrastructure grant (UH2) with Harvard and UMASS entitled “Mindfulness Influences on Self-Regulation: Mental and Physical Health Implications”. An interdisciplinary qualitative study entitled “The Varieties of Contemplative Experience” is investigating under-reported and potentially challenging, distressing or impairing meditation-related effects.
As a clinician, she has been trained as an instructor in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), and has taught mindfulness to both clinical and non-clinical populations, and in federally-funded clinical trials.
Dr. Jared Lindahl
Jared Lindahl is Visiting Assistant Professor (Research) at the Cogut Center for the Humanities, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, and is director of the humanities research track in the Clinical and Affective Neuroscience Lab. In 2010 Dr. Lindahl began collaborating on the Varieties of Contemplative Experience research project, and in 2014 he came to Brown in order to dedicate himself to directing the ongoing data collection and qualitative analysis. He holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation research adopted a bio-cultural methodology to investigate the significance of light-related experiences and discourses in Buddhist and Christian contemplative traditions, a part of which informed the first publication from the VCE study. His ongoing research continues to integrate historical and textual studies of contemplative traditions with phenomenological and neurobiological approaches in order to elucidate the relationship between contemplative practices, resultant experiences, and culturally situated appraisals of meaning and value.