Together, we can create a more humane world.
We are dedicated to understanding how to prevent violence and build peace from neuro- and social-science perspectives, and translating this knowledge to inspire and support individuals and communities around the world in undertaking a journey of inner transformation and social change.
Our research effort is three-fold:
– Compiling and analyzing a vast body of existing research at the intersection of neuroscience, spirituality, and peacebuilding
– Documenting a range of practices from around the world, analyzing their components, and mobilizing high-level multidisciplinary research teams to better understand the potential of these practices to rewire the brain for peace
– Supporting innovative neuroscience research in areas that have been understudied to help develop scientific understanding of the brain’s ability to turn away from hate and violence, towards compassion and peace
Dr. Dara Ghahremani
Dr. Dara Ghahremani is a neuroscientist at the Laboratory for Molecular Neuroimaging – University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Dr. Sabrina N’Diaye
Dr. Sabrina N’Diaye is an integrative psychotherapist and founder of the Heart Nest Wellness Center in Baltimore.
We spent two years brainstorming and analyzing a vast body of existing research at the intersection of neuroscience, spirituality, and peacebuilding. Our Literature Map Database is the result of that effort.
Take the time to explore this extraordinary reservoir of scientific knowledge. Each node represents a published research paper (with access to an abstract and link to the full paper). Lines connect papers that share keywords, and the papers that share many keywords are bundled in to colored themes.
Read through our analysis of this literature, and our outline of a broad research agenda
We are currently working on supporting and producing innovative scientific knowledge in three areas:
– The neural basis for the development of core values , the behavioral consequences following disruption of those values in the face of violence and adversity, and the potential means to restore, or rewire, healthy core value brain circuits through cultural and spiritual practices;
– The neural processes of compassion and how its deliberate practice works in high-stress or high-adversity situations to help transform the traditional dilemma of in-group/out- group dynamics; help ordinary citizens; overcome feeling emotionally overwhelmed and prevent negative reactions; and help prevent burnout for peacebuilders and activists working on the frontline of violence;
– The specific neural or cognitive mechanisms associated with ritualized experiences that support either the dissolution, or the reinforcement, of “us vs. them” thinking (inter-group antagonisms).