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Science and Meditation

NYC 11/7: "Moving the World by Thought: Dimensions&Perspectives of

Anyone want to meet-up in NYC next Thursday?
I'm planning on going to this which indirectly relates to meditation and directly relates to my personal interest in meditation: the mind and behaviour and ethics. (I may have to cancel due to weather at home though).

Thursday, November 7, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

in the German House Auditorium
871 UN Plaza, 49th Street @ First Avenue, New York City.

Professor Birbaumer’s lecture is entitled Moving the World by Thought: Dimensions and Perspectives of Brain-Computer Interfaces

Here's the RSVP if you're interested: (

It’s an old dream of humankind to communicate and interact with the environment by

using the power of thoughts only.

Recent advances in sensor technology and computational capacities suggest that this

dream might become true in the near future. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) translate

electric or metabolic brain activity into control signals of external devices. People unable

to communicate or move can learn to use such systems to interact with their environment

and regain lost functions.

While most applications are still confined to the fields of basic research, first successes

in translation to clinical uses were achieved. In his talk, the internationally renowned and

highly awarded neuroscientist Niels Birbaumer, a pioneer in this young field of research,

presents his work, particularly on chronic stroke and locked-in patients. He will also

discuss his pioneering interventions on brain metabolic self-regulation in psychiatric

disorders and elaborate how this technology will change the general view of brain

function and self-control.

Today, five of the ten leading causes of disability world-wide are related to the central

nervous system. Driven by enormous growth of computational capacities and

technological advancements over the last two decades, an unprecedented progress in

the field of neurotechnology has been made. In this context BCI using brain activity to

activate machines, computers and other devices without motor system involvement

provides promising options to restore lost or impaired functions.

The lecture will also cover the ethical implications and future clinical applications of BCI

in dementia and small infants.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult Niels Birbaumer, born May 11, 1945, received his Ph.D. in 1969

from the University of Vienna, Austria. He also holds a Ph.D. in Biological Psychology,

Art, History and Statistics. From 1975-1993 Dr. Birbaumer taught as a Full Professor of

Clinical and Physiological Psychology at the University of Tübingen, Germany. Then

from 1986-1988 he was a Full Professor of Psychology at Pennsylvania State University,

USA. Since 1993 Dr. Birbaumer has been a Professor of Medical Psychology and Behavioral

Neurobiology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tübingen and a Professor of

Clinical Psychophysiology at the University of Padova, Italy. Furthermore, Dr. Birbaumer

has been the Director of the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of

Trento, Italy since 2002. More than 600 of Dr. Birbaumer’s publications have been published in peer-reviewed

journals and he has authored 12 books throughout his career.

Dr. Birbaumer has received many awards for his pioneering work, including the Leibniz-

Award of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), the Helmholtz Medal of the

Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science. He is also President of the European

Association of Behavior Therapy, Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and

Fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the American Association of Applied

Psychophysiology. From 2003-2004 he was President of the Society for Psycho-
physiological Research (SPR).

Dr. Leonardo Cohen received his M.D. from the University of

Buenos Aires. He did his neurology residency at Georgetown

University and received postdoctoral training in clinical

neurophysiology at the Department of Neurology, University of

California (Irvine) and in motor control and movement disorders at the

Human Motor Control Section at the National Institute of Neurological

Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). In 1998, he became chief of the

Human Cortical Physiology Section at NINDS. He received the

prestigious Humboldt Award (1999) from the Federal Republic of

Germany and is an elected member of the American Neurological Association. Dr.

Cohen’s lab is interested in the mechanisms underlying plastic changes in the human

central nervous system and in the development of novel therapeutic approaches for

recovery of function based on the understanding of these mechanisms.

The Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize is the highest honor awarded in German research.

Established in 1985, the prize provides an unparalleled degree of freedom to outstanding

scientists and academics to pursue their research interests. Up to ten prizes are awarded

annually with a maximum of €2.5 million per award. Prize recipients are awarded the

prize solely on the basis of the scientific quality of their work. The Leibniz Prize honors

the well-known scientist and humanist Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), who was a

leading figure in the fields of philosophy, mathematics, physics and theology.
Bold emphasis added.