Richard Davidson, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry This Emotional Life - PBS

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Richard Davidson, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. Davidson is the Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, and the Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior and the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience. He has been at the University of Wisconsin since 1984. Dr. Davidson’s lab has undertaken a broad program of research on the brain mechanisms that underlie emotion and emotion regulation in normal individuals throughout the life course, and in individuals with various psychiatric disorders. The populations he studies include normal middle-aged and older adults, infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. He also studies the relations between the central circuitry of emotion and peripheral biology to probe the mechanisms of mind-brain-body interaction.

Dr. Davidson has published more than 250 articles, chapters and reviews, and has edited 13 books. He was the founding coeditor of the new American Psychological Association journal, Emotion. Dr. Davidson is also past-president of the Society for Research in Psychopathology and of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. In 2000, he was recipient of the most distinguished award for science given by the American Psychological Association – the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award. In 2003 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2004 he was elected to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006. In 2006, he was also awarded the first Mani Bhaumik Award by UCLA for advancing the understanding of the brain and conscious mind in healing. Madison magazine named him Person of the Year in 2007.

Awards and Credentials

  1. National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award
  2. National Institute of Mental Health MERIT Award
  3. Established Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders
  4. Distinguished Investigator Award from the National Alliance for Research in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders
  5. William James Fellow Award from the American Psychological Society

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Recommended Reading List

  • "Voluntary Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Expertise." Lutz, A., et al (2008). PLoS One 3(3).
  • Buddha’s Brain: Neuroplasticity and Meditation. Davidson, R. J. et al. (2008). IEEE Signal Processing 25(1).
  • "Failure to Regulate: Counter-Productive Recruitment of Top-Down Prefrontal-Subcortical Circuitry in Major Depression." Johnstone, T., et al. (2007). Journal of Neuroscience 27.

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