Millions of people around the world look to the Dalai Lama as a teacher offering guidance on spiritual matters. When he visits the United States this spring, he will serve in an additional capacity - research collaborator.
The Dalai Lama will spend two days at the University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing his deep interest in the science of emotion by meeting with scientists who will be examining how practices such as meditation influence brain function, emotions and physical health.
His visit will cap three major events at UW-Madison in April and May in which research into the biological connections between emotions, behavior and physical health takes center stage. UW-Madison is a world leader in emotions research and is home to the HealthEmotions Research Institute, the Center for the Study of Mind/Body Interactions and the Wisconsin Center for Affective Neuroscience.
-- The opening of the $10 million W. M. Keck Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior, a facility that combines the most powerful imaging tools used for brain and behavioral research. The lab functions under the auspices of the Waisman Center and the HealthEmotions Research Institute.
-- The Wisconsin Symposium on Emotion, April 26-27 at Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison. About 300 people, many supported by a unique travel awards program, will attend this international meeting sponsored by the HealthEmotions Research Institute. Top scientists will discuss new insights into the health effects of stress, the neurobiology of fear, as well as findings offering clues to possible origins of hyperactivity, autism and schizophrenia.
-- A conference featuring Nobel Prize Laureate Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, May 21-22 at the UW-Madison Fluno Center. The Dalai Lama's visit is co-sponsored by HealthEmotions Research Institute and the Mind and Life Institute in Boulder, Colo. The topic for this year's conference is "Transformations of Mind, Brain and Emotion."