People

Founder

Zoran Josipovic, Ph.D.

Zoran Josipovic, Ph.D.

Principal Scientific Investigator

Zoran is a research associate at NYU Langone Medical Center, and an adjunct faculty for cognitive and affective neuroscience in the Department of Psychology, New York University. With his wife, Judith Blackstone, he founded the Nonduality Institute, where he is the principal science investigator. His research interest are unitary states of consciousness cultivated through contemplative practice, what these states can tell us about the nature of consciousness and its relation to authentic subjectivity, and what relevance this may have for understanding the global and local organization in the brain.

Board of Directors

Stephen Greg Ascue

Stephen Greg Ascue

Greg is an experienced software, biotechnology, and medical device expert with over 25 years of success in new product development, software engineering, test, project management, and regulatory affairs. He currently serves as the President of Stephen Gregory Ascue, LLC, an engineering consulting firm specializing in providing engineering expertise to medical device companies. He has helped launch more than 40 biotechnology and medical device related products. In addition to his expertise in the medical device realm he has worked on diverse applications such as network simulation, supply chain management, compiler development, and personal wellness. He, also, has held management positions with a variety of startup and established companies.
Forrest H Bennett III

Forrest H Bennett III

Forrest is a computer scientist and software engineer with a specialization in machine learning. He has over 60 papers, a book, and 7 patents primarily in machine learning, automatic analog circuit synthesis, and genetic programming. His commercial work includes a custom chip for molecular mechanics computations, and a PBPK pharmacokinetics simulator. Most recently he was a co-founder of Palo Alto Neuroscience. Before that he was at Twitter as an Engineering Manager, and before that VP of Engineering at a search engine startup acquired by Twitter. He has a BS in Applied Mathematics, and is a former Visiting Scholar at Stanford.
Barry H. Cohen, PhD

Barry H. Cohen, PhD

Barry was director of the NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences M.A. program in psychology for more than a decade, where he also taught psychological statistics. He is the author of three statistics text books currently in print. He received a B.S. in physics from Stony Brook University, an M.A. in general psychology from Queens College, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from NYU. He completed two years of post-doctoral research under the guidance of Richard Davidson at Purchase College in New York. His current research is focused in two main areas: the subjective and neural correlates of inner speech; and the cognitive, affective, and physiological changes produced by the regular practice of meditation and related mental exercises.

Scientific Advisory Board

Bernard J. Baars, PhD

Bernard J. Baars, PhD

Dr. Baars is best known as the originator of the global workspace theory and global workspace dynamics, a theory of human cognitive architecture, the cortex and consciousness. Author of On Consciousness: Science & Subjectivity – Updated Works on Global Workspace Theory (Nautilus Press, 2019), his acclaimed books include The Cognitive Revolution in Psychology (Guilford Press); A Cognitive Theory of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press); In the Theater of Consciousness: The Workspace of the Mind (Oxford University Press); Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience (Baars & Gage, Editions 1 & 2, Elsevier); and Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuroscience (Gage & Baars, Editions 1 & 2, Elsevier). A former Senior Fellow in Theoretical Neurobiology at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, CA, Bernie is Editor in Chief of The Society for MindBrain Sciences. He is recipient of the 2019 Hermann von Helmholtz Life Contribution Award by the International Neural Network Society, which recognizes work in perception proven to be paradigm changing and long-lasting. Publications: BernardBaars.com

Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, PhD

Aviva Berkovich-Ohana, PhD

Senior lecturer, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center, University of Haifa, Israel

Dr. Berkovich-Ohana is a senior lecturer, affiliated at the University of Haifa, Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center, and Departments of Counseling and Human Development, as well as Learning, Instruction and Teacher Education. Her training included a PhD in Neurobiology at the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and post-doctorate at the lab of Prof. Rafi Malach at the Weizmann Institute, Israel. Major research interests of her lab include the effects of contemplative mental training on consciousness, cognition and self-reference, as well as the possible applications to the field of Education. She is interested in the neural and cognitive processes underlying the sense of self, as well as its phenomenology. On the theoretical level, she is interested in conceptualizations of consciousness, and has developed a framework, named the Consciousness State Space (CSS). The CSS framework is a neuro-phenomenological model for consciousness and selfhood which relates time, awareness, and emotion within one field, thus creates a comprehensive theoretical framework with explanatory and unificatory power. She is the head of the University of Haifa Neuroimaging Forum, a member of the Mind Sciences In Society For Innovation (MSISFI) Consortium, and the organizer of two conferences on consciousness, Perspectives on Consciousness (Jerusalem, Israel, May 2019), and Neurophysiology of Silence: scientific and contemplative perspectives (Assisi, Italy, July 2019). Her research has been supported by TEVA’s National Network of Excellence, the Bial Foundation and the Mind and Life Institute.

 

Vladimir Miskovic, PhD

Vladimir Miskovic, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology; State University of New York at Binghamton

Vladimir Miskovic, PhD received his doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience in 2011 at McMaster University, before completing a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Postdoctoral Fellowship at the NIMH Center for the Study of Emotion and Attention at the University of Florida. His principal research interests include emotion, attention, and the interaction of spontaneous and driven human brain activity. His expertise lies in advanced methods of human electrophysiology, including the application of time x frequency, functional connectivity, graph and information theoretic analyses to neural time series data. He has contributed code to the Neurophysiological Biomarker Toolbox, an open source MATLAB toolbox for the computation and integration of neurophysiological biomarkers. Vlad currently serves as the Consulting Editor for Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience and the APA journal, Emotion. In 2016, he received the Association for Psychological Science (APS) “Rising Star” Award.
Jay Sanguinetti, PhD

Jay Sanguinetti, PhD

Adjunct Professor University of Arizona, Research Assistant Professor University of New Mexico

Dr. Sanguinetti is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Arizona and a Research Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico. His training was in philosophy, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, and his dissertation investigated the neural processes of conscious and unconscious visual perception. Dr. Sanguinetti specializes in psychophysiological measures (EEG, fMRI, eye-tracking) of visual perception, emotion, and mindfulness meditation. His team investigates novel forms of brain stimulation, including the use of ultrasound and light-based stimulation to enhance memory, perception, and well- being. Dr. Sanguinetti has published widely, from topics on the neural basis of vision and the temporal dynamics of perception to understanding how the brain changes in Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia. His current interests include using noninvasive brain stimulation to enhance cognition and well-being. Jay is presently investigating whether focused ultrasound neuromodulation can augment mindfulness practice in collaboration with Shinzen Young. They recently launched the Sonication Enhanced Mindful Awareness (SEMA) lab at the University of Arizona in collaboration with the Center for Consciousness Studies. The SEMA lab is developing accelerated mindfulness protocols for therapeutic interventions to treat addiction, chronic pain, and depression. Dr. Sanguinetti is the Assistant Director for the Center for Consciousness Studies, which runs the largest international conference on consciousness studies.

Yiyuan Tang, PhD

Yiyuan Tang, PhD

Presidential Endowed Chair in Neuroscience, Professor of Psychological Sciences and Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University

Dr. Tang’s basic research focuses on how environment or experience (stress, learning, training or culture) affects behavior (e.g., attention, emotion, self-control, health and wellbeing), physiology (e.g., cortisol, HRV) and brain plasticity over the lifespan using psychosocial, physiological, neuroimaging and genetic methods. His translational research focuses on the development and implementation of evidence-based prevention and intervention for behavioral problems and mental disorders such as stress related disorders, mood disorders, addictions, cognitive decline and AD. He developed a novel Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT) and have studied its mechanisms and effects in randomized clinical trials in healthy and patient populations since 1990s. A series of RCTs have shown that few hours of IBMT can significantly reduce stress hormone, improve immune function, cognitive performance and brain plasticity. He has published 8 books, such as The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Meditation: How the Body and Mind Work Together to Change Our Behavior, Brain-Based Learning and Education: Principles and Practice, and over 300 peer-reviewed articles including Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Trends in Cognitive Sciences. These findings are reported in the scientific journals such as Nature, Science, Nature Review Neuroscience, Neuron, PNAS, and popular media including BBC, The Press Association, Reuters, TIME, New York Times and NPR. Dr. Tang received multiple awards including NIH Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards and NIH Phased Innovation Award. More information on www.imcenter.net 

Research Assistants

Michael W. Karlovich

Michael W. Karlovich

Michael graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY, in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in cognitive neuroscience and a minor in philosophy. He has spent his post-baccalaureate years conducting research on an array of topics including cognition, memory, attention, visual consciousness, meditation, optical illusions, the nature of disagreement, sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, and novel epilepsy treatments. Michael has been studying Buddhism and practicing meditation under qualified instruction since the age of 14. He has been a certified instructor of mindfulness and meditation since age 18. Michael plans to pursue a PhD in data science, specializing in the analysis of human neural data.