Episode 8 - Neuroscience, Meditation & Dance with Marieke van Vugt
Sep 6th, 2021 by marioveen
The prisoners in Plato's Cave live in a world of projections. They think they see a cat, but it is actually a shadow of a statue of a cat. Is it the same for us? Do we live in a kind of illusion? And if so, what are ways to see through this illusion and lift the fog at least a little?
We explore these questions with neuroscientist, Buddhist and ballet dancer Marieke van Vugt.
Marieke is an assistant professor in the cognitive modeling group at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). She obtained her PhD with Michael Kahana in the neuroscience program of the University of Pennsylvania, after having spent one year at Brandeis University. After that I did a postdoc with Jonathan Cohen at Princeton University. The main question that guides her research is: how do we think? In what ways do we mind-wander? What effects does that have on decisions? And how can we make our thinking more adaptive by means of contemplative practices such as mindfulness and meditation. She likes to use mathematical models and techniques to better understand those very complicated data. This model-based neuroscience approach allows us to think about the mechanism by which someone thinks, and make more detailed predictions than verbal models.