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The Congressman


Saturday, April 20, 2013
4:00 PM–5:30 PM

Congressman Tim Ryan, an advocate of mindfulness training in schools, talks to Hunter College psychologist Tracy Dennis after a screening of Susan Finley’s Changing Minds at Concord High School which documents an experiment of introducing meditation in a ‘transfer’ school in New York City.
“Mindfulness refers to a broad range of mental and physical techniques that span cultures and historical eras. At its core, I believe that mindfulness is a technology of consciousness. The power and efficacy of this technology are due to its ability to shift our perception of ourselves and others. This shift in perception in turn shapes how we regulate our emotions in response to what happens in our minds and in the world.“ – Tracy Dennis
Tracy Dennisis an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Hunter College and in the Behavioral Neuroscience and Biopsychology Doctoral Program at The City University of New York. She uses the tools of psychology and neuroscience to study emotions and our ability to regulate emotions as core building blocks of our mental and physical health. Current research topics include: a novel intervention for anxiety that retrains patterns of attention to threat, a “stress vaccine”app, core neurobehavioral processes supporting our ability to regulate emotions, and mindfulness and relaxation techniques targeting at-risk teens to improve health and coping.

About the Film

Changing Minds at Concord High School is a movie about at-risk high school students in Staten Island working with scientists from Mind & Life and Hunter College on a contemplative science experiment in their school. For the last decade, the filmmaker Susan Finley worked with Concord and other “transfer” schools around the city, integrating video production into curriculum to make learning more relevant. During that time it became clear to her that many of the students were suffering from emotional trauma, undiagnosed learning differences and a history of academic failure. They werein dire need of emotional and educational triage.Working with the scientists, Concord’s administration and staff and with Peter Barton, the film’s producer, Susan designedthis pilot program in order to integrate contemplative science and meditationinto the school day.Psychologist Tracy Dennis was one of the scientists working on the program.
Included in ticket price is a post-program gallery tour.

About Brainwave: Illusion

The Buddha said that everything is illusion. What did he mean by that? This sixth edition of Brainwave will enlist the aid of neuroscientists to help us understand how the perception of our world is shaped by the surprising adaptability of our brains. Brainwave includes talks, special film screenings followed by discussions, interactive workshops, and much more!
Learn More
Presenting Sponsor of Brainwave 2013