USC Center for Mindfulness Science
Project Period: 7/1/18 – 6/31/20
Funding Source: USC Office of Research — Research Collaboration Fund
Anticipated Award: $60,000
The USC Center for Mindfulness (CMS) is a research collaborative that aims to contribute meaningful understanding to the component psychological and biological processes underlying mindfulness and to contribute to the understanding of the relationship between mindfulness and well-being as well as the impact of mindfulness practice on wellness and clinical outcomes across the lifespan. Mindfulness refers to a human capacity of mind that is both trainable and has been shown to relate to well-being, resiliency, and improved clinical outcomes across a range of psychological and physical conditions. Specifically, mindfulness is marked by enhanced awareness of present-moment affects and cognitions in tandem with decreased identification with and automated reactivity to contents of awareness. The CMS will convene a group of expert USC investigators interested in studying mindfulness at USC across a range of disciplines to accomplish the goal of advancing the science of mindfulness. We will sponsor group meetings aimed at both fostering interdisciplinary discussion of the areas of greatest interest in advancing mindfulness research and obtaining extramural funding to support this effort.
Participating faculty include Buddhist scholars, world-renown experts on the neuroscience of feeling, emotion, and cognition as well as national experts in self-report science, social science, educational science and research across a wide range of clinical disciplines. We aim to coordinate with the successful Mindful USC initiative to obtain extramural research funding to assess the impact of the mindfulness practices taught through Mindful USC on individual psychological and educational outcomes as well as campus social life. In addition, we aim to engage in further studies of the impact of mindfulness on well-being and psychological functioning in diverse populations from medical students and physicians to patients with anxiety, depression, and chronic medical disease. Our long term goal is the establishment of a USC Center of Excellence in Mindfulness Science as it relates to well-being and the promotion of human health.