Kirk Warren BrownKirk Warren Brown, Ph.D.

Kirk Warren Brown, Ph.D., completed undergraduate and graduate training in Psychology at the University of Toronto and McGill University, respectively, and post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester. He is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research centers on the role of attention to and awareness of internal states and behavior in self-regulation and well-being. He has a particular interest in the nature of mindfulness, and the role of mindfulness and mindfulness-based interventions in emotion regulation, behavior regulation, and mental health in healthy and clinical populations. He has authored numerous journal articles on these topics and is senior editor (with JD Creswell and RM Ryan) of the new Handbook of Mindfulness: Theory, Research, and Practice (Guilford Press). Dr. Brown is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. His research is funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health and by numerous foundations and non-profit organizations.

On December 11, from Noon until 1 pm, in the LINK Lab (246 Nedderman Hall), Dr. Brown delivered the following public presentation:

Title: Mindful responses to stressors: Mental health-supportive evidence from social and affective neuroscience

Mindfulness – a receptive attentiveness to present events and experience — has been associated with numerous indicators of psychological well-being, adaptive social functioning, and behavior regulation. Emotion regulation is a key underpinning for these various outcomes, and this talk will discuss our recent research showing that mindfulness predicts subjective and neurobiological indicators of adaptive emotion regulation. Using the Gross (1998) model of emotion generation and regulation, I will first show that mindfulness appears to operate an adaptive form of attention deployment, predicting greater attention to, and less evaluative appraisal of, motivationally salient emotional threat stimuli. Further, I will show that mindfulness predicts dampened “downstream” emotional and biological responses to social stressors. Finally, evidence from mindfulness training research will be presented to highlight the potential of this training to beneficially alter emotion processing and regulation in higher education students and other stressed populations.