The Psychology Department of Northwestern University is sponsoring a Symposium on Mind and Society on Thursday, October 16th, 2014.

The featured speaker for the event is Richard Davidson who is William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Davidson is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Emotional Life of Your Brain and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2006. Professor Davidson’s research examines the biology of emotion and the brain’s ability to change itself through mental training and contemplative practices.


I. PANEL DISCUSSION AND RECEPTION FROM 4:00 TO 5:30 P.M.  The panel discussion will examine economic, social, cognitive, and neural factors involved in generating emotional well . The discussion will involve the following outstanding panelists:

                Edith Chen, Professor of Psychology, Northwestern University

                Lindsey Chase-Lansdale, Frances Willard Professor of Human Development and Social Policy and Associate Provost for                 Faculty, Northwestern University

               Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

               James Heckman, Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, and Nobel Memorial                 Prize winner in economics.

The panel will be moderated by Jennifer Richeson, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation professor of psychology at Northwestern

The panel discussion will be followed by a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 P.M.
                PANEL DISCUSSION TIME/DATE: Thursday, October 16th from 4:00 – 5:30 P.M.
                RECEPTION TIME/DATE Thursday, October 16th from 5:30 – 6:30 P.M.
                PANEL DISCUSSION  AND RECEPTION LOCATION: McCormick Foundation Auditorium (room 164), Kellogg School                 Allen Center, Northwestern University - Evanston Campus, 2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL

II. PUBLIC LECTURE BY PROFESSOR DAVIDSON: Dr. Davidson will give a free public lecture at 7:00 P.M. titled Happiness as a Skill: The Brain’s Ability to Change Itself through Mental Training

            PUBLIC LECTURE TIME/DATE: Thursday, October 16th at 7:00 P.M.
            PUBLIC LECTURLOCATION: Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern  University - Evanston campus, 50 Arts Circle
            Drive, Evanston, IL

Below is the abstract for Professor Davidson’s Public Lecture


This talk will examine the brain's ability to change itself and enhance emotional well being through mental training and contemplative practices. The presented material will address the concept of neuroplasticity, which is the idea that our behaviors, thoughts, and actions have a robust and measurable effect on brain function and structure. By cultivating positive thoughts and behaviors we literally, at the level of biology, can alter our brain a positive manner. From this perspective, happiness can be viewed as a skill that can be practiced and cultivated.

The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the parking lot at 1841 Sheridan Rd. in Evanston, IL. Map