Episode 40 – Spiritual Experience from a Neuroscientist’s Perspective with Dr Marjorie Woollacott
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Dr Woollacott’s Biography from her website (https://marjoriewoollacott.com/about/bio/)
Marjorie Hines Woollacott, PhD, has been a neuroscience professor at the University of Oregon for more than three decades and a meditator for almost four. She also has a master’s degree in Asian studies, which she began on a teaching sabbatical and completed at the UO while a full-time professor. Her master’s thesis was the foundation for her latest book, Infinite Awareness: The Awakening of a Scientific Mind, which is both a scientist’s memoir and a research survey on human consciousness. Dr. Woollacott is currently the president of the Academy for the Advancement of Postmaterialist Sciences (AAPS) and the Research Director for the International Association of Near-Death Studies (IANDS).
Woollacott’s own research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, and includes both research in neuroscience and testing the efficacy of alternative forms of therapy such as tai chi and meditation for improving both attention and balance in adults. She also has published studies on sensory contributions to music performance, in collaboration with Steven Pologe, professor of cello performance in the UO School of Music, and studies on attentional network changes associated with meditation practice.
With Dr. Anne Shumway-Cooke, Woollacott has coauthored a popular textbook for health professionals, Motor Control: Theory and Practical Applications, in its fifth edition, and she has written more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters. She has been the keynote speaker at conferences in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and has taught courses not only in neuroscience and rehabilitation medicine but also in meditation, hatha yoga, and alternative and complementary medicine. Her undergraduate work and doctoral studies were in neuroscience at the University of Southern California.
In this episode we look at Dr Woollacott’s personal research into various phenomena and how it has changed her perspectives of life and consciousness, with the perspective of her training in academic Neuroscience.