Contemplative Mind in Life

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This Blog will serve to provide a cyber space for news dedicated to contemplative science research in the domains of cognitive neuroscience, clinical health and integrative medicine, and education. Please contact me at if you have news that is relevant to the study of mind in life or contemplative sciences.

You can also see what type of research I am conducting personally and more contemplative science resources on my lab webpage:


The comments I am expressing are my own and do not represent the views or opinions of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center or its administration

David Vago, PhD is Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is an associate professor in the department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. He also maintains an appointment as a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory (FNL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), Harvard Medical School. He has completed post-doctoral fellowships in the department of Psychiatry at BWH, the Utah Center for Mind-Body Interactions within the University of Utah Medical School, and the Stuart T. Hauser Research Training Program in Biological & Social Psychiatry. David has previously held the position of Senior Research Coordinator for the Mind & Life Institute and is currently a Mind and Life Fellow, supporting the Mind and Life mission by advising on strategy and programs. He received his Bachelors Degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1997 from the University of Rochester. In 2005, David received his Ph.D. in Cognitive and Neural Sciences with a specialization in learning and memory from the department of Psychology, University of Utah.

He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, spoken at international conferences, and his research has been covered by mainstream news outlets such as the Huffington Post, Boston Globe, and NPR, among others. David is an avid Vipassana, Dzogchen meditation and Hatha Yoga practitioner.

Research Description

Dr. Vago’s research interests broadly focus on utilizing translational models to identify and characterize neurobiological substrates mediating psychopathology, to better predict outcomes and potential biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for those suffering with mental illness and chronic pain. Through mixed research methods of systems biology, neuroimaging, predictive computational modeling, connectomics,  neuroendocrine science, innovation, cognitive-behavioral and first-person phenomenological analyses, Dr. Vago and his team focus on one basic question – “What are the basic neurobiological and physiological components that constitute adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in health settings?” Dr. Vago has a number of research initiatives that are ongoing, including Mapping the Meditative Mind, in which he has partnered with contemporary meditation teachers and scholars to investigate states of meditation across the spectrum of formal meditative expertise.



  1. Nisha says:

    Dear David,
    I just discovered this amazing web-site! Thank you for putting it up. I do have a question: what may be an appropriate outcome measure for the Buddha Relic tour? (Maitreya Project). Ordinary people visiting the tour experience unconditonal loving-kindness and healing of emotional and physical domains. Mindfulness may not be the best outcome measure. I am open to your thoughts.
    Many thanks again. Nisha


  2. Nice website Vago! Very useful information. Is this your only site?


  3. Congratulations for this webpage, it is a very useful science and experience-based work, thanks a lot for sharing


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