Tag Archives: technology

Meditation and Compassion Fatigue for Clinical Caregivers

by Carrie Heeter, Ph.D., November 11, 2014
Professor of Media and Information, Michigan State University
Director, Mindtoon Lab

ISCS Program cover

ISCS 2014 Program

“Compassion” appears 228 times in the 120 page program for the International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, which I attended recently in Boston. Sessions related to compassion included meditation practice led by masters and presentations of research findings by top scientists from neuroscience, psychology, clinical science, the humanities, philosophy, and education.

I’ve always casually aspired to approach life with compassion and kindness, until now without ever thinking deeply about what that means.

In this blog post I explore ideas related to compassion and compassion fatigue among health care professionals inspired by three of the myriad fascinating talks. This is not the only or the most interesting takeaway from the conference, but has big societal importance and it relates to a grant proposal I’m working on.

I think of health care professionals, and especially nurses, as professionally compassionate. It was upsetting to learn that burnout and compassion fatigue are extremely common among nurses and physicians. 30% of primary care interns will leave the field within their first 5 years. 61% of palliative care clinicians experience burnout, emotional exhaustion, and depersonalization. Health care workers, administrators, and academics are aware of the extent of the problem, but I wasn’t. Continue reading

Powerful Mind Control Device Instantly Switches Information Processing Modalities

By Carrie Heeter, PhD, February 17, 2014

New neuroimaging research documents dramatic effects of an embedded brain controlling device: our eyes.

Neuroscientists have been examining what parts of the brain are activated when eyes are open (EO) compared to brain activation when eyes are closed (EC). It turns out that opening your eyes, even in a totally dark room, instantly changes how your brain operates.

Mind controlling eyes

Mind controlling eyes

People who meditate experience this shift when they begin a meditation by sitting comfortably and closing their eyes. Other forms of meditation, such as walking meditations, occur with eyes open. All of us have convenient access to eyes we can experiment with opening and closing while we reading this blog about the latest research. Continue reading