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What is Absent from Contemplative Neuroscience?: Rethinking Limits within the Study of Consciousness, Experience, and Meditation

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In conveying experiences of meditation, the question of what exceeds or should resist description has been a recurrent topic of commentary in a wide array of literature -- including religious doctrine, meditation guides (secular and religious), and contextual accounts written by historians and social scientists. Yet, to date, this question has not significantly informed neuroscientific studies on the effects of meditation on brain and behaviour, in large part -- but not wholly -- because of the disregard for first-person accounts of experience that still characterizes neuroscience in general. By juxtaposing perspectives from non-neuroscientific accounts on the tensions and questions raised by what is and is not expressed or expressible in words, this article paves the way for a new set of possibilities in experimental contemplative neuroscience.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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