underlined names denote a mentored stuent of Willoughby Britton
Britton, W.B.Niles, H.F., Lepp., N.E., Rocha, T., Fisher, N., Gold., J., (in press). A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Classroom-Based Mindfulness Meditation for Middle School Children. Journal of School Psychology
Lindahl, J.R., Kaplan, C., Winget, E., and Britton, W.B.* (2014). A Phenomenology of Meditation-Induced Light Experiences: Traditional Buddhist and Neurobiological Perspectives. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, (973) 1-16. PMCID: PMC3879457
Britton, W.B, Lindahl, J.R., Cahn, B.R., Davis, J., & Goldman, R.E. (2013). Awakening is not a metaphor: The effects of Buddhist meditation practices on basic wakefulness. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1307, 64-81.
Britton, W.B., Brown, A.C., Kaplan, C.T., Goldman, R.E., DeLuca, M., Rojiani, R., Reis, H., Xi, M., Chou, J.C., McKenna, F., Hitchcock, P., Rocha, T.A. Himmelfarb, J., Margolis, D.M. Niles, H.F., Eckert, A.M., Frank, A. (2013) Contemplative science: A closer look at an emerging paradigm. In Marilla Svinicki (ed). New Directions for Teaching and Learning : Contemplative Studies in Higher Education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Capecelatro, M., Sacchet, M., Hitchcock, P., Miller, S., and Britton, W.B. (2013). Major Depression Duration Reduces Appetitive Word Use: An Elaborated Verbal Recall of Emotional Photographs. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47 (6), 809-815. PMID:2351049 PMC 3732741
Britton, W.B., Bootzin, R.R., Cousins, J.C., Hasler, B.P., Peck, T., and Shapiro, S.L. (2012). The contribution of mindfulness practice to a multi-component behavioral sleep intervention following substance Abuse treatment in adolescents. In Marcus, M., and Zgierska, A. (Eds). Mindfulness-Related Treatments and Addiction Recovery. London: Taylor and Francis.
Roberts-Wolfe, D., Sacchet, M., Hastings, E., Roth, H., Britton, W.B. (2012) Mindfulness training alters emotional memory recall compared to active controls: support for an emotional information processing model of mindfulness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6 (15), 1-13.
Britton W.B., Fridel K.W., Haynes P., and Bootzin R.R. (2012) Mindfulness training improves polysomnographic and subjective sleep profiles in antidepressant medication users with sleep, complaints. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 81, 296-304
Britton, W.B., Shahar, B., Szepsenwol, O., and Jacobs, W.J., (2012). Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy improves emotional reactivity to social stress: results from a randomized controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 43, 365-380.
de Dios, M.A., Herman, D.S., Britton, W.B., Hagerty, C.E., Anderson, B.J., and Stein, M. (2012). Motivational and mindfulness meditation intervention for young adult female marijuana smokers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 42, 56-64.
Van Vugt, M, Hitchcock, P., Shahar, B. and Britton, W.B. (2012). The effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on affective memory recall dynamics in depression: a mechanistic model of rumination Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 1-13.
Silverstein R, Brown A, Roth H, and Britton W.B. (2011). Mindfulness training improves interoceptive awareness to sexual stimuli: Implications for healthy female sexual functioning. Psychosomatic Medicine, 73(9):817-25.
Shahar, B., Britton, W.B., Sbarra, D., Figueredo, A.J., and Bootzin, R.R. (2010). Mechanisms of change in Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for depression: preliminary evidence from a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 3, 402-418.
Britton W.B., Haynes P.L., Fridel K.W., Bootzin R.R. (2010) Polysomnographic and subjective measures of sleep continuity before and after Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in partially remitted depression. Psychosomatic Medicine, 72, 539-548. PMID: 20467003
Britton, W.B., Bootzin, R.R., Cousins, J.C., Hasler, B.P., *Peck, T., and Shapiro, S.L. (2010). The contribution of mindfulness practice to a multi-component behavioral sleep intervention following substance abuse treatment in adolescents: a treatment development study. Substance Abuse, 31, 86-97. PMID: 20408060
Payne, J. D., Britton, W.B., Bootzin, R. R., and Nadel, L. (2005). Beyond acetylcholine: next steps for sleep and memory research. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 77. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X05340027
Payne, J. D., Britton, W.B., Nadel, L., and Jacobs, W. J. (2004). The biopsychology of trauma and memory. In D. Reisberg and P. Hertel (Eds.), Memory and Emotion (pp. 76-128). New York: Oxford University Press.
Britton, W.B., and Bootzin, R. R. (2004). Near-death experiences and the temporal lobe. Psychological Science, 15, 254-258. doi: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00661.x
Shapiro, S., Britton, W.B., and Walsh, R. (2004). An analysis of recent meditation research and suggestions for future directions. Journal of Meditation Research, 10, 2-27.
Research interests include sleep, emotional disturbances, and new treatment/prevention strategies for mood disorders. Current research includes a 5-year NIH-funded RCT on the neurophysiological effects of mindfulness meditation in depression, including executive, affective, sleep, EEG + endocrine functioning. Other research examined the school-based mental training on attention, sleep + emotional wellbeing, and potential adverse or iatrogenic effects
6/14 currently seeking research assistants
1. Meditation Training in 6th Graders:
Effects on Attention, Emotional Wellbeing and School Likeability
In the context of a year-long Ancient Civilizations class, 6th graders at Moses Brown are introduced to meditation practices during the unit on Asia. In a randomized controlled trial, Brown researchers are assessing the effects of these practices on attention, self-awareness, emotional well-being, compassion and school likeability
Link to Website: www.mosesbrown.org/commoninc/pushpage/299/cbannerpp.asp?send_id=1c386d27-1528-467b-ab8c-d559833f63e6&volume_id=19580&user_id=2196786&mode=view&news_id=415748
2. Investigation of "Meditation Labs" at Brown University:
Effects on Attention, Emotional Wellbeing, and Life Satisfaction
In order to promote learning from both didactic (third person) and experiential (first person) perspectives, "meditation labs" have been incorporated into several courses by Professor Hal Roth since 2000, so that students may experience the contemplative practices that they are learning about in class. This study aims to investigate the effects of these meditation labs on attention, emotion regulation and sleep in comparison to other forms of attention training (music, dance, language acquisition).
3. Neurophysiological Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy in Recurrent Depression
This study is a 3-year NIH-funded randomized controlled trial of MBCT in recurrent depression which aimed to identify the neurophysiological changes associated with mindfulness training and which changes were associated with sustained recovery 1 year later. This study investigated neurophsyiological systems that are known to be involved in the pathophysiology of depression and increase risk for relapse. Biological Measures included overnight polysomnographic sleep/EEG studies, 24-hr cortisol, Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), heart rate variability, and a 3-hour neuropsychological battery that assesses the functioning of the prefrontal cortex, cingulate, hippocampus and amgygdala. Self-report measures include meditation practice, mindfulness, stress, anxiety, rumination, experiential avoidance, depression and history of trauma. One year follow-up are completed and a never-depressed control group just finished the protocol to serve as a reference.
This research investigates the full rnage of experiences that can resuklt from meditation, including difficult or challenging mind (and body) states, and includes interviews with more than 20 meditation teachers (Jack Kornfield, Shinzen Young, Joseph Goldstein, Adyashanti) and Buddhist scholars (Thupten Jinpa, John Dunne, Alan Wallace) as well as a number of experienced practitioners.
The research investigates:
1) the phenomenology of these experiences, including their duration, associated functional impairment and estimated prevalence
2) the wide range of interpretations from "Progress to Pathology" from well-known teachers and Buddhist scholars
3) "exacerbating factors" (practitioner characteristics, type of practice, available support) which may exacerbate expected (but perhaps difficult or challenging) meditation effects into the need for additional support measures
This research is very much in its early stages, and we welcome collaborators.
Accepting applications for Research Assistants
To apply for any of these positions, please email a cover letter describing your reasons for applying, CV, transcript of grades (unofficial is fine) and the name and contact information of one reference to Willoughby_Britton@Brown.edu
2013-2016 Bial Foundation "The Contemplative Development Mapping Project"
Britton (PI) 4500 Euros ($60,559 USD)
2013-14: Mind and Life Institute Varela Grant ( Mentor)
Co-Principal Investigator ( Chris Kaplan/ Nathan Fisher) $15,000
2011-2016 Mentored Patient Oriented Career Development Award
(NCCAM/ NIH K23 AT006328-01A1, PI: Britton) $668,385
2011-14 Hershey Foundation
Principal Investigator, $15,000 ($5,000/year)
2009-11 Mind and Life Institute Varela Grant (PI/Mentor)
Co-PIs: Nathaniel Lepp, Ellen Darling: $30,000
2008-10 Treatment Research Fellowship
(NIMH, PI: Ivan Miller): $42,000/yr
2005-8: Mind and Life Institute Varela Grant
Principal Investigator, $10,000
2004-8 Mind and Life Institute Research Grant
Principal Investigator, $10,000
2005-06 National Research Service Award, Predoctoral Fellowship
(NIH T32-AT001287, PI: Iris Bell, MD). $20,772
2004-05 American Association for University Women (AAUW) Dissertation Grant
Principal Investigator, $20,000
2004-05 Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Scholar Award
Principal Investigator, $10,000
2003 Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Institute (SBSRI) Dissertation Award
Principal Investigator, $500
2012 Gold Humanism Honor Society Visiting Professorship, Brown University
2012 Invited presentation to the Dalai Lama, April 24
2010 Mind and Life Senior Fellow
2009 Mind and Life Summer Research Institute Fellowship. Garrison , NY June 7-14.
2008 Clinical + Neuroscience Perspectives on Mindfulness Fellowship (Toronto, CA)
2007 World Federation of Sleep Research Societies (WFSRS) Travel Award (Australia)
2006 Center for Mindfulness 2nd Annual Conference Travel Award, Bangor Wales, UK
2006 Mind and Life Summer Research Institute Fellowship. Garrison , NY June 28-July 2.
2005 Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Travel Award
2005 World Federation of Sleep Research Societies (WFSRS) Travel Award (India)
2005 Mind and Life Summer Research Institute Fellowship. Garrison, NY. June 28-July 2.
2004 Mind and Life Summer Research Institute Fellowship. Garrison, NY. June 21-29.
2001 Association of Professional Sleep Societies (APSS) Travel Award
1996 B.A. in Neuroscience, Cum Laude, High Honors in Neuroscience, Colgate University
Anderson, Angela Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical), Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine (Clinical)
Buka, Stephen Director of Population Health and Clinical Epidemiology, Professor of Epidemiology
Carskadon, Mary Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Adjunct Professor of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences
Epstein-Lubow, Gary Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Assistant Professor of Medical Science, Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice
Flynn, Ellen Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine
Schiffman, Fred Sigal Family Professor of Humanistic Medicine, Professor of Medicine
Stein, Michael Professor of Medicine, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT)
Society for Neuroscience (SFN)
American Psychological Society (APS)
Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP)
Sleep Research Society (SRS)
American Epilepsy Society (AES)
American Psychological Association (APA)
Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS)
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS)