Research

M3CS applies philosophical and scientific rigour to provide new answers about consciousness, contemplation and their relation to each other. The Centre is a vibrant research hub for a new generation of interdisciplinary academics, fostering new global collaborations.

Research projects are conducted in the following areas:

Evaluation and assessment of educational and professional development offerings. A key question for educational offerings to students, staff, communities, and external organisations and partners is whether and how they improve performance and well-being. There is much evidence showing that mindfulness training improves aspects of overall well-being and mental health and internationally there is strong focus on further improving outcomes and managing any risks associated with such activities. It is important to investigate these kinds of effects for M3CS’s units, courses and other offerings. Several publications and projects therefore look at evaluating outcomes and at continually improving the offerings.

Ongoing and planned projects include:

  • evaluation of M3CS’s MOOCs, professional development courses and electives
  • evaluation of mindfulness interventions for politicians
  • mindful physical exercise
  • mindfulness for driver wellbeing and behaviour

Philosophy, consciousness and contemplative studies. The world’s great wisdom traditions centrally include contemplative practices, and explores spirituality, wisdom, freedom and self. Philosophy is focused on the nature of mind and consciousness, including free will, happiness, autonomy and the good life. M3CS conducts research that bridges these themes, exploring the conceptions of self in contemplative practices, and looks at the ethical and conceptual context in which contemplative practices unfold. This speaks to the perennial wisdoms across several traditions, including Buddhist philosophy, Islamic studies and Christian traditions.

Ongoing and planned projects include

  • the centrality of no-self notions in the context of ethical processing in Buddhist philosophy
  • moral protest and forgiveness
  • meditation as ethical exercise
  • phenomenology of spontaneous thoughts and mind wandering in contemplation and everyday life
  • the phenomenology of mental rest in stillness meditation and beyond

Contemplation in cognition and neuroscience. Contemplative neuroscience is a burgeoning field, with new studies looking at brain changes in meditators, cognitive function, underlying neurocognitive mechanisms, broadening the scope to domains such as prosociality, compassion, self-compassion, common humanity, and topics such as self, agency and self-efficacy, and authenticity. At the same time, contemplation is a state of consciousness, involving overall conscious state, background states, and attentional modulation. M3CS seeks to build a strong connection between consciousness science and contemplative studies. We employ behavioural, psychophysics, and neuroimaging methods, and seek to explore contemplation from a perspective that includes a theoretical neurobiology perspective, that considers the whole organism, and that foundationally incorporates an active conception on mental processes.

Ongoing and planned projects include:

  • heart-brain-breath coupling in adaptive, allostatic control
  • moral psychology in contemplative practice
  • dimensions of contemplative consciousness
  • depersonalisation and mindfulness
  • self-control, urges and compassion interventions
  • mindfulness and psychedelic medicine
  • the self in self-efficacy and its relation to compassion
  • the development of the mature ego
  • cognitive flexibility and mindfulness
  • lifetime psychedelics use
  • brain changes in common humanity training

Representative publications from the M3CS team since the Centre's inception in 2021. See also our individual pages for full publication lists.

Books

Hassed, C., McKenzie, S. 2021. Mindfulness for Life. Exisle Publishing.

Kars, A and Bahrani,  A (eds). 2021. Umar al-Suhrawardī: Studies, Editions, Translations, Studies on Sufism Book Series Vol 7, Leiden: Brill.

Preprints

Bailey NW, Geddes H, Zannettino I, Humble G, Payne J, Baell O, Emonson M, Chung SW, Hill AT, Rogasch N, Hohwy J, Fitzgerald PB (2022). Meditators probably show increased behaviour-monitoring related neural activity. BioRxiv. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.07.07.499152

Perrykkad, K., Sherwell, C. S., Kirby, J., & Hohwy, J. (2022, May 18). Beliefs About Action Efficacy Mediate The Relationship Between Self-Concept Clarity And Compassionate Action. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/7twj4

van Baal, S. T., Le, S., Fatehi, F., Verdejo-Garcia, A., & Hohwy, J. (preprint). Effecting behaviour change using an artificial intelligence chatbot: A pilot randomised controlled study. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/2xuat

Wozniak, M., McEllin, L., Hohwy, J., & Ciaunica, A. (Preprint). Depersonalization affects self-prioritization of bodily, but not abstract self-related information. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/gsfy3

Woods, T., Windt, J., Brown, L., Carter, O., & Van Dam, N. T. (Preprint). Subjective Experiences of Committed Meditators Across Practices Aiming for Contentless States. https://doi.org/10.31231/osf.io/ak7be

Yadav M, Neate S, Hassed C, Chambers R, Connaughton S, Nag N. 2022. Mining the Gems of a Web-Based Mindfulness Intervention: Qualitative Analysis of Factors Aiding Completion and Implementation. JMIR Preprints. 20/02/2022:37406

Sikka, P., J. Tuominen, A. Ezquerro-Nassar, M. Kirberg, V. Loukola, A. Revonsuo, K. Valli, J. Windt, T. Bekinschtein, and V. Noreika, 2022. COVID-19 on mind: Daily worry about the coronavirus is linked to negative affect experienced during mind-wandering but not during dreaming: PsyArXiv, doi:10.31234/osf.io/bk4tn.

van Baal, S., Verdejo-García, A. & Hohwy J. 2021. Episodic future thinking and compassion reduce public health guideline noncompliance urges: A randomised controlled trial.

Articles and chapters

2022

Perrykkad, K., Robinson, J., Hohwy, J. (2022). Foraging for the Self: Environment selection for agency inference. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Preprint.

Neate, S. Reece, J. Hassed, C. Chambers, R, Connaughton, S. and Nag, N. 2022. A qualitative analysis of free text comments of participants from a massive open online mindfulness course. Frontiers in Public Healthhttps://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2022.947898

Kars, A. Bahrani, A. 2022. Knowledge and Causality in Ibn al-'Arabi's Book of Giving, and the Buddhist Notion of Dependent Origination. MDPI Religions 13:9 (2022), 768 (1-27). https://doi.org/10.3390/rel13090768.

Simonsson, O.,S. B. Goldberg, S. B., Chambers, R., Osika, W., Long, D. M., Hendricks, P.S. 2022. Prevalence and associations of classic psychedelic-related seizures in a population based sample. Drug and Alcohol Dependence: 109586.

Negro, N. 2022. Can the Integrated Information Theory Explain Consciousness from Consciousness Itself?. Review of Philosophy and Psychology.

Van Baal, S. T., Walasek, L., Hohwy, J. 2022. Modelling pandemic behaviour using an economic multiplayer game. Scientific Reports. DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-17642-w

Deterding S, Andersen MM, Kiverstein J and Miller M (2022) Mastering uncertainty: A predictive processing account of enjoying uncertain success in video game play. Frontiers in psychology 13:924953. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.924953

Neate, S. L., Reece, J., Hassed, C., Chambers, R., Connaughton, S., Nag, N. 2022. A qualitative analysis of free text comments of participants from a massive open online mindfulness course. Frontiers in Public Health. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.947898

van Baal, S.T., Moskovsky, N., Hohwy, J., Verdejo-Garcia, A., 2022. State impulsivity amplifies urges without diminishing self-control. Addictive Behaviors 133: 107381

Woods, T.J., Windt, J., Carter, O. 2022. The path to contentless experience in meditation: An evidence synthesis based on expert texts. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Decat, N. Walter, J. Koh, ZH. Sribanditmongkol, P. Fulcher, B. Windt, J. Andrillon, T. Naotsugu, T. (2022). Beyond traditional sleep scoring: Massive feature extraction and data-driven clustering of sleep time series. Sleep Medicine 98: 39-52. [Preprint]

Kars, A. 2022. Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī, Kubrawiyya, and Sufi Genealogies: ‘Deep-Dark Transmissions’ in Medieval Iran.  Iranian Studies, Vol 55 Issue 1, pages 143-176.

Hassed C. 2022. Mindfulness in Medical Education. Clinical Teacher Volume 19, Issue S1, Special Issue: Mindfulness in Medical Education: The Changing Landscape of Mindfulness in Medical Education Conference 2022 Proceedings, pages 6-7.

Kars, A. 2022. A ‘Sufi’ Epistle on Spiritual Poverty, and Its Authors: Authenticity, Authority, and Genre in Textual Reproduction, Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol 33 Issue 2, pages 203-229.

Andersen, M. M., Kiverstein, J., Miller, M., & Roepstorff, A. (2022). Play in predictive minds: A cognitive theory of play. Psychological Review.

Perrykkad, K., Hohwy, J. (2022). How selves differ within and across cognitive domains: Self-prioritisation, self-concept, and psychiatric traits. BMC Psychology 10, 165.

Kars, A. 2022. The Early Transmission of al-Suhrawardī’s ʿAwārif al-Maʿārif, Journal of Religion, Vol 102 Issue 1, pages 47-92.

Woods, T., Windt, J., Carter, O. 2022. Evidence synthesis indicates contentless experiences in meditation are neither truly contentless nor identical. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences.

Seth, A.K., Bayne, T. 2022. Theories of consciousness. Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

Miller M, Kiverstein J, Rietveld E. 2022. The Predictive Dynamics of Happiness and Well-Being. Emotion Review 14(1):15-30.

Woźniak, M., T. T. Schmidt, Y.-h. Wu, F. Blankenburg and J. Hohwy 2022. Differences in working memory coding of biological motion attributed to oneself and others. Human Brain Mapping.

Kirberg, M. & Windt, J. (In Print). History of the Study of Dreams. Encyclopedia of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms, 2e

Guthrie, T., Matthews, J., Chambers, R., Windt, J., Hohwy, J. 2022. Changes in multisensory integration following brief state induction and longer-term training with body scan meditation. Mindfulness.

Williams, B., Beovich, B., Ling, D., & Abbass, A. 2022. A psychometric study of the Compassionate Love Scale for Humanity Short version (CLS-H-SF) within a paramedicine student cohortInternational Emergency Nursing61, 101115.

Whyte, C., Hohwy, J., & Smith, R. 2022. An active inference model of conscious access: How cognitive action selection reconciles the results of report and No-Report paradigms. Current Research in Neurobiology.

Arnaldo, I., Corcoran, A., Friston, K., Ramstead, M. 2022. Stress and its sequelae: An active inference account of the etiological pathway from allostatic overload to depression. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 135:104590.

Koppel, S., Stephens, A., Kaviani, F., Peiris, S., Young, K., Chambers, R., Hassed, C. 2022. It's all in the mind: the relationship between mindfulness and nomophobia on technology engagement while driving and aberrant driving behaviours. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour 86: 252-262.

Chadha, M., Nichols, S. 2022. Self-control without a self. Australasian Journal of Philosophy.

Ciaunica, A., McEllin, L., Kiverstein, J., Gallese, V., Hohwy, J. & Wozniak, M. (2022). Zoomed out? Depersonalization is related to increased digital media use during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Scientific Reports 12(1): 3888..

Hassed, C. 2022. Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Handbook: roadmap to good health. Meditation, mindfulness and the mind-body connection.  Sydney: Allen & Unwin. Pp. 108-126.

Kirberg, M. 2022. Neurocognitive dynamics of spontaneous offline simulations: Re-conceptualizing (dream)bizarreness. Philosophical Psychology: 1-30.

Chadha, M. 2022. A Buddhist Response to the Quality-Combination Problem for Panpsychism. The Monist 105(1): p. 131-145. [Preprint]

Chadha, M. 2022.  Personhood in Classical Indian Philosophy. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2022 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).

van Baal, S. T., Walasek, L., Karanfilovska, D., Cheng, A., & Hohwy, J. 2022. Risk perception, illusory superiority, and personal responsibility during COVID-19: An experimental study of attitudes to staying home. British Journal of Psychology.

2021

Kakoschke, N., C. Hassed, R. Chambers and K. Lee 2021. The importance of formal versus informal mindfulness practice for enhancing psychological wellbeing and study engagement in a medical student cohort with a 5-week mindfulness-based lifestyle program. PLOS ONE 16(10): e0258999.

Tsuchiya, N. and Saigo, H. 2021. A relational approach to consciousness: categories of level and contents of consciousness. Neuroscience of Consciousness 2021(2).

Andrillon, T., Burns, A., Mackay, T., Windt, J. & Tsuchiya, N. 2021. Predicting lapses of attention with sleep-like slow waves. Nature Communications, 12, 3657.

Bartlett, L., Buscot, M.-J., Bindoff, A., Chambers R. & Hassed C. 2021. Mindfulness Is associated with lower stress and higher work engagement in a large sample of MOOC participants. Frontiers in Psychology 12(3924).

Chadha, M. 2021. Eliminating selves and persons. Journal of the American Philosophical Association, 7(3), 273-294.

Hassed, C. 2021. The art of introducing mindfulness into medical and allied health curricula. Mindfulness 12, 1909-1919.

Hassed, C. 2021. Mindfulness: Is it Buddhist or universal? The Humanistic Psychologist, 49(1), 72-88.

Hohwy, J. 2021. Conscious self-evidencing. Review of Psychology & Philosophy.

Kars, A. 2021. Ismāʿīl al-Qaṣrī, Kubrawiyya, and Sufi genealogies: “Deep-dark transmissions” in medieval Iran. Iranian Studies (online first).

Payne, J. E., R. Chambers and P. Liknaitzky 2021. Combining psychedelic and mindfulness interventions: Synergies to inform clinical practice. ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, 4(2): 416-42.

Ling, D., M. Petrakis and J. H. Olver 2021. The Use of Common Humanity Scenarios to Promote Compassion in Healthcare Workers. Australian Social Work 74(1): 110-121.

Prochilo, G. A., R. J. S. Costa, Hassed, R. Chambers and P. Molenberghs 2021. A 16-week aerobic exercise and mindfulness-based intervention on chronic psychosocial stress: a pilot and feasibility study. Pilot and Feasibility Studies 7(1): 64.

M3CS partners with several organisations for research projects. Please contact us if your organsation have aligned interests or projects.