Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is the New York Times best-selling coauthor of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and the William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he is also the director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior.
He has popularized the idea that, based on brain-plasticity research, a person can learn skills for happiness and compassion just as a person can learn to play a musical instrument it is possible to train a mind to be happy. A friend and confidante of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and named by Time magazine in 2006 as one of the most influential people in the world, Dr. Davidson is the recipient of numerous awards for his research, including a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research Scientist Award and the Paul D. MacLean Award for Outstanding Neuroscience Research in Psychosomatic Medicine.
In 2008, he founded the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, a research center dedicated to the study of positive qualities such as kindness and compassion. Dr. Davidson has been featured widely in popular media, including ABC’s Nightline, National Public Radio, Time magazine, Newsweek, the Charlie Rose Show, Harvard Business Review, and O, The Oprah Magazine, along with many other national and international news outlets.