Summer 2013 - 2015 Research Internships in
Hojooba’ bee la’ hooniil,
Undergraduate Research into the Social Psychophysiology of Compassion


Faculty Research Projects:

Larry Stevens is a Clinical Health Psychologist who researches psychophysiological and electroencephalographic (EEG) correlates of Compassion, hypnosis, relaxation, meditation, pain, and other altered states of consciousness. He directs the HPC psychophysiology laboratories and maintains a very active undergraduate research program each semester. Dr. Stevens has been nominated 3 years in a row for the 2005, 2006, and 2007 SBS College Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award. For the last 5 years of the joint Psychology/Biology REU program, he served as Co-PI and regularly mentored 1-3 REU students in his laboratory each summer. “What are the EEG correlates of culturally-specific compassionate imagery?” “How does blissful compassion compare physiologically with deep relaxation and with the excitement of winning/accomplishment, and how can we generate a blissful compassionate state?” ”To what extent does participation in compassionate, empathic, and altruistic behaviors activate the thalamicocingulate (TC) division of the limbic system, and particularly the anterior cingulate, brain regions reputed to be implicated in species-preservative behaviors?” “Would activation of the TC limbic system, as well as the prefrontal cortex (PFC), lead to increased compassionate behaviors?” “Are there specific EEG localization and frequency characteristics associated with meditation on a universal mind, as opposed to meditation on the self, or on compassion?” “Does mediating on compassion produce unique brain states, are these states lasting non-meditative effects, and can we increase compassion by changing these brain characteristics through other means?