The complex relationship between body, mind and culture has invited intrigue and inquiry since the dawn of civilization. Yet our understanding of these relationships and how to intervene in them for positive ends remains fragmented and disconnected.
For millennia, medical treatment relied more on belief and human interaction than on scientific knowledge or solid data. In the modern era, it has been all too easy to dismiss the power of the human mind and focus instead on the enormous progress we have made in the biomedical sciences. But we now face challenges in human health that require us to embrace and understand the power of minds to influence health and well-being.
We are now seeing a surge of interest in culture-mind-body interactions within academic research. That is why Worldview Stanford, with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Templeton World Charity Foundation, and the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, conducted a wide-ranging survey of scholarship and convened a diverse community of experts to share what they are learning, to identify cross-cutting themes, and to uncover gaps in knowledge and theory that could form the basis of future research.
This project was lead by Brie Linkenhoker, PhD, Neuroscience, and Director of Worldview Stanford. The Principal Investigators were Alia Crum, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Director of the Mind-Body Lab at Stanford University and Bill Newsome, PhD, Professor of Neurobiology and Director of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute.
The Power of Minds project tapped into the expertise of almost 50 scholars across disciplines and the U.S. Worldview Stanford conducted video and audio interviews with a number of these experts in order to share their research and perspectives with the public.
These videos and written Q&As include:
The Limits of Mindset
Alia Crum, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychology, Stanford University
Bill Newsome, PhD, Professor, Neurobiology and Director, Stanford Neurosciences Institute
The Purpose of Purpose
Anthony Burrow, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Human Ecology, Cornell University