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Press Release

Contact:
Jonathan Potts
412-268-6094

For immediate release:
September 10, 2003

Carnegie Mellon Professor Will Discuss Crossroads of Buddhism and Science With Dalai Lama

Carnegie Mellon University psychology professor Marlene Behrmann will be a panelist this weekend with the Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, at the Investigating the Mind conference in Boston.

The goal of the conference is to identify the common ground between Tibetan Buddhism and biobehavioral science. Behrmann, an expert in visual perception and cognition, will be a member of the mental imagery panel. Her panel will meet Saturday and will include the Dalai Lama. The conference is sponsored by the McGovern Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Mind and Life Institute.

"He wants to blend Eastern and Western perspectives. This is so universal a concept for me. The Buddhists have a lot of intuition that we don't have access to," Behrmann said.

Behrmann's research has investigated how the brain interprets information it receives from the eyes and translates this information into images. She has studied how brain injuries impact our ability to recognize and visualize objects, and whether or not the same part of the brain that controls how we perceive what we can see also dictates our ability to visualize objects that we do not see. Behrmann is a member of the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition, which is operated jointly by Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh.

The Department of Psychology is one of eight departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the second-largest academic unit at Carnegie Mellon. The college emphasizes interdisciplinary study in a technologically rich environment, with an open and forward-thinking stance toward the arts and sciences.00

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