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Studies and research by the University of Pisa

Studi e ricerche scientifiche UniPi sul tema della meditazione e su tematiche di interesse per MindScience Academy​.

Attività di ricerca sul tema della meditazione

Below are references to scientific research, both completed and still in progress, in which UniPi faculty is involved.

Aptitude for mindfulness is associated with various psychological factors and prevents emotional distress in chronic diseases. The present study analysed the key role of mindfulness dispositions in protecting the individual from psychological distress resulting from social distancing and COVID-19 quarantine.

Conversano, C., Di Giuseppe, M., Miccoli, M., Ciacchini, R., Gemignani, A., & Orrù, G. (2020). Mindfulness, age and gender as protective factors against psychological distress during COVID-19 pandemic. Frontiers in psychology, 11, 1900.

The volume, with a preface by the Dalai Lama, presents a therapeutic path developed in a group setting and based on mindfulness, conceived and created by the authors for children with behavioral difficulties and for their parents.

Pietro Muratori, Rebeca Ciacchini, Ciro Conversano, Silvia Villani

Breath control and non-ordinary states of consciousness: towards an integrated psychophysiological model. Zaccaro, A., Gemignani, A. (2020). The aim of this work is to describe the state of the art relating to breath control techniques, a contemplative practice that has received less interest from the international scientific community compared to the more studied meditation techniques and practices related to mindfulness, and their role in the modulation of the central nervous system and human consciousness.

Andrea Zaccaro, Angelo Gemignani

Self-consciousness, between philosophy, meditation and mind sciences: a contribution taken from the school of thought of Alfonso Maurizio Iacono (Gemignani, A., Zaccaro, A., Neri, B.). The ideas expressed in this chapter arise from reading the works of the philosopher Alfonso Maurizio Iacono, to which some food for thought relating to the field of study of psychophysiology and the neuroscience of consciousness and meditation has been added.

Angelo Gemignani, Andrea Zaccaro, Bruno Neri

Meditation and neuroscience (Gemignani, A., Zaccaro, A., 2020) Meditation Notebooks. What happens in our brain when we meditate? What are the neuro-cognitive effects that are generated in the long term? Thanks also to the development of neuroimaging techniques, over the last twenty years scientific research on meditation has seen an exponential increase and has demonstrated that meditation literally modifies the structure of the brain. These pages offer an unprecedented introduction to the new discipline of contemplative neuroscience, a field of study which, despite being only in its infancy, promises profound epistemological and therapeutic implications on the science of the future.

Angelo Gemignani, Andrea Zaccaro

Chapter in the book: Mindfulness-based interventions. What they are, how they work, when to use them 2nd edition (Chiesa, A., Crescentini, C. 2023). The chapter: Mindfulness in the helping professions (Conversano, C., Gemignani, A.). The main purpose of this book is to provide answers to the questions of those who wish to bring mindfulness into their lives and their clinical practice, recognising the importance that mindfulness can have both in a personal and professional context.

Alberto Chiesa and Cristiano Crescentini

In this chapter of the volume “The Patient as a Person” Bruno Neri addresses the problem of the relationship between medicine and spirituality which, after years of lack of communication, that led to the a priori exclusion of any reference to the spiritual needs of the patient in the treatment relationship, is experiencing a period of profound transformation. Drawing on the ancient wisdom of Eastern traditions which have never stopped seeing Man in his unity of body and spirit, Western medicine is also becoming aware of the close correlation between mind and body and the importance that attention to the patient's spiritual needs has in the treatment relationship and in the healing process.

Bruno Neri

Research activity on the topic of meditation

Within the collaboration with the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute, from 2015 onwards, the scientific research of Prof. Gemignani, Neri and Conversano has led to the publication of numerous studies and reviews on topics of common interest. For an overview of the most recent publications, you can refer to this document.

In particular, during the pandemic period, Prof. Gemignani and Conversano together with their collaborators carried out an investigation into mindfulness dispositions as protective factors from psychological distress. The research was based on a sample of 6,412 subjects and met with good success as demonstrated by the number of citations (over 250). The results showed that high dispositional mindfulness improves well-being and helps to deal with stressful situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prof. Gemignani, Neri and Conversano