Neil Bailey


Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Title: The brain-body connection in mindfulness meditators and it's relationship to attentional function and well-being

Theories regarding how mindfulness meditation leads to improved well-being have suggested both improved body awareness and improved attentional control as factors. However, research examining both of these factors in meditators has focused on psychological measures, without addressing the physical underpinnings of changes in these factors in the brain. Previous research undertaken at our lab has suggested a model of how attentional function is improved in meditators. However, this model has yet to be empirically tested. Additionally, recent theoretical developments regarding the functional underpinnings of the brain-body connection have not yet been tested in meditators. The proposed PhD project is intended to use EEG to empirically test these two theoretical perspectives, perhaps leading to a deeper understanding of the mechanism of mindfulness meditation, and why it leads to improved mental health.


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Neil Bailey is a Senior Research Fellow at ANU, the Head of Data Science at the Monarch Mental Health Group, and an adjunct senior research fellow at Monash University. He has conducted over 70 studies that explore how mental health can be improved.

One major focus of Neil’s research is the examination of brain activity in individuals who practice mindfulness. The goal of his mindfulness research is to explain the mechanism of action by which meditation leads to improved mental health. His research also uses machine learning and electroencephalography (EEG) to assess measures of brain activity that predict who will respond to different treatments for depression. The goal of this research is to enhance the efficacy of current depression treatments. He has also published research examining how brain activity differs between typical depression and depression that commonly follows a traumatic brain injury, whether online mindfulness is effective at improving mental health, and a range of different brain stimulation treatments for depression, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.

He has published several book chapters, an industry commissioned evidence-based guidelines document for the application of mindfulness in schools, and has been cited almost 2000 times.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Research area keywords

  • neuroscience
  • mindfulness
  • brain stimulation
  • electroencephalography
  • mental health
  • depression

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or