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

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Personal profile


Dr Neil Bailey conducts a range of studies that explore how mental health can be improved. In particular, he examines brain activity differences in individuals who meditate. The goal of this research is to explain the mechanism of action by which meditation leads to improved mental health. His research also assesses measures of brain activity that predict who will respond to a brain stimulation treatment for depression, how brain activity differs between typical depression and depression that commonly follows a traumatic brain injury, and whether online mindfulness is effective at improving mental health. His long term goal is to build a case for mindfulness meditation in the core curriculums of high schools to improve mental health across society.
Dr Neil Bailey’s current research involves an attempt to replicate previous results indicating that EEG measures can predict who responds to a brain stimulation treatment for depression, as well as a further exploration of the EEG measures. His other current project is an attempt to provide evidence for a hypothesis that mindfulness meditation improves brain function by increasing the ability to modulate brain waves to match the requirements of the task being performed. This improved modulation of brain waves appears behaviourally and subjectively as improved attentional function.

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

Research area keywords

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


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