enhancing personal and

Collective well-being

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To help create a world that supports personal and social well-being.



To understand how human consciousness can support well-being, through science that is a carefully considered, rigorously conducted, and impactful.

To train the next generation of psychological scientists.

To embody presence, kindness, and wisdom in how we work together.

About the lab

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The Consciousness Lab in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University investigates the role of attention to support mental health, positive social relations, and societal welfare. Directed by Kirk Warren Brown, PhD, the Lab uses state-of-the-science technologies to examine neural, subjective, and behavioral outcomes of attention training, particularly that which is centered on the cultivation of mindfulness, to support health and wellness.

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Acceptance skills training reduces loneliness and increases social contact: A randomized           controlled trial of mindfulness training

Lindsay, E.K., Young, S., Brown, K.W., Smyth, J.M., & Creswell, J.D. (2019). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 116, 3488–3493.

Mindfulness increases prosocial responses toward ostracized strangers through empathic concern 

Berry, D. R., Cairo, A. H., Goodman, R. J., Quaglia, J. T., Green, J. D., & Brown, K. W. (2018). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General147, 93-112.

Acceptance lowers stress reactivity: Dismantling mindfulness training in a randomized controlled trial

Lindsay, E. K., Young, S., Smyth, J. M., Brown, K. W., & Creswell, J. D (2018).   Psychoneuroendocrinology87, 63-73.



latest news

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Mindfulness may ease pain of social rejection

An article describes our new study findings, published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, showing how mindfulness predicts less social distress and lower brain activity in regions associated with rejection.

This one thing makes you a nicer person

An article describing our research, published in Journal of Experimental Psychology - General, showing that "...mindfulness training inspired people to be kinder and more empathetic to a stranger who had been ostracized during a simulated online scenario."

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Lab funded for new technology

The Lab was recently awarded a grant to purchase two electromagnetically shielded, soundproof chambers to support its ongoing electroencephalographic research. 



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Kirk Warren Brown

Department of Psychology

Virginia Commonwealth University

806 W Franklin St.

Richmond Virginia 23284-2018

P 804-828-6754

kwbrown at vcu.edu

Name *

Image Credits

Brain icon by Turkkub, hand icon by alvianwijaya, and rocket icon by Creative Mahira, all from the Noun Project.

Stone compass by Martin Fische.

Diffusion Tensor Image by Psinergia.


Handheld compass by Marcus Ramberg.

Lightbulb by Franklin Heijnen.

Typewriter by Anna.