Keynote Lecture 2 – Meditation as flexibility induction? Theory, findings and computational mechanisms

Lecturer: Fynn-Mathis Trautwein
Fields: Cognitive Neuroscience; Contemplative Science

Nervous system


The talk will present central theoretical concepts of (mindfulness) meditation as well as empirical findings regarding meditation-induced neural plasticity and effects on cognition, affect and the sense of self. These findings will be integrated by discussing potential computational mechanisms within the active inference framework. Finally, in line with the neurophenomenological reserach program, it will be explored how meditation can enrich our understanding of the mind not only as an object of study, but also as a tool of investigation.


  • Berkovich-Ohana, A., Dor-Ziderman, Y., Trautwein, F.-M., Schweitzer, Y., Nave, O., Fulder, S., & Ataria, Y. (2020). The hitchhiker’s guide to neurophenomenology – The case of studying self boundaries with meditators. Frontiers in Psychology, 11.
  • Dahl, C. J., Lutz, A., & Davidson, R. J. (2015). Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: Cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19(9), 515–523.
  • Laukkonen, R. E., & Slagter, H. A. (2021). From many to (n)one:Meditation and the plasticity of the predictive mind. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 128(June), 199–217.


Dr. Trautwein

Dr. Fynn-Mathis Trautwein investigates mental processes underlying attention, social cognition and the sense of self through the lens of meditation research. After studying psychology, he completed a PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, where he was involved in a large-scale longitudinal mental training study. He then investigated neural mechanisms and phenomenological reports of deep meditative states at the University of Haifa. Currently he is a postdoc at the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Medical Center – University of Freiburg.

Affiliation: University of Freiburg