Enhancing meditation training for beginner meditators using functional MRI neurofeedback 

Saampras Ganesan

Project lead | Saampras Ganesan

Saampras is undertaking his PhD with the Biomedical Engineering department at the University of Melbourne. His research is focused on developing and improving brain-based technological solutions to support meditation practice and make it accessible to more people. Since childhood, he has always been curious about the brain. He has a broad background in biomedical engineering, robotics engineering and neuroimaging, along with a natural inclination towards psychological mindedness. He has also been meditating for about 4 years. This has helped him become increasingly sensitive to many practical challenges encountered during the process of meditation, especially at the beginner stage.

These experiences together have molded his motivation to pursue this interdisciplinary project that delves into neuroimaging, engineering, and contemplative science. He and his team have recently established capacity for real-time neurofeedback at the 7T MRI scanner in Melbourne Brain Centre, to be able to conduct this study. Furthermore, his previous experiences in academic teaching and content development have assisted him in designing the project to be as learner- and beginner-friendly as possible.

Outside of research, Saampras enjoys travel, cooking, exercise, playing the guitar and singing. He also tries to squeeze in a meditation session everyday, and over time this has helped him develop a healthy space between his responses and emotions & thoughts.