Science Enhanced Mindful Awareness Laboratory (SEMA Lab)

man hooking test subject up to brain scanner

The SEMA Lab, part of the Center for Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, is an innovative institution dedicated to exploring mindfulness meditation. Co-established by Jay Sanguinetti, a neuroscience researcher, and Shinzen Young, a meditation teacher, the lab aims to create resources that simplify mindfulness for novices, with the overarching goal of enhancing everyone's pursuit of personal happiness.

At the SEMA Lab, we seek to solve a common obstacle faced when applying mindfulness practice to clinical populations: Mindfulness meditation is sometimes simply too difficult for those that could benefit the most from it. The team is collecting brain scans while using focused ultrasound to target a part of the brain. The goal is to improve mindfulness and observe changes in behavior during tasks meant to measure awareness. The team is also analyzing brain activity and behavior to ensure the intervention is safe and effective.

To find out more about SEMA, please visit the lab's website or view our publications.


Orch OR

Stuart Hameroff MD and Sir Roger Penrose

"Orchestrated Objective Reduction" (Orch OR) is a theory of consciousness developed by Stuart Hameroff with physicist Roger Penrose. It explores the connection between quantum processes and consciousness, centering on microtubule quantum computing. Initially met with skepticism, Orch OR has gained support through experimental evidence, notably its relevance to anesthesia. This theory offers a distinctive perspective on how microtubules and quantum phenomena relate to consciousness. In 2017, Hameroff, Penrose, and others founded the Penrose Institute to advance research in cosmology, quantum mechanics, general relativity, black holes, geometry, and consciousness, inspired by Sir Roger Penrose's broad body of work.

To find out more about the Penrose Institute and Orch OR, view Stuart Hameroff's website or veiw our publications.