Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Richard Oxhandler

Second Advisor

Richard Szwaja


My thesis topic of choice was how mindfulness meditation is linked to neuroplasticity in the brain. The brain is an incredibly complex and powerful organ. Each area of the brain serves a specific purpose and is interconnected. Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe the molding and shaping of the brain based on our experiences from the moment we are born. Mindfulness is defined as the “ability to pay total attention to the present moment with a nonjudgmental awareness of the inner and/or outer experiences.” Many studies have been conducted researching the brain and meditation. The findings from these studies show evidence that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain, increasing or decreasing certain areas of the brain such as the amygdala and the cerebral cortex. The benefits of mindfulness meditation can be seen on physical, cognitive, and emotional levels. Mindfulness can lead to more cognitive flexibility, better emotional regulation, creativity and innovativeness, and higher levels of well-being. There is huge potential for mindfulness meditation to be used in the airline industry since the job of an airline pilot or air traffic controller can be extremely stressful. Calming the mind in stressful situations in the cockpit is a practice that can potentially save lives.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access