Contact, publication, and social network information about Harvard faculty and fellows. Harvard Catalyst Profiles
Check out the new look and feel of Harvard Catalyst Profiles! Learn more on our About and Help pages.

Sara Whitney Lazar, Ph.D.

Title
Institution
Department
Address
Phone
Fax

Mentoring
Available: 04/30/17, Expires: 09/30/19

We use MRI to understand how brain activity and structure change as a result of mindfulness meditation training. Cognitively older adults are randomized to either a meditation-based cognitive training program or a 'brain training' control program. MRI measures of brain function and structure are acquired before and after each program, as well as at 6, 12, and 24 months post program. Measures of memory, attention, general cognitive functioning, and well-being are also acquired. A subset of individuals with mild cognitive impairment are also being recruited. Other projects in the lab focus on brain-body interaction and the effect of meditation on stress reactivity. Students are involved in the analysis of behavioral data and writing manuscripts from these analyses. Students committed to learning MRI data analysis and who can devote sufficient amounts of time will be trained to do so.

Defining and Measuring Mindfulness
Summer, 06/06/12 - 08/01/12

Research
The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R01AG048351 (LAZAR, SARA W) Sep 1, 2015 - Apr 30, 2020
    NIH/NIA
    Neural and cognitive changes associated with mindfulness training in older adults
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  2. R34AT007197 (LAZAR, SARA W) Sep 1, 2013 - Jun 30, 2015
    NIH/NCCIH
    Preliminary study of a Yoga Program to catalyze health behavior change
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. R01AT006344 (LAZAR, SARA W) Jul 1, 2011 - May 31, 2016
    NIH/NCCIH
    Structural, Functional, and Behavioral Effects of Meditation
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. R21AT003425 (LAZAR, SARA W) Sep 15, 2007 - May 31, 2010
    NIH/NCCIH
    Exploratory Analysis of RR and MBSR for Stress Reduction
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. R21AT003673 (LAZAR, SARA W) Sep 30, 2006 - Aug 31, 2010
    NIH/NCCIH
    Impact of long-term meditation on brain structure and function in normal aging
    Role: Principal Investigator

Bibliographic
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
List All   |   Timeline
  1. Sevinc G, Hölzel BK, Hashmi J, Greenberg J, McCallister A, Treadway M, Schneider ML, Dusek JA, Carmody J, Lazar SW. Common and Dissociable Neural Activity After Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and Relaxation Response Programs. Psychosom Med. 2018 Jun; 80(5):439-451. PMID: 29642115.
    View in: PubMed
  2. Greenberg J, Romero VL, Elkin-Frankston S, Bezdek MA, Schumacher EH, Lazar SW. Correction to: Reduced interference in working memory following mindfulness training is associated with increases in hippocampal volume. Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 May 15. PMID: 29761321.
    View in: PubMed
  3. Greenberg J, Romero VL, Elkin-Frankston S, Bezdek MA, Schumacher EH, Lazar SW. Reduced interference in working memory following mindfulness training is associated with increases in hippocampal volume. Brain Imaging Behav. 2018 Mar 17. PMID: 29549665.
    View in: PubMed
  4. de Jong M, Peeters F, Gard T, Ashih H, Doorley J, Walker R, Rhoades L, Kulich RJ, Kueppenbender KD, Alpert JE, Hoge EA, Britton WB, Lazar SW, Fava M, Mischoulon D. A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Unipolar Depression in Patients With Chronic Pain. J Clin Psychiatry. 2018 Jan/Feb; 79(1). PMID: 28252881.
    View in: PubMed
  5. Van Dam NT, van Vugt MK, Vago DR, Schmalzl L, Saron CD, Olendzki A, Meissner T, Lazar SW, Gorchov J, Fox KCR, Field BA, Britton WB, Brefczynski-Lewis JA, Meyer DE. Reiterated Concerns and Further Challenges for Mindfulness and Meditation Research: A Reply to Davidson and Dahl. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2018 Jan; 13(1):66-69. PMID: 29016240.
    View in: PubMed
  6. Van Dam NT, van Vugt MK, Vago DR, Schmalzl L, Saron CD, Olendzki A, Meissner T, Lazar SW, Kerr CE, Gorchov J, Fox KCR, Field BA, Britton WB, Brefczynski-Lewis JA, Meyer DE. Mind the Hype: A Critical Evaluation and Prescriptive Agenda for Research on Mindfulness and Meditation. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2018 Jan; 13(1):36-61. PMID: 29016274.
    View in: PubMed
  7. Afonso RF, Balardin JB, Lazar S, Sato JR, Igarashi N, Santaella DF, Lacerda SS, Amaro E, Kozasa EH. Greater Cortical Thickness in Elderly Female Yoga Practitioners-A Cross-Sectional Study. Front Aging Neurosci. 2017; 9:201. PMID: 28676757.
    View in: PubMed
  8. Greenberg J, Shapero BG, Mischoulon D, Lazar SW. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depressed individuals improves suppression of irrelevant mental-sets. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2017 Apr; 267(3):277-282. PMID: 27830339.
    View in: PubMed
  9. de Jong M, Lazar SW, Hug K, Mehling WE, Hölzel BK, Sack AT, Peeters F, Ashih H, Mischoulon D, Gard T. Effects of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy on Body Awareness in Patients with Chronic Pain and Comorbid Depression. Front Psychol. 2016; 7:967. PMID: 27445929; PMCID: PMC4927571.
  10. Hölzel BK, Brunsch V, Gard T, Greve DN, Koch K, Sorg C, Lazar SW, Milad MR. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Fear Conditioning, and The Uncinate Fasciculus: A Pilot Study. Front Behav Neurosci. 2016; 10:124. PMID: 27378875.
    View in: PubMed
  11. Gard T, Taquet M, Dixit R, Hölzel BK, Dickerson BC, Lazar SW. Greater widespread functional connectivity of the caudate in older adults who practice kripalu yoga and vipassana meditation than in controls. Front Hum Neurosci. 2015; 9:137. PMID: 25852521; PMCID: PMC4360708.
  12. Gard T, Taquet M, Dixit R, Hölzel BK, de Montjoye YA, Brach N, Salat DH, Dickerson BC, Gray JR, Lazar SW. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014; 6:76. PMID: 24795629; PMCID: PMC4001007.
  13. Singleton O, Hölzel BK, Vangel M, Brach N, Carmody J, Lazar SW. Change in Brainstem Gray Matter Concentration Following a Mindfulness-Based Intervention is Correlated with Improvement in Psychological Well-Being. Front Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8:33. PMID: 24600370; PMCID: PMC3927233.
  14. Desbordes G, Gard T, Hoge EA, Hölzel BK, Kerr C, Lazar SW, Olendzki A, Vago DR. Moving beyond Mindfulness: Defining Equanimity as an Outcome Measure in Meditation and Contemplative Research. Mindfulness (N Y). 2014 Jan 21; 2014(January). PMID: 25750687.
    View in: PubMed
  15. Gard T, Hölzel BK, Lazar SW. The potential effects of meditation on age-related cognitive decline: a systematic review. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014 Jan; 1307:89-103. PMID: 24571182; PMCID: PMC4024457.
  16. Hoge EA, Hölzel BK, Marques L, Metcalf CA, Brach N, Lazar SW, Simon NM. Mindfulness and self-compassion in generalized anxiety disorder: examining predictors of disability. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013:576258. PMID: 24174978; PMCID: PMC3794663.
  17. Hölzel BK, Hoge EA, Greve DN, Gard T, Creswell JD, Brown KW, Barrett LF, Schwartz C, Vaitl D, Lazar SW. Neural mechanisms of symptom improvements in generalized anxiety disorder following mindfulness training. Neuroimage Clin. 2013; 2:448-58. PMID: 24179799; PMCID: PMC3777795.
  18. Kerr CE, Sacchet MD, Lazar SW, Moore CI, Jones SR. Mindfulness starts with the body: somatosensory attention and top-down modulation of cortical alpha rhythms in mindfulness meditation. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7:12. PMID: 23408771; PMCID: PMC3570934.
  19. Kodituwakku S, Lazar SW, Indic P, Chen Z, Brown EN, Barbieri R. Point process time-frequency analysis of dynamic respiratory patterns during meditation practice. Med Biol Eng Comput. 2012 Mar; 50(3):261-75. PMID: 22350435; PMCID: PMC3341131.
  20. Gard T, Hölzel BK, Sack AT, Hempel H, Lazar SW, Vaitl D, Ott U. Pain attenuation through mindfulness is associated with decreased cognitive control and increased sensory processing in the brain. Cereb Cortex. 2012 Nov; 22(11):2692-702. PMID: 22172578; PMCID: PMC3968314.
  21. Stange JP, Eisner LR, Hölzel BK, Peckham AD, Dougherty DD, Rauch SL, Nierenberg AA, Lazar S, Deckersbach T. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for bipolar disorder: effects on cognitive functioning. J Psychiatr Pract. 2011 Nov; 17(6):410-9. PMID: 22108398; PMCID: PMC3277324.
  22. Hölzel BK, Lazar SW, Gard T, Schuman-Olivier Z, Vago DR, Ott U. How Does Mindfulness Meditation Work? Proposing Mechanisms of Action From a Conceptual and Neural Perspective. Perspect Psychol Sci. 2011 Nov; 6(6):537-59. PMID: 26168376.
    View in: PubMed
  23. Kerr CE, Jones SR, Wan Q, Pritchett DL, Wasserman RH, Wexler A, Villanueva JJ, Shaw JR, Lazar SW, Kaptchuk TJ, Littenberg R, Hämäläinen MS, Moore CI. Effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex. Brain Res Bull. 2011 May 30; 85(3-4):96-103. PMID: 21501665.
    View in: PubMed
  24. Deckersbach T, Hölzel BK, Eisner LR, Stange JP, Peckham AD, Dougherty DD, Rauch SL, Lazar S, Nierenberg AA. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for nonremitted patients with bipolar disorder. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012 Feb; 18(2):133-41. PMID: 22070469; PMCID: PMC3738005.
  25. Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Vangel M, Congleton C, Yerramsetti SM, Gard T, Lazar SW. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Psychiatry Res. 2011 Jan 30; 191(1):36-43. PMID: 21071182; PMCID: PMC3004979.
  26. Kodituwakku S, Lazar SW, Indic P, Brown EN, Barbieri R. Point process time-frequency analysis of respiratory sinus arrhythmia under altered respiration dynamics. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010; 2010:1622-5. PMID: 21096135; PMCID: PMC3059743.
  27. Van Dijk KR, Hedden T, Venkataraman A, Evans KC, Lazar SW, Buckner RL. Intrinsic functional connectivity as a tool for human connectomics: theory, properties, and optimization. J Neurophysiol. 2010 Jan; 103(1):297-321. PMID: 19889849; PMCID: PMC2807224.
  28. Hölzel BK, Carmody J, Evans KC, Hoge EA, Dusek JA, Morgan L, Pitman RK, Lazar SW. Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2010 Mar; 5(1):11-7. PMID: 19776221; PMCID: PMC2840837.
  29. Evans KC, Dougherty DD, Schmid AM, Scannell E, McCallister A, Benson H, Dusek JA, Lazar SW. Modulation of spontaneous breathing via limbic/paralimbic-bulbar circuitry: an event-related fMRI study. Neuroimage. 2009 Sep; 47(3):961-71. PMID: 19450692; PMCID: PMC3752895.
  30. Dusek JA, Chang BH, Zaki J, Lazar S, Deykin A, Stefano GB, Wohlhueter AL, Hibberd PL, Benson H. Association between oxygen consumption and nitric oxide production during the relaxation response. Med Sci Monit. 2006 Jan; 12(1):CR1-10. PMID: 16369463.
    View in: PubMed
  31. Lazar SW, Kerr CE, Wasserman RH, Gray JR, Greve DN, Treadway MT, McGarvey M, Quinn BT, Dusek JA, Benson H, Rauch SL, Moore CI, Fischl B. Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. Neuroreport. 2005 Nov 28; 16(17):1893-7. PMID: 16272874; PMCID: PMC1361002.
  32. Lazar SW, Bush G, Gollub RL, Fricchione GL, Khalsa G, Benson H. Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation. Neuroreport. 2000 May 15; 11(7):1581-5. PMID: 10841380.
    View in: PubMed
  33. Lazar S, Waldor MK. ToxR-independent expression of cholera toxin from the replicative form of CTXphi. Infect Immun. 1998 Jan; 66(1):394-7. PMID: 9423889; PMCID: PMC107917.
Local representatives can answer questions about the Profiles website or help with editing a profile or issues with profile data. For assistance with this profile: HMS/HSDM faculty should contact feedbackcatalyst.harvard.edu. For faculty or fellow appointment updates and changes, please ask your appointing department to contact HMS. For fellow personal and demographic information, contact HMS Human Resources at human_resourceshms.harvard.edu. For faculty personal and demographic information, contact HMS Office for Faculty Affairs at facappthms.harvard.edu.
Lazar's Networks
Click the
Explore
buttons for more information and interactive visualizations!
Concepts (117)
Explore
_
Co-Authors (33)
Explore
_
Similar People (60)
Explore
_
Same Department 
Explore
_
Physical Neighbors
_