Ruben Laukkonen is a cognitive neuroscientist at the VU University of Amsterdam with Prof. Heleen Slagter, where he is researching the impact of long-term meditation practice on the plasticity of the mind and brain. His prior research focuses on sudden insight experiences and the effects of intensive meditation on the mind and brain.
During his Ph.D., Ruben Laukkonen examined how epiphanies and insight experiences drive perceptions and decisions. Altered states of consciousness occurring during meditation, and insight experiences, are prevalent following ingestion of psychedelics. Thus a growing area of interest for me is the convergences and divergences between meditation and psychedelics, and the role of insight in both.
Ruben has an eclectic contemplative background, including different meditation traditions such as Zen, Advaita, and Theravada. Prior to science he competed internationally in Muay Thai, hosted a music festival, and surfed the East Coast of Australia spending most of his weekends in a van. Ruben regularly gives talks on meditation, psychedelics, and the nature of insight experiences.
Notable Research Papers
- From many to one: Meditation and the plasticity of the predictive mind (Laukkonen, Slagter, 2020)
- The dark side of Eureka: Artificially induced Aha moments make facts feel true (Laukkonen et al., 2020)
- The phenomenology of truth: The insight experience as a heuristic in contexts of uncertainty (Laukkonen et al., 2018)
In our database you will also find him as an author on many more papers.
He has given public talks: