Nava Levit Binnun, PhD

Head of the Sagol Center for Brain and Mind at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya, Israel

Dr. Nava Levit Binnun is a neuroscientist heading the Sagol Center for Brain and Mind at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya. Her research focuses on understanding resilience-building mechanism such as the role of interpersonal interactions and mindfulness training. Her lab is also involved in developing EEG and EEG-TMS based methods for identifying indicators of vulnerability for mental disease.

In 2008 Dr. Levit-Binnun founded the Muda Institute for Mindfulnes, Science and Society to accelerate the dissemination of scientifically supported brain-training techniques that cultivate emotion and attention regulation, empathy and kindness, into Israeli Society. Since 2008, Muda Institute has brought the science of mindfulness and compassion training to the Israeli public through numerous symposiums, workshops, courses and digital media. In 2013 Muda Institute has  imported to Israel the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) – one of the most studied mindfulness protocols. As of March 2017, Muda Institute has trained over 100 professional instructors that teach MBSR in schools, hospitals, mental health, business environments and general public. As social change starts in education, Muda institute has developed specific mindfulness programs for schools and to date over 300 school teachers have undergone the basic program, including school teams in Arab-speaking communities. Four schools are now undergoing the second level pilot program that trains  school teachers to bring mindfulness exercises to their pupils. Research at Muda Institute is providing evidence  that mindfulness and compassion training reduces clinical-level self-criticism, reduces stress, depression and burnout symptoms in school teachers,  increases peace-promoting attitudes in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and increases precursors for psychological resilience. Dr. Levit-Binnun herself holds an MBSR teacher certificate and teaches mindfulness to students at IDC.

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