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Dusana Dorjee


Former affiliation
  • Lecturer in Psychology in Education, Education

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in supervising PhD projects in the area of Developmental Neuroscience of Well-being and Developmental Contemplative Psychology and Neuroscience in the context of education with focus on primary schools. If you are interested in the following topics, please contact me to discuss PhD study options further: 1) developmental trajectories of metacognitive self-regulation in relation to mental health and well-being in children or adolescents (self-report/informant report/mixed methods focus or neurodevelopmental methods focus); 2) developmental trajectories of existential awareness/existential well-being (linked to meaning and purpose in life) in children or adolescents in relation to their mental health (self-report/informant report/mixed methods focus or neurodevelopmental methods focus); 3) cross-cultural differences in existential awareness/existential well-being in children or adolescents in relation to their mental health and overall well-being (can be linked to academic performance and employ either self-report/informant report/mixed methods or neurodevelopmental approach); 4) effects of school-based universal interventions employing contemplative practices (e.g., mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude etc.) on developmental trajectories of metacognitive self-regulation and/or existential awareness in children or adolescents (self-report/informant report/mixed methods focus or neurodevelopmental methods focus)

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Personal profile


I have received my PhD in Psychology and Cognitive Science (Cognitive Neural Systems Program) from the University of Arizona and have two master’s degrees, one in clinical psychology (Comenius University) and the other in cognitive psychology and cognitive science (University of Arizona). I have also studied philosophy of science and philosophy of mind at doctorate level. My postdoctoral training at the University of Bristol and Bangor University focused on written language production and electrophysiological research on cross-modal and abstract semantics.

I have established my research lab in 2011 at Bangor University where I worked as a lecturer for over six years. I have joined the University of York in 2018. My research program gradually expanded from neuroscience research on mindfulness towards current broader focus on developmental neuroscience of well-being and developmental contemplative neuroscience. I am currently working on new measures which aim to assess well-being in children, adolescents and adults in a comprehensive integrative way. Grants in support of my research include a British Academy Small Grant and a Mind and Life Contemplative Studies Fellowship. I have authored two peer-reviewed monographs - 'Mind, Brain, and the Path to Happiness' (2013) and 'Neuroscience and Psychology of Meditation in Everyday Life' (2017), both published by Routledge. I enjoy working with doctoral students and have so far supervised three doctoral theses to completion; there are two PhD students working on their research projects in my lab at the moment.

Research interests

I am a cognitive neuroscientist and psychologist investigating the core neurocognitive mechanisms underlying well-being and modulations in these mechanisms by contemplative practices developing mindfulness, compassion, forgiveness, gratitude etc. in children and adolescents. I am particularly interested in neurodevelopmental trajectories of existential well-being linked to meaning and purpose in life. This research aims to contribute to broader understanding of changes in the mind and brain associated with well-being across the lifespan and to development of evidence-based guidance on implementation of well-being programs in education. My research follows integrative multi-method approach with primary focus on converging evidence from event-related brain potentials, psychophysiological markers, reaction time measures and self-report/informant report questionnaires.