Amishi Jha

Director of Contemplative Neuroscience

(305) 284-1931
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Dr. Amishi Jha, PhD is Director of Contemplative Neuroscience and Professor of Psychology at the University of Miami. Prior to her current post, she was an Assistant Professor at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her B.S in Biological Psychology from the University of Michigan, her Ph.D in Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience) from the University of California–Davis, and her post-doctoral training at the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center at Duke University in
functional neuroimaging.

With grants from the Department of Defense and several private foundations, she leads research on the neural bases of attention and the effects of mindfulness-based training programs on cognition, emotion, resilience, and performance in education, corporate, elite sports, first-responder, and military contexts.

In her laboratory at the University of Miami, she uses functional MRI, electrophysiological recordings and behavioral analysis techniques to understand why our attention sometimes fails us, and if it can be trained for greater focus and less distractibility. She launched the first-ever study to offer mindfulness training tools to active duty military service members as they prepared for deployment. What she has discovered is that without intervention, attention is compromised, and attentional lapses increase. Yet, with mindfulness training, attention can be strengthened and protected.

In addition to her own published body of research, her work has been featured in many outlets including, NPR, and Mindful Magazine. In addition, she has been invited to present her work to NATO, the UK Parliament, the Pentagon, and at the World Economic Forum. In her forthcoming book, Peak Mind (Harper Collins, 2021), she shares her discoveries on how attention can be trained for optimal performance and well-being.


Ph.D. , University of California-Davis
Post Doctoral Brain Imaging, Duke University

Professional Experience

- Assistant Professor, Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania

Honors & Acknowledgements

Science and Public Leadership Fellow
Mindful Kids Miami Ambassador of Mindfulness


Member of Editorial Review Board
Serves on the editorial review boards of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Frontiers in Cognitive Science, and Frontiers in Psychology.


Denkova, E., Barry, J., Slavin, L., Zanesco, A. P., Rogers, S. L., & Jha, A. P. " Investigating the impact of peer-trainer delivered mindfulness training on cognitive abilities and psychological health." Mindfulness. 2645–266112 (2021). [Link]

Zanesco, A.P., Denkova, E., & Jha, A.P. Brain and Cognition 105696150 (2021). [Link]

Zanesco, A. P., Denkova, E., & Jha, A. P. "Self-reported mind wandering and response time variability differentiate pre-stimulus EEG microstate dynamics during a sustained attention task." Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 28-45.33(1), (2021). [Link]

Zanesco, A. P., Denkova, E., Witkin, J. E., & Jha, A. P. " Experience sampling of the degree of mind wandering distinguishes hidden attentional states." Cognition 104380205 (2020). [Link]

Denkova, E., Zanesco, A. P., Rogers, S. L., & Jha, A. P. " Is resilience trainable? An initial study comparing mindfulness and relaxation training in firefighters." Psychiatry Research 1-8285 (2020). [Link]