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Namaste 2020: Global Utsava of Indian Soft Power


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Sun 30 Aug 2020

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Lab: Mantra and Neural plasticity

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Namaste 2020: Global Utsava of Indian Soft Power

Lab on Mantra and Neural plasticity

August 30, 2020, Sunday | 12:00 - 01:30 PM IST

Special Guest: Dr. BN Gangadhar, Director, NIMHANS


  • Dr. Shantala Hegde, Associate Professor, NIMHANS
  • Dr. Matcheri Kesavan, Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry
  • Dr. James Hartzell, Cognitive Neuro-scientist
  • Prof. RL Kashyap, Professor




Dr. Shantala Hegde

Associate Professor, NIMHANS

Dr. Shantala Hegde is an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology. She is a Consultant at Clinical Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience Center and Neurorehabilitation and Faculty-in-charge: Music Cognition Laboratory at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences- NIMHANS. She is a Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance CPHI Intermediate Fellow and a Hindustani Classical Vocalist.


Dr. Matcheri Kesavan

Vice Chair of Public Psychiatry

Dr. Matcheri Keshavan joined the faculty of the BIDMC Department of Psychiatry and the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) in 2008. Dr. Keshavan's work focuses on neurobiological models of psychotic disorders and on the development and implementation of early interventions with biopsychosocial treatment strategies. Dr. Keshavan has deep interest in the teaching of the sanatana dharma, specifically the Gita. His work on Psychotherapy in the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu Scriptural Text was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry in 2014. He has over 1500 research publications. Dr. Keshavan is a distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association; a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Canada; and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. He is the Editor- in-Chief of Schizophrenia Research (Elsevier) and serves on the editorial board for journals such as Acta Neuropsychiatrica, Bipolar Disorder and Asian J psychiatry. Dr. Keshavan was conferred with the 2019 Scientific Research Award by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


Dr. BN Gangadhar

Director, NIMHANS

Dr. BN Gangadhar is the Director of NIMHANS, and a Padmashri Awardee 2020. He is also a recipient of Sir CV Raman award from Govt. of Karnataka. A Senior Professor of Psychiatry, brings over 30 years of extensive experience in the field of mental health, from both clinical and academic perspectives. He is the Program Director of the Department of Integrated medicine- NIMHANS Integrated Center of Yoga. He was conferred the prestigious Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (FAMS) degree in 2006 and D.Sc. (Doctor of Science) from SVYASA Yoga University, Bengaluru for his research work on Yoga and Mental Health in 2012. He has been a pioneer in both clinical and research work relating to the application of Yoga in psychiatric disorders.


Dr. James Hartzell

Cognitive Neuro-scientist

Dr. James Hartzell studied Sanskrit and India Studies at Harvard and Colombia University. He then went on to do cognitive neuroscience research at the University of Trento (Italy). His work shows that people who memorize long Sanskrit texts have brains that literally expand and become better with sharper memory and cognitive skills.


Prof. RL Kashyap


Prof. RL Kashyap is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Emeritus at Purdue Univ, USA and is also a director of the Sri Aurobindo Kapali Sastry Institute of Vedic Culture. He has made fundamental contributions both in the field of Computer Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence, as well as in the field of Vedic Studies. For his work in the field of machine intelligence, he has received several major awards such as the King-Sun Fu award for fundamental contributors to pattern recognition (1990), given by the International Association of Pattern Recognition. He also received several best research paper awards such as J.C. Bose Award (1991), best paper award of the National Electronics Conference (1966), the second best paper award in the journal, ‘Pattern Recognition’. For his work in Vedic studies, he has received the ‘Vedanga Vidvan’ award instituted by the Govt. of India Institution, Maharshi Sandepani Veda Vidya Patashala.