Al Kaszniak received his Ph.D. in clinical and developmental psychology from the University of Illinois in 1976, and completed an internship and postdoctoral training in clinical neuropsychology at Rush Medical Center in Chicago. He served as the Director of the Neuropsychology, Emotion, and Meditation Laboratory, Faculty and Advisory Board member of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, and a professor in the departments of Psychology, Neurology, and Psychiatry at The University of Arizona (UA).
He formerly served as Head of the Psychology Department, as Director of the UA Center for Consciousness Studies, and as Director of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium Education Core, and Chaired the Steering Committees for the biennial International Symposium for Contemplative Studies (April, 2012, Denver, CO; October, 2014, Boston, MA). He also previously served as Chief Academic Officer for the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to facilitating contemplative science and studies.
Al is the co-author or editor of seven books, including the three-volume Toward a Science of Consciousness (MIT Press), and Emotions, Qualia, and Consciousness (World Scientific). His research, published in over 160 journal articles and scholarly book chapters, has been supported by grants from the U.S. National Institute on Aging, National Institute of Mental Health, and National Science Foundation, as well as several private foundations and institutes. His work has focused on the neuropsychology of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurological disorders, cognition and emotion in healthy aging, consciousness, memory self-monitoring, emotion, the psychophysiology of long-term and short-term meditation, and contemplative pedagogy.
Al has served on the editorial boards of several scientific journals, has been an advisor to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Department of Veterans Affairs and other governmental agencies, and has served on the Boards of Directors of several voluntary health organizations, professional organizations, and institutes. He previously served as President of the Section on Clinical Geropsychology, Division of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA), and is a fellow of the APA and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
In addition to his academic and research administrative roles, he received dharma transmission and is a teacher (Sensei) of Zen Buddhism, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Upaya Zen Center and Institute, Santa Fe, NM.