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Alarik T. Arenander, Ph.D.

Brief Biography
(see also detailed biography)

Dr. Alarik Arenander is a neuroscientist, educator, national lecturer, and leading researcher into the neurobiology of brain development. His work has helped establish the field of neuroscience as science’s leading area for exploring human potentiality. Dr. Arenander has conducted pioneering research at University of California at Los Angeles, Penn State University at Hershey, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA.

Since 1999, Dr. Arenander has been the Director of the Brain Research Institute at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in Fairfield, Iowa. His research focuses primarily on brain development, including both basic and applied research in the relationship of brain and consciousness and the role of the environment and experience on developmental processes.

Research projects include the following:

  • Basic research using powerful neuroimaging techniques, such as EEG, MEG, and fMRI are being used to analyze changes in brain dynamics during meditation and the experience of a cognitive and neural ‘ground state’ at the basis of our thinking and behavior.

  • Applied research to identify “consciousness-based” technologies capable of reversing brain imbalances in children and young adults. The BRI is examining the patterns of growth and expression in the prefrontal cortex of children enrolled in Consciousness-Based education (CBE) programs in comparison with published norms. Findings suggest that CBE programs lead to increasing creativity, intelligence and holistic psychophysiological development, more mature decision-making and reduced risky behavior. These research programs also include investigation of the effects of CBE on imbalances in populations of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), violent behavior, or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

  • The BRI is actively working on a global level to reverse the neurophysiology of violence in the children of the world. In order to counteract the potential for violence in entire generations of children caught in national and global conflict and terrorism, Dr. Arenander, in collaboration with the United Nations and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is organizing research projects to help effectively treat children suffering from trauma incurred as the result of armed conflict and natural disasters in different parts of the world, particularly Africa and South America.


Dr. Arenander received his Ph.D. in brain research from UCLA in 1980 with one of the first studies mapping the biochemical language of neural intercellular communication and its modification by stress and reproductive hormones during brain development. Dr. Arenander has been involved in brain research for the past 30 years. His early studies included work at the University of Wisconsin at Madison in molecular and developmental biology, than at Penn State University’s Hersey Medical College, and UCLA’s Torrance General Hospital, where he studied neuroendocrine patterns across different states of consciousness and in various disease conditions.

In 1980, he helped establish the first doctoral program in the Neuroscience of Human Consciousness in the world. As leader of the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group (CNRG) at MUM, he conducted research into brain mechanics of meditation, as it effects perception and cognition, including the relationship of coherent brain processes and development of intelligence in children.

Returning to UCLA in 1986, he began groundbreaking neurogenetic research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to identify the complex network of transcriptional control factors that transform the complex changing pattern of environmental signals into decisions that determine the developmental pathways of the mature human brain physiology.

Since 1993, Dr. Arenander has pursued full-time research in consciousness and brain physiology and has toured the U.S. and Canada continuously to present the most advanced knowledge available in this field of brain and consciousness to enhance human potential and well-being and contribute to establishing a peaceful and enlightened future for the children of the world.