A transdisciplinary approach to wellbeing
The aims of our research in CLEA are both academic and practical: the vision is to explore avenues that lead to a better world in which people live longer, happier and healthier lives, in harmony with their social and natural environment. In other words, they should increase quality of life or overall well-being for the world population. That requires a better understanding of what well-being, physically and mentally, precisely is, and which measures are likely to have the greatest impact on it.
As fits in with our general research philosophy, our approach to well-being is transdisciplinary, evolutionary and systemic. We see a human as a complex, adaptive system, an organism that has evolved over millions of years to be fit, i.e. able to survive and thrive within its biological, psychological and social environment, and ready to deal with the various challenges it will encounter in that environment. In the right circumstances, that organism learns from its experiences, becoming wiser and stronger in the process. Thus, our nature is to be fit, smart and adaptable, and to continue actualizing our potentials.
A fit body and mind is one that is not only happy and healthy, but one that is likely to live long. Well-being, health, fitness and longevity are merely aspects of an optimally functioning organism. Therefore, whatever promotes the one will in general also promote the others. That is why our approach is transdisciplinary and systemic: integrating concepts, perspectives and methods from a wide variety of more specialized approaches, including medicine, psychology, social sciences and ageing research.
The research group is coordinated by Dr. Shima Beigi.
- Systems models of health and wellbeing
- Ageing, rejuvenation and longevity
- Mindfulness and resilience
- Measurement of quality of life and happiness
- Self-actualization and satisfaction of human needs
- Paleo lifestyle
- Mind-body exercise regimes: meditation, yoga, martial arts, parkour, …
- Brain Fitness and Cognitive Enhancement
We regularly organize online seminars with invited experts, such as Aubrey de Grey: https://clea.research.vub.be/en/longevity-seminars
These seminars are recorded on video and can be watched on the CLEA YouTube via the Longevity Playlist
Some representative publications
- Beigi, S. (2019). A Road Map for Cross Operationalization of Resilience. In S. I. S. Rattan & M. Kyriazis (Eds.), The Science of Hormesis in Health and Longevity (pp. 235–242). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-814253-0.00021-8
- Bernheim, J. L., & Buyse, M. (1993). The anamnestic comparative self-assessment for measuring the subjective quality of life of cancer patients. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 1(4), 25–38.
- Bernheim, J. L., Theuns, P., Mazaheri, M., Hofmans, J., Fliege, H., & Rose, M. (2006). The potential of anamnestic comparative self-assessment (ACSA) to reduce bias in the measurement of subjective well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 7(2), 227–250.
- Clarke, B., Ghiara, V., & Russo, F. (2019). Time to care: Why the humanities and the social sciences belong in the science of health. BMJ Open, 9(8), e030286. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030286
- Clarke, B., Gillies, D., Illari, P., Russo, F., & Williamson, J. (2013). The evidence that evidence-based medicine omits. Preventive Medicine, 57(6), 745–747. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.10.020
- Heylighen, F. (1992). A cognitive-systemic reconstruction of Maslow’s theory of self-actualization. Behavioral Science, 37(1), 39–58. https://doi.org/10.1002/bs.3830370105
- Heylighen, F. (2014). Cybernetic Principles of Aging and Rejuvenation: The buffering-challenging strategy for life extension. Current Aging Science, 7(1), 60–75. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874609807666140521095925
- Heylighen, F. (2020). Mind, Brain and Body. An evolutionary perspective on the human condition (ECCO Working Papers No. 2020–01). http://22.214.171.124/Papers/Mind-Brain-Body-lecturenotes.pdf
- Heylighen, F., & Bernheim, J. (2000). Global Progress I: Empirical Evidence for ongoing Increase in Quality-of-life. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1(3), 323–349. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010099928894
- Heylighen, F., & Bernheim, J. (2004). From Quantity to Quality of Life: R-K selection and human development (ECCO Working Paper No. 2004–02). http://pcp.vub.ac.be/papers/r-KselectionQOL.pdf
- Kelly, M. P., Kelly, R. S., & Russo, F. (2014). The Integration of Social, Behavioral, and Biological Mechanisms in Models of Pathogenesis. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 57(3), 308–328. https://doi.org/10.1353/pbm.2014.0026
- Kyriazis, M. (2010). Nonlinear Stimulation and Hormesis in Human Aging: Practical Examples and Action Mechanisms. Rejuvenation Research, 13(4), 445–452. https://doi.org/10.1089/rej.2009.0996
- Kyriazis, M. (2016). Challenging Aging. The Anti-senescence Effects of Hormesis, Environmental Enrichment and Information Exposure. Bentham Science Publishers.
- Kyriazis, M. (2018). Four Principles Regarding an Effective Treatment of Aging. Current Aging Science, 11(3), 149–154. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874609811666181025170059
- Kyriazis, M. (2020). Healthy Ageing in the Clinical Setting: Current Concepts and Future Prospects. In J. Sholl & S. I. S. Rattan (Eds.), Explaining Health Across the Sciences (pp. 521–538). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52663-4_29
- Rattan, S., & Kyriazis, M. (2018). The Science of Hormesis in Health and Longevity. Academic Press.
- Van Daele, W. (2016). Desiring foods: Cultivating non-attachment to nourishment in Buddhist Sri Lanka. Appetite, 105, 212–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.04.021
- Verburgh, K. (2015). Nutrigerontology: Why we need a new scientific discipline to develop diets and guidelines to reduce the risk of aging-related diseases. Aging Cell, 14(1), 17–24.
- Verburgh, K. (2018). The Longevity Code: Secrets to Living Well for Longer from the Front Lines of Science. The Experiment.