A University of Wisconsin-Madison research team placed 32 subjects, experienced or new to meditation, under a magnetic resonance imaging scanner and exposed them to sounds that evoke empathy. Sounds included a baby laughing, a woman crying, ambient noise in a restaurant.It's really important that we not give up, that we keep on meditating no matter what.
The researchers discovered significant activity in the insula, the frontal portion of the brain that maps emotional response.
The study was part of an effort to uncover how meditation can change the climate of schools and prevent bullying and aggression in students. Neuroscientists have begun searching for clues that link meditation with improved cognitive function and immune response as well as with stress reduction. Mindfulness is also being investigated as a treatment option for disorders, such as ADHD and depression.
Harvard researcher Sara Lazar led a study that found mindfulness practitioners had thicker gray matter in the frontal portion of the brain responsible for attention and sensory processing. UMass Medical School researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn has documented meditation’s positive effects on patients with chronic pain and stress related disorders.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
The science behind meditation
I've told you all about this research before but here's just a little reminder about how meditation actually affects the physical make up of the brain: