Researchers had shown meditation can increase the thickness of the grey matter in the cortical region of the brain and also reduced the age related thinning// of cortical region of the brain. Maintaining the thickness of the grey matter of the brain is necessary for the proper functioning of the brain which is found to be reduced in old age.
The structural changes were found in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing, the researchers report in the November issue of NeuroReport.
Although the study included only 20 participants, all with extensive training in Buddhist Insight meditation, the results are significant, said Jeremy Gray, assistant professor of psychology at Yale and co-author of the study led by Sara Lazar, assistant in psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
"What is most fascinating to me is the suggestion that meditation practice can change anyone's grey matter," Gray said. "The study participants were people with jobs and families. They just meditated on average 40 minutes each day, you don't have to be a monk."
Magnetic resonance imaging showed that regular practice of meditation is associated with increased thickness in a subset of cortical regions related to sensory, auditory, visual and internal perception, such as heart rate or breathing. The researchers also found that regular meditation practice may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.
"Most of the regions identified in this study were found in the right hemisphere," the researchers said. "The right hemisphere is essential for sustaining attention, which is a central practice of Insight meditation."
They said other forms of yoga and meditation likely have a similar impact on cortical structure, although each tradition would be expected to have a slightly different pattern of cortical thickening based on the specific mental exercises involved.
Source: EurekalerPage: 1 2 Related medicine news :1
. Fight Heart disease and Pain with Meditation2
. Meditation relieves stress3
. Meditation relieves stress4
. Meditation Works Medically5
. Meditation may reduce stress and help you live longer
. Meditation may Improve Cardiac Risk Factors in Patients with Coronary Heart Disease7
. Yoga and Meditation Comes in Aid of Iraqis to Rid of Trauma8
. Pain Tolerance Improved By Transcendental Meditation9
. Yoga and Meditation May be Helpful to Combat Chikungunya10
. Transcendental Meditation To The Rescue of Cardiac Patients11
. Transcendental Meditation Can Help