Medindia

X

Meditation Maintains And Thickens The Grey Matter Of The Brain

by Medindia Content Team on  November 12, 2005 at 6:10 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Meditation Maintains And Thickens The Grey Matter Of The Brain
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.
Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
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: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

Advertisement
View All