By TRACI PEDERSEN Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 23, 2013
Published: Psych Central News
Meditation affects a person’s brain function long after the act of meditation is over, according to new research.
“This is the first time meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state,” said Gaelle Desbordes, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Boston University Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology.
“Overall, these results are consistent with the overarching hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing.”
The researchers began the study with the hypothesis that meditation can help control emotional responses.
During meditation, a part of the brain called the amygdala (known for the processing of emotional stimuli) showed decreased activity. However, when the participants were shown images of other people that were either good, bad, or neutral for a practice known as “compassion meditation,” the amygdala was exceptionally responsive.
The subjects were able to focus their attention and greatly reduce their emotional reactions. And over an eight-week period, the participants retained this ability.
Read the full article by Traci Pedersen Psych Central News
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