Meditation builds grey matter

A team of American scientists has reported that regions of the brain involved in emotional regulation are larger in long-term meditators than in non-meditators. The group used high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of 22 participants, all of whom had extensively practiced meditation. They compared the scans with those of age-matched controls. Those who meditated had been doing so for between five and 46 years and practised a variety of styles, including zazen, samatha and vipassana. These styles have many practices in common, such as breath control, visualisation and attention to external and internal stimuli. Meditation time ranged from 10 to 90 minutes a session, with most meditators having daily sessions. MRI 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. Meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the right hippocampus, right orbito-frontal cortex, right thalamus and left inferior temporal gyrus — all regions important in emotional regulation and response control. Most of the regions identified in the study were found in the right hemisphere, associated with sustaining attention, which is a central practice of meditation. The authors conclude that larger volumes in these regions might account for meditators' ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability and engage in mindful behavior. (The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter. Neuroimage. 2009 Jan 13. [Epub ahead of print]).

 

LATEST NEWS

Summer Bank Holiday at BNHC
The centre is closed on Monday 31 August. No classes will take place on this day. ... read more
Taster sessions at BNHC!
Try something new in September with our special tasters... ... read more
FREE talk '40 years a dancer' with Liz Aggiss, Friday 9 October
After 62 years Liz Aggiss is still at it! In this talk she discusses the unique physical and creative wear and tear sustained in her 40 year - and counting - career in dance. ... read more
All About Tea, Saturday 5 September
A talk and a tea tasting with Jennifer Maksymetz (tea mistress) and Peter Deadman. ... read more
Yin Yoga with Myofascial Release workshop, Saturday 19 September
Yin Yoga goes beyond muscle alone, working deeply into the connective tissue and joints, offering great benefits to overall health... ... read more

HOME | INFO | CLASSES | WORKSHOPS | TIMETABLE | COMMUNITY | NEWS | PRIVACY | TERMS & CONDITIONS | SITE MAP

©2009  Brighton Natural Health Centre 27 Regent Street Brighton BN1 1UL - tel 01273 600010 - email info@bnhc.co.uk - Registered Charity No: 290122