home
RSS
How meditating may help your brain
November 21st, 2011
06:05 PM ET

How meditating may help your brain

When you're under pressure from work and family and the emails don't stop coming, it's hard to stop your mind from jumping all over the place.

But scientists are finding that it may be worth it to train your brain to focus on something as simple as your breath, which is part of mindfulness meditation.

A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the latest in a hot emerging field of research examining how meditation relates to the brain. It shows that people who are experienced meditators show less activity in the brain's default mode network, when the brain is not engaged in focused thought.

The default mode network is associated with introspection and mind wandering. Typically, drifting thoughts tend to focus on negative subjects, creating more stress and anxiety. It has also been linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers looked at experienced meditators and trained novices. There were 12 in the "experienced" category, with an average of more than 10,000 hours of mindfulness meditation experience (Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" suggests that it takes 10,000 hours to be an expert at something), and 12 healthy volunteers who were novices in meditation.

Each volunteer was instructed to engage in three types of meditation: concentration (attention to the breath), love-kindness (wishing beings well) and choiceless awareness (focus on whatever comes up). Scientists looked at their brain activity during these meditations with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Across all of these types of meditation, the experienced meditators showed less activity in the default mode network than in the novices. The experienced participants also reported less mind wandering than the novices. Interestingly, experienced meditators also showed increased connectivity between certain brain networks during meditation and non-meditation.

"It doesn't matter what they're doing, they have an altered default mode network," said Dr. Judson Brewer, medical director of the Yale University Therapeutic Neuroscience Clinic and lead author of the study. "We were pretty excited about that, because it suggests that these guys are paying attention a lot more."

From this particular study, researchers can't say whether meditating is beneficial to the brain. But, viewed in conjunction with other studies showing the positive effects of mindfulness training for depression, substance abuse, anxiety and pain disorders, it seems to have promise. Also, a 2010 study found that people tend to be more unhappy when they their mind is wandering.

"Putting all those together, we might be able to start get at what the mechanisms of mindfulness are," Brewer said.

But the study does not address the issue of cause: Is meditation changing the brain, or do people who already have these brain patterns get interested in meditation?

"Emerging data from our group and others suggests that some things thought to be result of meditation might be cause of meditation," said Dr. Charles Raison, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

If some people are just better at keeping their minds from wandering, that would also be consistent with the Buddhist idea that your capabilities are the result of your Karmic path, so meditation may be better suited to some people than others, Raison said.

Someday, if brain scans become cheap enough, one day there might be a test to see who can benefit most from mindfulness training, Raison said.

In the meantime, scientists should explore these open questions by doing longitudinal studies, Raison said. That would involve assigning some people to meditate and some people to not meditate, and following the groups over time to see whether a change in brain activity patterns is visible.


soundoff (1,040 Responses)
  1. binh luan tv

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Bóng Đáthvl1 hdXem soccer trực tuyến Trực tiếp Odd BK vs Sarpsborg, 20h ngày 24/5, giải VĐQG Na Uy. Xem lịch phạt sóng thẳng bóng đá EURO hôm nay được Webthethao cập nhật chính xác nhất.

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/truc-tiep-xsmb-minh-chinh-106698.html

    June 13, 2021 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. CrulkAsd

    cialis pills online buy generic cialis buy generic cialis canada

    June 13, 2021 at 22:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. giant near me

    https://pinggu.zx110.org/review_url_www.rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. hair salons near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!

    http://aesham.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.boxtruckrepairshop.com

    June 14, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. house for sale near me

    Good blog post. I absolutely appreciate this site. Stick with it!

    https://loopbaan.dezorggroep.nl/redirect.php?from=https://ocrvparts.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. in n out near me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it does not fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you would probably have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.

    http://go.20script.ir/index.php?url=https://allamericanstatewidesecurity.com

    June 14, 2021 at 08:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. barber shop near me

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    https://bad.org.uk/for-the-public/patient-information-leaflets/androgenetic-alopecia/?showmore=1&returnlink=http://www.ocrv.rocks

    June 14, 2021 at 08:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 99 cent store near me

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there an easy method you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    https://www.t10.org/cgi-bin/s_t10r.cgi?First=1&PrevURL=https://www.ocrvmotorcoachsales.com

    June 14, 2021 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. convenience store near me

    Hey there! I simply would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the excellent information you have got here on this post. I'll be coming back to your website for more soon.

    http://whois.zunmi.com/?d=http://romeomotorsports.com

    June 14, 2021 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. jcpenney near me

    https://www.ams.ceu.edu/optimal/optimal.php?url=http://ocrv.world/

    June 14, 2021 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. go karts near me

    https://b.grabo.bg/special/dealbox-492×73/?rnd=2019121711&affid=19825&deal=199235&cityid=1&city=Sofia&click_url=https://www.mastermindofmen.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. credit union near me

    https://www.mydoterra.com/Application/index.cfm?EnrollerID=458046&Theme=DefaultTheme&Returnurl=https://www.kandypens.com&LNG=en_dot&iact=1

    June 14, 2021 at 13:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. national parks near me

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I found this in my hunt for something regarding this.

    https://www.edamam.com/widget/nutrition.jsp?widgetKey=4a7071d1-178b-4780-b73e-73fb5b417a60&url=https://bestshopnearme.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Freebies

    You really make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I find this matter to be actually something which I think I might by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely large for me. I am taking a look forward on your next publish, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

    https://www.cravefreebies.com

    June 14, 2021 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. puppies for sale near me

    This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate informationÖ Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!

    https://www.fcviktoria.cz/media_show.asp?id=2924&id_clanek=2467&media=0&type=1&url=https://forkliftsafetyschool.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. warehouse jobs near me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I donít understand why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://tax.grandcountyutah.net/grandcountyutah/list-detail.php?m=w2y2542464w2c4&url=http://www.thelawofattractionisreal.com/

    June 14, 2021 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. covid-19 testing near me

    https://www.2ch-ranking.net/redirect.php?url=http://www.seopostfalls.com

    June 14, 2021 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. food lion near me

    When I originally left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. There has to be an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    http://mhc.ie/?URL=http://www.ocrvcenter.info/

    June 14, 2021 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    http://www.astro.wisc.edu/?URL=http://www.hootnholler.net/fleet-vehicles-repair-shop/

    June 15, 2021 at 00:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV Repair Seal Beach

    I was able to find good info from your blog articles.

    https://www.treasury.gov/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi/?https://www.ocrvcenter.com/commercial-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Repair Nearby

    http://urm.org/n/november-splash/?redirect_to=www.ocrvcenter.com/class-b-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Repairs Near My Location

    I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your information. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

    https://webourgeon.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-sierra-madre-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 04:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. bongdawap

    Trực Tiếp Soccer Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Xem Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namlịch thi đấu copa america nam mỹ 2019Xem đá bóng trực tuyến Trực tiếp Odd BK vs Sarpsborg, 20h ngày 24/5, giải VĐQG Na Uy. Xem lịch phát sóng thẳng soccer EURO hôm nay được Webthethao cập nhật chính xác nhất.

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/lich-thu-dau-vcs-76671.html

    June 15, 2021 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Near Me

    I want to to thank you for this great read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have you book marked to look at new stuff you postÖ

    https://www0.lufc.talent-sport.co.uk/?returnurl=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/kenworth-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. RV Repair Nearby

    After looking over a number of the blog posts on your site, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my web site as well and let me know what you think.

    http://adminer.org/redirect/?url=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-warner-center-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 10:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    http://www.recklinghausen.de/inhalte/startseite/ruhrfestspiele_kultur/musik_und_theater/musik__choere_und_vereine/index.asp?db=17&form=RedirectAction&redirecturl=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/manufacturing-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.fcviktoria.cz/media_show.asp?id=2924&id_clanek=2467&media=0&type=1&url=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-supplies-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Around Me

    Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the issues. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!

    https://www.ijbssnet.com/view.php?u=https://ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-body-repair-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    http://ww5.libdd.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-kitchen-repair-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair California

    I used to be able to find good info from your articles.

    http://board-en.drakensang.com/proxy.php?link=http://www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-hemet-california

    June 15, 2021 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    http://us.member.uschoolnet.com/register_step1.php?_from=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-hesperia-california

    June 15, 2021 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. tuyen tap nhac remix chau khai phong

    Tỷ Số Soccer Trực Tuyến Thời Điểm Hôm Naynonolive baroibeoTheo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới mang đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon tuy vậy sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi bên trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch thi đấu, bạn hoàn toàn có thể sắp xếp việc làm

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/vtv1-online-vtvgo-105689.html

    June 15, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Camper Repairs Near Me

    http://www.ric.edu/Pages/link_out.aspx?target=www.ocrvcenter.com/school-bus-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 15, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair California

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I hesitate a lot and don't manage to get anything done.

    http://www.scanverify.com/siteverify.php?site=http://ocrvcenter.com/commercial-truck-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 15, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Around Me

    http://ww17.freeshoutbox.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-manhattan-beach-california/

    June 15, 2021 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RV Repair Garden Grove

    There is certainly a lot to learn about this topic. I really like all of the points you have made.

    http://stg.cablegate.tv/pc/recommend_detail.php?catvid=964GG6Vi&si=8&bindex=1531659&networkid=65534&serviceid=232&tsid=65029&supplierid=pe&url=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-san-clemente-california

    June 15, 2021 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Repair Near Me Now

    I absolutely love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím wanting to create my very own site and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!

    https://www.l214.com/lettres-infos/partage/?nom=7ème+jour:+les+poulets+de+chair&url=ocrvcenter.com/rv-bathroom-repair-near-me/

    June 16, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Orange County

    http://www.ea.delawarecpf.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-granada-hills-california/

    June 16, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Nearby RV Repairs

    Very nice blog post. I certainly appreciate this website. Keep it up!

    http://dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=http://www.internationalhorsepress.com/component/k2/item/11-3d-illustration.html?start=2250

    June 16, 2021 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair California

    I was very pleased to uncover this web site. I wanted to thank you for your time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely liked every little bit of it and I have you book marked to check out new information in your web site.

    http://plt.crmplatform.nl/nieuwsbrief/actions/2.vm?id=2495448&url=www.ocrvcenter.com/trailer-collision-repair-shop-near-me/

    June 16, 2021 at 02:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    You made some decent points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    https://local.katc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com/rv-furniture-near-me/

    June 16, 2021 at 05:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Orange County California

    This is the perfect blog for anybody who would like to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages. Great stuff, just great!

    http://www.oliverhume.com.au/enquiry/thank-you/?redirectTo=http://ocrvcenter.com/rv-repair-shop-rancho-palos-verdes-california

    June 16, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. pharmacepticacom

    tadalafil liquid https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Nearby RV Repairs

    http://www.qnrwz.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/motorhome-maintenance-near-me

    June 16, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. tv repair near me

    http://kgbr.co.kr/truth.php?mode=view&cat=9&th_idx=30&page=4&return_url=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 14:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. red robin near me

    https://www.danirvinrather.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=http://www.ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. shooting ranges near me

    http://www.iaudit.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 16:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. popeyes chicken near me

    https://www.lisettlementassociation.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 16, 2021 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. fedex office near me

    https://www.seniorpolls.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 16, 2021 at 21:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Repair Shop

    https://aarss.com/redir.php?siteref=&aarsslink=https://www.ocrvcenter.com/class-a-collision-repair-shop-near-me

    June 16, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.