Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
Improved connections in areas regulating emotions become clear after 11 hours of
training, scans show(HealthDay News) -- Positive brain changes take hold after just 11 hours of practicing a form of meditation, the results of
a new study suggest.
The study included 45 University of Oregon students who were randomly selected to be in either
a study group that did integrative body-mind training (IBMT) or a control group that did relaxation training. IBMT was adapted
from traditional Chinese medicine in the 1990s.
A comparison of scans taken of the students' brains before and after
the training showed that those in the IBMT group had increased brain connectivity. The changes were strongest in connections
involving the anterior cingulate, an area that plays a role in the regulation of emotions and behavior, Yi-Yuan Tang of Dalian
University of Technology in China, University of Oregon psychologist Michael I. Posner, and colleagues found.
boost in brain connectivity began after six hours of IBMT and became more apparent after 11 hours of practice, according to
the report published in the Aug. 16-21 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
meditation-induced changes may be due to a reorganization of white-matter tracts or due to an increase of myelin that surrounds
the brain connections, the study authors suggested.
"The importance of our finding relates to the ability to make
structural changes in a brain network related to self-regulation. The pathway that has the largest change due to IBMT is one
that previously was shown to relate to individual differences in the person's ability to regulate conflict," Posner said in
a university news release.
The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine has more about meditation.-- Robert PreidtSOURCE: University of Oregon, news release, Aug. 16,