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Meditation and Associated Brain Function Has Been Found!
- Updated: May 19, 2014
In the U.S. meditation has been a common practice to help relieve anxiety and stress, for a long time now. It is also believed to boost emotional well-being of an individual. The question to how our brain reacts to different forms of meditation has been answered by a group of researchers from Norway. In the research study conducted by Dr. Svend Davanger and his team, they have focused on two forms of meditation, concentrative meditation and nondirective meditation.
The neuroscientist at the University of Oslo, Dr. Davanger, believes that all techniques of meditation fall within these two groups where the first one involves, focusing on breath and certain thoughts while obstructing the rest of the thoughts and the second involves less restrictive meditation, where the mind should focus on a sound or breath but is allowed to wander occasionally. Most of the modern meditation techniques come under the second category.
To understand the correlation with the brain function, 14 participants were taken who were highly thorough with Acem meditation, a form of nondirective meditation. On conducting MRI for the selected participants it was found that they showed higher brain activity after meditation in areas of brain, associated with processing self-related thoughts and feelings, as compared to when they were resting.
Similarly, for the participants who practiced concentrative meditation, the brain activity did not show any remarkable difference to when they were resting, as after meditation. It was the same. To this finding, Dr. Davanger believes that, nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated mediation.
Previous studies have also revealed the benefits of meditation. In 2012, the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine had published a study where meditation was seen to improve memory loss in patients with Alzheimer’s. With this recent study, Dr. Davanger and his team has also found the benefits of meditation, and the positive effects on health in being active.