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Meditation practices may impact physiological pathways that are modulated by stress and relevant to disease. While much attention has been paid to meditation practices that emphasize calming the mind, improving focused attention, or developing mindfulness, less is known about meditation practices that foster compassion. Accordingly, the current study(More)
The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative-valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful-attention, both in beginner meditators after an 8-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators.(More)
Increasing data suggest that meditation impacts stress-related physiological processes relevant to health and disease. For example, our group recently reported that the practice of compassion meditation was associated with reduced innate immune (plasma interleukin [IL]-6) and subjective distress responses to a standardized laboratory psychosocial stressor(More)
BACKGROUND Children exposed to early life adversity (ELA) have been shown to have elevated circulating concentrations of inflammatory markers that persist into adulthood. Increased inflammation in individuals with ELA is believed to drive the elevated risk for medical and psychiatric illness in the same individuals. This study sought to determine whether(More)
The study of the human mind has evolved over the course of many centuries. While modern neuroscience relies on objective, quantitative methods for measuring how mental events manifest as brain activity, ancient contemplative traditions have used first-person introspective practices to gain a greater understanding of the mind. It is now possible to combine(More)
While a variety of meditation techniques are increasingly employed as health interventions, the fact that meditation requires a significant commitment of time and effort may limit its potential widespread utility. In the current study, we ask whether baseline subjective reports or brain activity in response to a "Pain for Self and Others" paradigm predicts(More)
Although kindness-based contemplative practices are increasingly employed by clinicians and cognitive researchers to enhance prosocial emotions, social cognitive skills, and well-being, and as a tool to understand the basic workings of the social mind, we lack a coherent theoretical model with which to test the mechanisms by which kindness-based meditation(More)
PURPOSE This study assessed the feasibility of a meditation-based program called Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT) with breast cancer survivors. Enrollment and participant satisfaction with a novel intervention, adherence to program requirements, and differences between the intervention group and wait list controls on self-report measures were(More)
Purpose Children exposed to early life adversity (ELA) demonstrate elevated circulating concentrations of health-relevant inflammatory biomarkers which persist into adulthood. Increased inflammation in individuals with ELA is believed to contribute to the increased risk for medical and psychiatric illnesses observed in these individuals. The objective of(More)
Purpose Measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which are the healthy fluctuations in heart rate that reflect autonomic influences on cardiac activity, have been proposed as indicators of physical and psychological health. Previous studies suggest that HRV increases during some meditative states, but it is not clear(More)