Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation

  title={Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation},
  author={Sara W. Lazar and George Bush and Randy L. Gollub and Gregory L Fricchione and Gurucharan Khalsa and Herbert Benson},
&NA; Meditation is a conscious mental process that induces a set of integrated physiologic changes termed the relaxation response. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify and characterize the brain regions that are active during a simple form of meditation. Significant (p <10−7) signal increases were observed in the group‐averaged data in the dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, hippocampus/parahippocampus, temporal lobe, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex… 

Meditation-Specific Prefrontal Cortical Activation during Acem Meditation: An FMRI Study

Observations suggest that meditation with a relaxed focus of attention may activate distinct areas of the prefrontal cortex, with implications for the understanding of neurobiological correlates of meditation.

Changes in functional magnetic resonance imaging with Yogic meditation: A pilot study

It is concluded that specific fMRI brain activations are observed during different forms of Yogic meditation (visual and auditory phases).

Neural correlates of meditation: a review of structural and functional MRI studies.

Together, the available imaging techniques have revealed that rather than impacting specific brain regions, meditation causes structural and functional changes in large-scale brain networks.

Effect of “SOHAM” meditation on the human brain: An fMRI study

An investigation of brain processes supporting meditation

Meditation is an ancient spiritual practice, which aims to still the fluctuations of the mind. We investigated meditation with fMRI in order to identify and characterise both the “neural switch”

Cerebral blood flow changes associated with different meditation practices and perceived depth of meditation

Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness

Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning, and data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.

Neuroimaging of meditation's effect on brain reactivity to pain

Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the response to thermally induced pain applied outside the meditation period found that long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique showed 40–50% fewer voxels responding to pain in the thalamus and total brain than in healthy matched controls interested in learning the technique.

Mindfulness and Neuroimaging

This chapter will try to better explain the results provided by these neuroimaging techniques in relation to the effects produced in the brain by the practice of mindfulness.

The neural basis of the complex mental task of meditation: neurotransmitter and neurochemical considerations.




Topographic EEG mapping of the relaxation response

It is suggested that elicitation of the RR produces significant reductions in cortical activation in anterior brain regions in novice subjects.

Functional heterogeneity in cingulate cortex: the anterior executive and posterior evaluative regions.

There is a fundamental dichotomy between the functions of anterior and posterior cingulate cortices, which subserves primarily executive functions related to the emotional control of visceral, skeletal, and endocrine outflow and evaluation of spatial orientation and memory.

Spectral analysis of the EEG in meditation.

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Frontoparietal cortical networks for directing attention and the eye to visual locations: identical, independent, or overlapping neural systems?

  • M. Corbetta
  • Psychology, Biology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1998
Functional anatomical and single-unit recording studies indicate that a set of neural signals in parietal and frontal cortex mediates the covert allocation of attention to visual locations, as

Plasma Prolactin and Growth Hormone during Meditation

The effect of the practice known as "transcendental meditation" (TM) on secretion of prolactin and growth hormone secretion is studied to provide clues to the neural mechanisms involved in meditation and extend the physiologic characterization of meditation to include endocrine variables.

Breath Suspension During the Transcendental Meditation Technique

It is observed that breath suspension is a physiological correlate of some, but not all, episodes of the pure consciousness experience, and pure consciousness experiences were also associated with reduced heart rate; high basal skin resistance; stable phasicskin resistance; and statistically consistent changes in EEG power and EEG coherence.

Co-Planar Stereotaxic Atlas of the Human Brain: 3-Dimensional Proportional System: An Approach to Cerebral Imaging

Direct and Indirect Radiologic Localization Reference System: Basal Brain Line CA-CP Cerebral Structures in Three-Dimensional Space Practical Examples for the Use of the Atlas in Neuroradiologic