Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners

  title={Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners},
  author={Kieran C. R. Fox and Savannah Nijeboer and Matthew L. Dixon and James L. Floman and Melissa Ellamil and Samuel P. Rumak and Peter Sedlmeier and Kalina Christoff},
  journal={Neuroscience \& Biobehavioral Reviews},

Tables from this paper

Meditation and the Brain in Health and Disease
The aim of this chapter is to provide an accessible introduction to the neuroscience of meditation. First, a review of studies examining the relationship between meditation and alterations in the
The Meditative Mind: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of MRI Studies
Results demonstrate that a biological substrate underlies the positive pervasive effect of meditation practice and suggest that meditation techniques could be adopted in clinical populations and to prevent disease.
The Effects of Mindfulness and Meditation on the Cingulate Cortex in the Healthy Human Brain: A Review
A multifaceted role of the cingulate for processes related to long- term meditation practices, short-term meditation trainings, as well as trait mindfulness is suggested.
Alterations in Brain Structure and Amplitude of Low-frequency after 8 weeks of Mindfulness Meditation Training in Meditation-Naïve Subjects
In conclusion, regional overlapping of structural and functional changes in precuneus may capture different components of the complex changes of mindfulness meditation training.
Commentary: Meditation Effects within the Hippocampal Complex Revealed by Voxel-Based Morphometric and Cytoarchitectonic Probabilistic Mapping
Commentary: Meditation Effects within the Hippocampal Complex Revealed by Voxel-Based Morphometric and Cytoarchitectonic Probabilistic Mapping.
Brain Activity in Mindfulness Depends on Experience: a Meta-Analysis of fMRI Studies
Mindfulness and mindful meditation have become widely used approaches in clinical psychology. The growing use of these techniques has increased demand in research examining the foundations of
Effects of Long-Term Mindfulness Meditation on Brain's White Matter Microstructure and its Aging
Preliminary indications that the practice of MM might result in WM connectivity change and might provide evidence on its ability to help diminish age-related WM degeneration in key regions which participate in processes of mindfulness are provided.
Meditation effect in changing functional integrations across large-scale brain networks: Preliminary evidence from a meta-analysis of seed-based functional connectivity
Meditation is a type of mental training commonly applied in clinical settings and also practiced for general well-being. Brain functional connectivity (FC) patterns associated with meditation have


The Unique Brain Anatomy of Meditation Practitioners: Alterations in Cortical Gyrification
Results suggest the insula to be a key structure involved in aspects of meditation, given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, and increased insular gyrification may reflect an integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes.
Meditation-related activations are modulated by the practices needed to obtain it and by the expertise: an ALE meta-analysis study
It is found that frontal activation was present for short-term, as compared with long-term experience meditators, confirming that experts are better enabled to sustain attentional focus, rather recruiting the right SMG and concentrating on aspects involving disembodiment.
The effect of meditation on brain structure: cortical thickness mapping and diffusion tensor imaging.
  • D. Kang, H. Jo, J. Kwon
  • Biology, Psychology
    Social cognitive and affective neuroscience
  • 2013
This study employed whole-brain cortical thickness analysis based on magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging to quantify white matter integrity in the brains of 46 experienced meditators compared with 46 matched meditation-naïve volunteers, suggesting that long-term meditate have structural differences in both gray and white matter.
Meditation effects within the hippocampal complex revealed by voxel-based morphometry and cytoarchitectonic probabilistic mapping
Analysis of GM characteristics in a large sample of 100 subjects revealed significant meditation effects in the vicinity of the hippocampus, showing more GM in meditators than in controls as well as positive correlations with the number of years practiced.
Investigation of mindfulness meditation practitioners with voxel-based morphometry.
MRI brain images of 20 mindfulness (Vipassana) meditators are investigated and meditation practice is associated with structural differences in regions that are typically activated during meditation and in areas that are relevant for the task of meditation.
Increased gray matter volume in the right angular and posterior parahippocampal gyri in loving-kindness meditators
The findings of the study suggest that experience in LKM may influence brain structures associated with affective regulation.
A systematic review of neurobiological and clinical features of mindfulness meditations
Current evidence on the neurobiological changes and clinical benefits related to MM practice in psychiatric disorders, in physical illnesses and in healthy subjects is reviewed to establish whether clinical outcomes are due to specific or non-specific effects of MM.