fbpx

Different meditation practices produce different brain response

Meditation, especially mindfulness meditation is all the rage at the moment. Proponents (myself included) have found that the practice is extremely beneficial in calming the mind, clarifying thoughts and honing attention. In addition, neuroimaging has shown how it enhances neuroplasticity. But what is actually happening in a meditating brain? And is there a difference between all the various types of meditative practice on offer?
This is an area currently being investigated by a number of people around the world. Now, the findings from a joint study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Sydney suggest at least the beginnings of a more definitive answer.

What the new study showed was that unfocused meditation (that allows mind wandering), led to increased brain activity in the area of the brain associated with processing self-related thoughts and processes, compared to when the subject was at rest or engaged in focused meditation. In other words subjects were able to process memory and emotion more freely with unfocused than with focused meditation.

Photo credit: The left images show the brain during concentrative meditation, while images to the right show the brain during nondirective meditation.

Credit: NTNU

Looking For a Way to Sharpen Your Attention? Don’t Hold Your Breath

When feeling stressed or under pressure it’s not unusual to find yourself breathing more shallowly or holding your breath. New Read more

Why It Helps To Breathe
Breathe

We all know how to breathe. You may also have noticed how your breathing changes depending on what you’re doing Read more

Pin It on Pinterest