Research shows Meditation causes Changes in the Brain.
In fairly recent studies, it was found that in some cases, those who meditated showed increases in size in parts of the brain, responsible for memory and emotion regulation, particularly in the hippocampus: "a small organ located within the brain's medial temporal lobe" that "forms an important part of the limbic system, the region that regulates emotions. The hippocampus is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory. The organ also plays an important role in spatial navigation." (News-Medical.Net)
In a UCLA study, it was "found that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Participants who'd been meditating for an avg. of 20 years had more grey matter volume through out the brain."
"In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain: Eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) was found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus, which governs learning and memory, and in certain areas of the brain that play roles in emotion regulation and self-referential processing. There were also decreases in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress – and these changes matched the participants’ self-reports of their stress levels, indicating that meditation not only changes the brain, but it changes our subjective perception and feelings as well. In fact, a follow-up study by Lazar’s team found that after meditation training, changes in brain areas linked to mood and arousal were also linked to improvements in how participants said they felt — i.e., their psychological well-being. So for anyone who says that activated blobs in the brain don’t necessarily mean anything, our subjective experience – improved mood and well-being – does indeed seem to be shifted through meditation as well."
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