Neuroscience and Clinical Practice

Dr. Robert J. MacFadden


IMPACT OF MEDITATION ON THE BRAIN


Content taken directly from: Holzel, B., Lazar, S., Gard, T., Schuman-Olivier, Z., Vago, D., Ott, U.(2011). How does Mindfulness Meditation work? Proposing mechanisms of action from a conceptual and neural perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science 6 (6), 537-559.



Mechanism
Instructions
Changes
Brain Areas
1.Attention regulation
Attention &
returning
to attention

Enhanced ability to attend, orient,
Anterior Cingulate Cortex
2.Body awareness
Focus on
internal
or external
experience

Enhanced
body
awareness
Insula, temporo-parietal junction
3.Emotional regulation: reappraisal
Accepting
non-
judgmentally
Increases
in positive
reappraisal

Dorsal, prefrontal cortex PFC
4.Emotion regulation: exposure, extinction, reconsolidation
Exposing oneself to whatever is in
field of
awareness; letting oneself be affected by it; refraining from internal reactivity

Increase in
non-reactivity to inner experiences
Ventro-medial PFC, hippocampus, amygdala
5.Change in
perspective
on the self
Detachment with static sense of self
Self-reported changes in self
Medial PFC,
posterior cingulate cortex, insula, parietal
junction