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Re: [Meditation Society of America] Mindfulness Meditation Changes Decision-making Process

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  • Beth Tremblay
    Really interesting study. One could extrapolate that by being in the moment, the meditator group sees what is. The group doesn t see a deficit of what they
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 21 9:42 AM
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      Really interesting study.  One could extrapolate that by being in the moment, the meditator group sees what is.  The group doesn't see a deficit of what they could have if only...  This most certainly applies to happiness. Humans often become unhappy when we see that others have more than ourselves. A wonderful side effect of mindfulness is being happy for the success of others rather than jealous.  Thanks for sharing.

      Beth

      On Apr 21, 2011 11:31 AM, "medit8ionsociety" <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > Functional MRI Shows How Mindfulness Meditation
      > Changes Decision-making Process
      > 21 Apr 2011
      >
      > If a friend or relative won $100 and then
      > offered you a few dollars, would you accept
      > this windfall? The logical answer would seem
      > to be, sure, why not? "But human decision making
      > does not always appear rational," said Read
      > Montague, professor of physics at Virginia Tech
      > and director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory
      > at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
      >
      > According to research conducted over the last
      > three decades; only about one-fourth of us would
      > say, "Sure. Thanks." The rest would say, "But
      > that's not fair. You have lots. Why are you only
      > giving me a few?" In fact, people will even turn
      > down any reward rather than accept an 'unfair' share.
      >
      > Unless they are Buddhist meditators, in which
      > case fair or not more than half will take what
      > is offered, according to new research by Ulrich
      > Kirk, research assistant professor with the Human
      > Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech; Jonathan
      > Downar, assistant professor with the Neuropsychiatry
      > Clinic and the Centre for Addition and Mental
      > Health at the University of Toronto; and Montague,
      > published in the April 2011 issue of Frontiers
      > in Decision Neuroscience.
      >
      > Their research shows that Buddhist meditators use
      > different areas of the brain than other people
      > when confronted with unfair choices, enabling them
      > to make decisions rationally rather than emotionally.
      > The meditators had trained their brains to function
      > differently and make better choices in certain situations.
      >
      > The research "highlights the clinically and
      > socially important possibility that sustained
      > training in mindfulness meditation may impact
      > distinct domains of human decision making,"
      > the researchers write.
      >
      > The research came about when Montague wondered
      > whether some people are capable of ignoring the
      > social consideration of fairness and can appreciate
      > a reward based on its intrinsic qualities alone.
      > "That is," he said, "can they uncouple emotional
      > reaction from their actual behavior?"
      >
      > Using computational and neuroimaging techniques,
      > Montague studies the neurobiology of human social
      > cognition and decision-making. He and his
      > students recruited 26 Buddhist meditators and
      > 40 control subjects for comparison and looked
      > at their brain processes using functional MRI
      > (fMRI) while the subjects played the "ultimatum game,"
      > in which the first player propose how to divide a
      > sum of money and the second can accept or reject the proposal.
      >
      > The researchers hypothesized that "successful
      > regulation of negative emotional reactions would
      > lead to increased acceptance rates of unfair offers"
      > by the meditators. The behavioral results confirmed
      > the hypothesis.
      >
      > But the neuroimaging results showed that Buddhist
      > meditators engaged different parts of the brain
      > than expected. Kirk, Downar, and Montague explained
      > that "The anterior insula has previously been
      > linked to the emotion of disgust, and plays a
      > key role in marking social norm violations, rejection,
      > betrayal, and mistrust. In previous studies of
      > the ultimatum game, anterior insula activity was
      > higher for unfair offers, and the strength of its
      > activity predicted the likelihood of an offer being
      > rejected. In the present study, this was true
      > for controls. However, in meditators, the anterior
      > insula showed no significant activation for unfair
      > offers, and there was no significant relationship
      > between anterior insula activity and offer rejection.
      > Hence, meditators were able to uncouple the
      > negative emotional response to an unfair offer,
      > presumably by attending to internal bodily states (
      > interoception) reflected by activity in the
      > posterior insula."
      >
      > The researchers conclude, "Our results suggest
      > that the lower-level interoceptive representation
      > of the posterior insula is recruited based on
      > individual trait levels in mindfulness. When
      > assessing unfair offers, meditators seem to
      > activate an almost entirely different network of
      > brain areas than do normal controls. Controls draw
      > upon areas involved in theory of mind, prospection,
      > episodic memory, and fictive error. In contrast,
      > meditators instead draw upon areas involved in
      > interoception and attention to the present moment.
      > ...This study suggests that the trick may lie not
      > in rational calculation, but in steering away from
      > what-if scenarios, and concentrating on the
      > interoceptive qualities that accompany any
      > reward, no matter how small."
      >
      > Sources: Virginia Tech, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
      > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      >
      > Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/223028.php
      >
      > This article is being posted for non-commercial
      > purposes only and thus can be shared relative to the
      > Fair Use Statutes
      >
      >
      >
    • Caroline Grevelle
      Thank you very much for this article. Caroline On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 10:31 AM, medit8ionsociety
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 21 9:59 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Thank you very much for this article.

        Caroline

        On Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 10:31 AM, medit8ionsociety <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
         

        Functional MRI Shows How Mindfulness Meditation
        Changes Decision-making Process
        21 Apr 2011

        If a friend or relative won $100 and then
        offered you a few dollars, would you accept
        this windfall? The logical answer would seem
        to be, sure, why not? "But human decision making
        does not always appear rational," said Read
        Montague, professor of physics at Virginia Tech
        and director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory
        at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

        According to research conducted over the last
        three decades; only about one-fourth of us would
        say, "Sure. Thanks." The rest would say, "But
        that's not fair. You have lots. Why are you only
        giving me a few?" In fact, people will even turn
        down any reward rather than accept an 'unfair' share.

        Unless they are Buddhist meditators, in which
        case fair or not more than half will take what
        is offered, according to new research by Ulrich
        Kirk, research assistant professor with the Human
        Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech; Jonathan
        Downar, assistant professor with the Neuropsychiatry
        Clinic and the Centre for Addition and Mental
        Health at the University of Toronto; and Montague,
        published in the April 2011 issue of Frontiers
        in Decision Neuroscience.

        Their research shows that Buddhist meditators use
        different areas of the brain than other people
        when confronted with unfair choices, enabling them
        to make decisions rationally rather than emotionally.
        The meditators had trained their brains to function
        differently and make better choices in certain situations.

        The research "highlights the clinically and
        socially important possibility that sustained
        training in mindfulness meditation may impact
        distinct domains of human decision making,"
        the researchers write.

        The research came about when Montague wondered
        whether some people are capable of ignoring the
        social consideration of fairness and can appreciate
        a reward based on its intrinsic qualities alone.
        "That is," he said, "can they uncouple emotional
        reaction from their actual behavior?"

        Using computational and neuroimaging techniques,
        Montague studies the neurobiology of human social
        cognition and decision-making. He and his
        students recruited 26 Buddhist meditators and
        40 control subjects for comparison and looked
        at their brain processes using functional MRI
        (fMRI) while the subjects played the "ultimatum game,"
        in which the first player propose how to divide a
        sum of money and the second can accept or reject the proposal.

        The researchers hypothesized that "successful
        regulation of negative emotional reactions would
        lead to increased acceptance rates of unfair offers"
        by the meditators. The behavioral results confirmed
        the hypothesis.

        But the neuroimaging results showed that Buddhist
        meditators engaged different parts of the brain
        than expected. Kirk, Downar, and Montague explained
        that "The anterior insula has previously been
        linked to the emotion of disgust, and plays a
        key role in marking social norm violations, rejection,
        betrayal, and mistrust. In previous studies of
        the ultimatum game, anterior insula activity was
        higher for unfair offers, and the strength of its
        activity predicted the likelihood of an offer being
        rejected. In the present study, this was true
        for controls. However, in meditators, the anterior
        insula showed no significant activation for unfair
        offers, and there was no significant relationship
        between anterior insula activity and offer rejection.
        Hence, meditators were able to uncouple the
        negative emotional response to an unfair offer,
        presumably by attending to internal bodily states (
        interoception) reflected by activity in the
        posterior insula."

        The researchers conclude, "Our results suggest
        that the lower-level interoceptive representation
        of the posterior insula is recruited based on
        individual trait levels in mindfulness. When
        assessing unfair offers, meditators seem to
        activate an almost entirely different network of
        brain areas than do normal controls. Controls draw
        upon areas involved in theory of mind, prospection,
        episodic memory, and fictive error. In contrast,
        meditators instead draw upon areas involved in
        interoception and attention to the present moment.
        ...This study suggests that the trick may lie not
        in rational calculation, but in steering away from
        what-if scenarios, and concentrating on the
        interoceptive qualities that accompany any
        reward, no matter how small."

        Sources: Virginia Tech, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
        ----------------------------------------------------------

        Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/223028.php

        This article is being posted for non-commercial
        purposes only and thus can be shared relative to the
        Fair Use Statutes





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