Meditation may increase brain size?
- Meditation found to increase brain size
Mental calisthenics bulk up some layers
Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical
structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced
meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with
attention and processing sensory input.
In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced
in older than in younger people. That's intriguing because those sections
of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.
"Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity
in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and
well-being," says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at
Harvard Medical School. "These findings are consistent with other studies
that demonstrated increased thickness of music areas in the brains of
musicians, and visual and motor areas in the brains of jugglers. In other
words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated
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