Having to do with the nervous system
The ability of an adult to learn and to perform cognitive tests is directly linked to how active the brain is at rest, UNSW researchers have found.
Nature Scientific Reports
Intelligence is a fundamental ability that sets humans apart from other animal species. Despite its importance in defining human behaviour, the neural networks responsible for intelligence are not well understood. The dominant view from neuroimaging work suggests that intelligent performance on a range of tasks is underpinned by segregated interactions in a fronto-parietal network of brain regions. Here we asked whether fronto-parietal interactions associated with intelligence are ubi […]
A very readable introduction to the scientific findings in neurology about primarily Buddhist forms of meditation.
Recently, much scientific attention has been focused on resting brain activity and its investigation through such methods as the analysis of functional connectivity during rest (the temporal correlation of brain activities in different regions). However, investigation of the magnitude of brain activity during rest has focused on the relative decrease of brain activity during a task, rather than on the absolute resting brain activity. It is thus necessary to investigate the association […]
Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging
Therapeutic interventions that incorporate training in mindfulness meditation have become increasingly popular, but to date, little is known about neural mechanisms associated with these interventions. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), one of the most widely used mindfulness training programs, has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being and to ameliorate symptoms of a number of disorders. Here, we report a controlled longitudinal study to investi […]
Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain's physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brai […]
Meditation is a conscious mental process that induces a set of integrated physiologic changes termed the relaxation response. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify and characterize the brain regions that are active during a simple form of meditation. Significant (p<10(-7)) signal increases were observed in the group-averaged data in the dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, hippocampus/parahippocampus, temporal lobe, pregenual anterior cingulate […]
Biofeedback and Self-regulation
The purpose of this study was to assess the central nervous system effects of the relaxation response (RR) in novice subjects using a controlled, within- subjects design and topographic EEG mapping as the dependent measure. Twenty subjects listened to a RR and control audiotape presented in a counterbalanced order while EEG was recorded from 14 scalp locations. The RR condition produced greater (p < .0164) reductions in frontal EEG beta activity relative to the control condition. N […]
Journal of Human Stress
Human pupillary dilatation after topical instillation of phenylephrine was assessed in a prospective, randomized, controlled experiment to measure alterations in α-end-organ responsivity after regular elicitation of the relaxation response. Baseline pupillometric measurements were taken in both experimental and control subjects. The experimental subjects then practiced daily a technique that elicited the relaxation response while the control subjects sat quietly for comparable periods […]