Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners

Authors
Tim Gard, Maxime Taquet, Rohan Dixit, Britta K. Holzel, Yves-Alexandre de Montoye, Narayan Brach, David H. Salat, Bradford C. Dickerson, Jeremy R. Gray, Sara W. Lazar
Publication
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume 6 - 2014
Abstract

Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Fluid intelligence declined slower in yoga practitioners and meditators combined than in controls. Resting state functional networks of yoga practitioners and meditators combined were more integrated and more resilient to damage than those of controls. Furthermore, mindfulness was positively correlated with fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency. These findings reveal the possibility to increase resilience and to slow the decline of fluid intelligence and brain functional architecture and suggest that mindfulness plays a mechanistic role in this preservation.

Related Listings
Neurobiology of Stress
Journal
Neurobiology of Stress
Journal devoted to the neurobiology of stress
Decreased Premature Ventricular Contractions Th...
Authors
Herbert Benson, Sidney Alexander, Charles L. Feldman
Journal
The Lancet
·
To determine whether decreased sympathetic-nervous-system activity achieved by the relaxation response could decrease premature ventricular contractions (P.V.C.S), eleven ambulatory patients with proven, stable ischæmic heart-disease and P.V.C.s were investigated. The patients, who were taking no medication for the P.V.C.S, were trained to elicit regularly the relaxation response through a non-cultic psychological technique. The frequency of the P.V.C.s was measured by computer analys […]
The efficacy of progressive relaxation in syste...
Authors
Martha M. Greenwood, Herbert Benson
Journal
Behavior Research and Therapy
·
The theoretical basis of systematic desensitization is reciprocal inhibition in which an alternative, competitive response to anxiety is conditioned to arousal-producing, phobic stimuli. Abbreviated training in progressive relaxation is believed to serve as a competitive response to anxiety by decreasing autonomic nervous system activity. However, physiologic studies of progressive relaxation have not substantiated that its practice is associated with such decreased autonomic activity […]