Meditation can Change your Brain

By: Dr. Pascale Michelon

What we do on a daily basis can affect our brain health, thanks to neuroplasticity, the lifelong ability of the brain to change. In other words, new brain cells (neurons) and connections between neurons can grow, based on our experiences. Previous studies have shown that becoming expert at a specific activity (music, language, navigation, etc.) changes the brain areas involved in this activity. These areas are highly stimulated and usually get bigger as more neurons and connections are generated. Could practicing meditation change the brain too?

Meditation has been practiced for millennia. Originally, it was intended to develop spiritual understanding and awareness. Some studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress, promote relaxation, and bolster the immune system. Others suggest that meditation may boost cognitive abilities such as attention.

A 2009 study, conducted by Luders and colleagues at UCLA, scanned and compared the brains of 22 meditators and 22 non-meditators (controls) to examine the effect of meditation on brain structures. There were 9 men and 13 women in each group. Age ranged between 30 and 71 years (mean age: 53). Years of meditation practice ranged between 5 and 46 years (mean: 24.18 years) and included different styles of meditation.

Compared to non-meditators’ brains, meditators’ brains showed more gray matter (increased brain volume) in several regions (the orbito-frontal cortex, the  thalamus, and the hippocampus on the right and  inferior temporal cortex on the left). No regions were bigger in the controls’ brains than in the meditators’ brains.

The brain areas that were larger in the meditator’s brains are involved in functions that are highly stimulated during meditation. The orbito-frontal cortex (in the front part of the brain) deals with emotion regulation. The thalamus is involved in regulating the flow of sensory information. The hippocampus has several roles but is primarily involved in memory trace formation. Thus it is possible that a long practice of meditation did trigger these brain changes, thanks to neuroplasticity.

It is not know so far how many years of meditation are needed to trigger similar changes. It is also not know whether these structural changes are directly related to any behavioral changes.

Let’s note that the changes observed in the meditators’ brain were small. Also, this study does not provide any indication that meditation is the CAUSE of the changes. Although the 2 groups were carefully matched based on age, gender and education there may be factors other than meditation that caused the brain differences observed.

Luders, E., Toga, A. W., Lepore, N., & Gaser, C. (2009). The underlying anatomical correlates of long-term meditation: Larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of gray matter. NeuroImage, 45, 672-678.

30 comments on “Meditation can Change your Brain

  1. write my essay on said:

    Meditation can Change your Brain hmmm nice article keep it up

  2. Bridgett on said:

    Hi this one is great and is really a good post. I think it will help me a lot in the related stuff and is very much useful for me. Very well written I appreciate & must say good job. All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts. Thanks

  3. Kathaleen on said:

    Wow, I loѵe youг ωriting form.
    It’s outstanding as opposed to a large number of other writers that author online.

  4. on said:

    The majority of older adults with depression improve when
    they receive treatment with an antidepressant, psychotherapy, or a combination of both.
    Depression can leave a person feeling empty and lifeless, and unable to enjoy anything that was previously
    enjoyed before. Diagnosis can be difficult and Manic depression is classed as a
    chronic relapsing illness so it best to work with an experienced Psychiatrist and continue treatmet even when you’re feeling better..

  5. Los Angeles Carpet Cleaners l Carpet Cleaners Los Angeles l Carpet Cleaning Los Angeles l Los Angeles Carpet Cleaning l Water Damage Los Angeles on said:

    Amazing issues here. I’m very glad to look your article. Thank you a lot and I am looking forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  6. quarterback training phoenix on said:

    Good day. Very nice web site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m happy to locate a lot of helpful information here within the article. Thank you for sharing…

  7. backlinks on said:

    hello!,I like your writing very much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL? I need an expert on this area to solve my problem. May be that’s you! Looking forward to see you.

  8. Pingback: Feeling Lonely? Meditation can Help. | The Memory Practice

  9. Jamal Mudra on said:

    I’m still learning from you, as I’m improving myself. I absolutely love reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the aarticles coming. I enjoyed it!

  10. Letter from American Airways on said:

    Of course, what a splendid website and illuminating posts, I will bookmark your website.Have an awsome day!

  11. Clifford Greany on said:

    Of course, what a great website and illuminating posts, I definitely will bookmark your blog.All the Best!

  12. Brittney Fenty on said:

    “This awesome blog is no doubt entertaining and besides factual. I have picked up helluva handy stuff out of this source. I’d love to return over and over again. Cheers!”

  13. Extremely great web site! Cheers for taking the time to compose this fascinating article!

  14. Pingback: Meditate For 8 Weeks and Watch Your Brain Grow | The Memory Practice

  15. Letha Esty on said:

    I have never ever imagined that studying can be so significantly exciting.

  16. Ben Vassell on said:

    There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well.

  17. Sheron on said:

    Hi~, I come back and nice to see your new article, It’s excellent! Thanks for all you efforts that you have place in this. i want with express my support to your ideas in your page, and looking forward to your next article.

  18. Body Language free on said:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

  19. Akkuschrauber Bosch on said:

    Hey there, You’ve performed a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and in my view recommend to my friends. I’m confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  20. computer frederick on said:

    I am really impressed along with your writing talents and also with the structure for your blog. Is this a paid topic or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  21. Doudoune moncler on said:

    I basically want to say Im beginner to blogs and seriously savored your weblog web page. Probably Im planning to bookmark your web site . You surely come with impressive posts. Regards for revealing your blog website.

  22. Royce Cunniffe on said:

    I love what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of clever work and exposure! Keep up the awesome works guys I’ve included you guys to blogroll.

  23. ugg classic tall on sale on said:

    Hello! I just desire to create a huge thumbs upward for the fantastic guidance you’ve here about this article. I’ll be going back to your website for additional soon.

  24. uggs black friday sale on said:

    I found your blog website on google and check just a few of your early posts. Continue to keep up the very good operate. I simply extra up your RSS feed to my MSN Information Reader. Seeking ahead to studying extra from you afterward!

  25. ugg erin boots on said:

    This is actually a actually great evaluation for me, should admit that you just are probably the best writers I ever saw.Thank you for writing this informative article.

  26. Pingback: Playing Music Trains The Brain | The Memory Practice

  27. ugg 5815 on said:

    This really is my very first time i visit here. I found a lot of entertaining stuff inside your blog, particularly it is discussion. In the tons of remarks on your content articles, I guess I am not the only one having all of the leisure right here! Keep up the good work.

  28. gucci clothing for men cheap on said:

    An exceptionally good post. This short article sums up for me personally what this subject depends upon and some of the essential benefits that can be caused by being aware of it as should you. A friend as soon as pointed out that you have a completely different mindset when you do something for certain instead of when youre simply just toying with it. When it comes to this sort of subject, In my opinion you’re taking, or even start to think about, a more expert as well as thorough approach to each what and how you write, which in turn helps you to keep on and get better and manual other people who dont know something about what you’ve shared right here. Thanks.

  29. ugg boots for sale on said:

    Recently i came across your article and also have already been reading through together. I wish to express my appreciation of the writing skill as well as capability to make readers study right from the start towards the end. I must read newer articles and to reveal my thoughts along with you.

  30. discount chanel earrings on said:

    Excellent publish, ty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


HTML tags are not allowed.