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Monday, June 24, 2013

The after-effects of meditation

New research says meditation helps people process emotions -- even when they're not actively meditating.
“This is the first time meditation training has been shown to affect emotional processing in the brain outside of a meditative state,” said Gaelle Desbordes, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital and at the Boston University Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology.
“Overall, these results are consistent with the overarching hypothesis that meditation may result in enduring, beneficial changes in brain function, especially in the area of emotional processing.”
During meditation, activity in the amygdala, a part of the brain that processes emotional reactivity, decreased. The participants retained the ability to focus their attention and reduce emotional reactivity over an eight-week period.