Bruce O’Hara of the Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, and others, developed an experiment where they tested the effect of meditation on mental acuity. The test included people with 40 minutes of meditation, sleep, or reading/light conversation. Meditation led to an immediate increase in mental acuity—even though none of the volunteers were experienced with it.
Sara Lazar of the Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston), and others, performed MRI scans on the brains of experienced meditators and compared them to non-meditators. They found the cortex thickened in the areas responsible for attention and sensory processing. Dr. Lazar compared it to “exercising” the brain.
The two studies were presented at the 35th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Abstracts are available online. Specific links to the abstracts are here and here.
Source: New Scientist