Meditation Is Hard Work

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

One thought on “Meditation Is Hard Work”

  1. The study of consciousness is in the forefront of neuroscientific investigation. Yet, a fully developed methodology to properly exlpore the phenomenon of consciousness lacks focus. The contemplative traditions of Buddhist meditation is already a fully developed and a well disciplined rigorous method for the understanding of consciousness. It is ready to explore the dynamics of the human mind and apparently, the human brain!

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama: The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality; Morgan Road Books 2005

    His Holiness the Dalai Lama: Contemplative Mind, Hard Science;page24-30; Shift No.09 DEC_FEB 2006


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