Link between Brain Activity and Meditation

It is well known that Meditation will help in reduce anxiety and tension, along with increase emotional well-being. But how does the brain perform while in meditation? And do certain methods have various effects? A new research may have the answers these questions.images

There are several meditation techniques for example mindfulness, mantra, and guided meditation. But with respect to the research scientist Svend Davanger, all meditation methods can be put into one of two categories – concentrative meditation and nondirective meditation.

Researchers explain concentrative meditation as a method that concentrates on breathing or on specific thoughts, which in move, stop out other thoughts.

Nondirective meditation is defined as an approach that concentrates on breathing or on a meditation sound. But while in this practice, the mind can wander. The group notices that some modern relaxation techniques tend to fall into this classification. It is unidentified how the brain performs during such practices, so the group wanted to find out.

‘Outstanding’ Results

For their research, recently released in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the scientists evaluated 14 members who were highly experienced in Acem meditation – a method that falls under nondirective meditation.

All members went through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they were relaxing, and as they practiced one nondirective meditation technique and one concentrative technique.

They identified that when members practiced nondirective meditation, they had greater brain activity in areas related with processing self-related feelings and thoughts than when they were relaxing. But when participants practiced concentrative meditation, their brain action was almost the same as when they were relaxing.

With respect to Davanger, these results recommend that nondirective meditation “enables for more room to process memories and feelings than during concentrated mediation,” adding:

“This area of the brain has its maximum activity when we relax. It shows a kind of basic operating system, a relaxing network that takes over when external tasks do not need our attention. It is exceptional that a psychological task likes nondirective meditation outcomes in even higher activity in this network than regular rest.

Advantages of Meditation

Meditation is a well-known practice in the US. With respect to a 2007 national government survey, 9.6% of participants revealed using meditation in the past 1 year.

Along with its potential for reducing stress and boosting psychological well-being, meditation has been associated with other advantages.

A 2012 research, released in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, identified that meditation may improve memory loss for sufferers with Alzheimer’s disease.

Given the popularity of meditation and its related advantages, Davanger says it is significant that the team decides the underlying mechanisms of the practice.

“In recent years there has been a sharp raise in international research on meditation. Various prestigious universities in the US spend money to study in the area. So I believe it is significant that we are also active,” Svend Davanger concludes.