Tag Archives: insular cortex

Effect of Meditation on Cortical Thickness of the Brain

Scientific evidence suggests that meditation alters the functional and structural plasticity of the brain. In the milestone study, Sara Lazar, et al. in 2005, demonstrated that meditation increases the cortical thickness of the brain. Since then a large number of studies, mostly with varying sample sizes are conducted to identify the relationship between meditation techniques and development of cortical thickness in different brain areas. The results have been remarkably consistent. There is increasing evidence that the insula undergoes structural refinement through meditation. Meditation stops insular cortical thinning process. Insular cortical thinning occurs due to age and depression. In this article we focus on the impact of meditation on overall cortical thickness of the brain. Advancements in developmental biology, neuroscience, and medical imaging have brought us closer than ever to understand the effect of meditation on brain.

There are several meditation methods, such as Yoga, Om meditation, Zen, mindfulness, breathing awareness, and Samatha. Specially, Om chanting and meditation has several benefits. The chanting of Om improves the somatic relaxation and the meditation on the meaning of Om increase cognitive relaxation. Special cognitive relaxation of Om meditation and somatic relaxation of Om chanting improves the cortical characteristics of the brain. Moreover, the practice of Om improve immune competence, especially in older populations who often experience a loss of immune function. Om mantra stabilizes the fight-and-flight response of the amygdala. Which improves the gyrification and cerebral characteristics. Continue reading

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Meditation and the Default Mode Network

Default mode network are a multilayer, hierarchical network of neurons not some isolated regions of the brain. Understanding how meditation and DMN work together is central for understanding deeper levels of meditation. Here we present a basic model of DMN and its role in meditation. The DNM is active when one is engage in internal tasks such as daydreaming, envisioning the future, retrieving memories, and thinking others’ perspectives.The DNM releases unresolved tensions in our lives. The default mode network is more active for creative people. During wakeful rest, the brain consolidates recently accumulated data, memorizing the most salient information, and essentially rehearses recently learned skills, etching them into its tissue. Normally, default mode of humans appears to be that of mind-wandering. In my earlier article I have discussed about the effect of meditation on brain structure. In this article I discussed the effect of meditation on default mode network. Continue reading

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Impact of Meditation on Brain Structure

Effect of meditation on the brain structure can be broken up into two categories: short-term changes and long-term changes. In this article we focused our attention both on short term and the long term impact of meditation on brain structure. Read more….

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Yoga and Meditation for Balancing the Insula of the Brain

Insula of the brain is one of the most vital components of the brain which controls our health and wellness. Meditation along with yoga helps the insula to work efficiently. Researchers observed that greater right anterior insular gray matter volume the greater is the accuracy in the subjective sense of the inner body, and with the negative emotions developed by the mind. .. Insula continuously scans the physiological state of the entire body and then generates subjective feelings. In vipassana meditation, when we observe the bodily sensations, we activate our insula. Through awareness meditation we gradually develop more gray matters in the brain, which provides a framework that is higher than the normal insula. Insular cortex continuously receives signals from receptors in the skin and internal organs like gut, heart and the lungs. Continue reading

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