IMR Press / FBS / Volume 12 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S542

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Neural correlates of meditation: a review of structural and functional MRI studies
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1 Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil
2 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
Send correspondence to: Rui Ferreira Afonso, Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Av. Albert Einstein, 627, 2º subsolo, Bloco A, Morumbi, Sao Paulo - SP, CEP 05652-900, Brazil, Tel 55-11-21510800, Fax: 55-11-2151-0273 E-mail:
Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2020, 12(1), 92–115;
Published: 1 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The science of mind-body practices)

Here, we review the neurophysiological and neuroimaging changes that mediation induces in structural and functional MRI. The available evidence from structural studies suggests that mediation impacts neuronal plasticity and the functional MRI suggest that there are changes in gray and white matter in subjects who meditate. FMRI studies show that meditation is associated with decreased activity of default mode network and activation of brain regions involved in cognitive and emotional control. Together, the available imaging techniques have revealed that rather than impacting specific brain regions, meditation causes structural and functional changes in large-scale brain networks.

Gray matter
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