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Meditation helps build stronger brains.

Byline: ANI

Washington, May 13 (ANI): A new study has confirmed what many people believed: meditation helps increase gray matter.

A research team from University of California, Los Angeles UCLA comprises the College of Letters and Science (the primary undergraduate college), seven professional schools, and five professional Health Science schools. Since 2001, UCLA has enrolled over 33,000 total students, and that number is steadily rising.  scanned the brains of people who meditate and found that certain regions in the brains of long-term meditators were larger than in a similar control group.

Meditators showed significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus thalamus (thăl`əməs), mass of nerve cells centrally located in the brain just below the cerebrum and resembling a large egg in size and shape.  and the inferior temporal gyrus The inferior temporal gyrus is placed below the middle temporal sulcus, and is connected behind with the inferior occipital gyrus; it also extends around the infero-lateral border on to the inferior surface of the temporal lobe, where it is limited by the inferior sulcus.  - all known for regulating emotions.

"We know that people who consistently meditate have a singular ability to cultivate positive emotions, retain emotional stability and engage in mindful behaviour," said Eileen Luders, lead author and a postdoctoral research fellow at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging.

"The observed differences in brain anatomy might give us a clue Give Us a Clue is a televised version of charades hosted at different times by Michael Aspel 1979–1983 and Michael Parkinson 1984–1992, with two teams: one captained by Lionel Blair and the other by Una Stubbs.  why meditators have these exceptional abilities," Luders added.

During the study, the research team looked at 44 people. Half were asked to practice various forms of meditation such as Zazen zazen

Sitting meditation as practiced in Zen Buddhism. The disciple sits in a quiet room, breathing rhythmically and easily, with legs fully or half crossed, spine and head erect, hands folded one palm above the other, and eyes open.
, Samatha and Vipassana vipassana

In Theravada Buddhism, a method of insight meditation. It aims at developing understanding of the nature of reality by focusing a sharply concentrated mind on physical and mental processes.
 and the other half acted as the control group.

More than half of all the meditators said that deep concentration was an essential part of their practice, and most meditated between 10 and 90 minutes every day.

The brains of the meditators showed larger volumes of the right hippocampus and increased gray matter in the right orbito-frontal cortex, the right thalamus and the left inferior temporal lobe.

Because these areas of the brain are closely linked to emotion, Luders said, "these might be the neuronal underpinnings that give meditators' the outstanding ability to regulate their emotions and allow for well-adjusted responses to whatever life throws their way."

The study is published in the journal NeuroImage. (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:May 13, 2009
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