A group of researchers at the UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) used high-resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate. The researchers reported that certain areas in the brains of long-term meditators were found to be larger than in a similar control group.
People who meditate have much larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the oribto-frontal cortex, the inferior temporal gyrus and the thalamus “ all known for regulating emotions.
In the study, Luders and her team evaluated 44 people “ 22 control subjects and 22 others who practised several forms of meditation such as Samatha, Zazen and Vipassana. The amount of time practised ranged from 5 to 46 years, with an average of 24 years, with 10 to 90 minutes of practice every day.
A similar research was also carried out by Dr. Andy Newberg on Tibetan meditators. It was noticed that the brain of meditators expanded in areas that control emotion, and this accounts for increased adaptability of controlling stress by people who meditate. There is also the added benefit of deep connection with the inner source of the body.
The researchers used a high-resolution, three-dimensional form of MRI and two different approaches to measure differences in brain structure.
So far, several researches have confirmed the benefits of meditation, such as reduced stress levels and improved immune systems, apart from having better focus over emotions. This is the latest addition to the list.