A new study published in PNAS by researchers from the University of Oregon in Eugene says it’s possible to replicate some of the same brain patterns in human meditators in the brains of mice. The whole point is to eventually figure out why exactly the brain is so positively affected by meditation. It seems like researchers are on the way to a definitive answer to why you should keep on meditating.
From L.A. Times:
Previous research has shown that just one month of mindful meditation can have a significant impact on humans both physically and psychologically. It reduces self-reported anxiety and decreases the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood. Imaging studies of meditators’ brains also have detected increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, or ACC. This area of the brain is involved in a wide variety of functions, including emotional regulation and cognitive control.
Scientists from the study genetically engineered mice that could mimic the same brain neurons as meditative humans and tested these super-charged rodents against non-chill-minded mice. The researchers found that the mice who “meditated” were more chill and less stressed than the mice with no meditation training. The experiment doesn’t exactly answer why the meditating mind is far more chill than the mind that is all caught up in the rat race, but these findings do put scientists on the path to figuring it out.
There’s proof all over the world that meditation is a positive thing for the brain. With this study, scientists suggest that a periodic stimulation (meditation) could affect positive change in the brain for people who don’t even want to meditate. And, researchers suggest that meditation (or this brain stimulation) could help people recover from PTSD or stroke faster.