Friday, July 27, 2018

Mechanism of white matter changes induced by meditation?

Posner and collaborators, who previously have shown changes in brain white matter induced by meditation, suggest a possible mechanism, using a mouse model.
Meditation has been shown to modify brain connections. However, the cellular mechanisms by which this occurs are not known. We hypothesized that changes in white matter found following meditation may be due to increased rhythmicity observed in frontal areas in the cortex. The current study in mice tested this directly by rhythmically stimulating cells in the frontal midline. We found that such stimulation caused an increase in connectivity due to changes in the axons in the corpus callosum, which transmit impulses to and from the frontal midline. This work provides a plausible but not proven mechanism through which a mental activity such as meditation can improve brain connectivity.

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