What happens when you meditate: scientists have mapped out how your brain responds to a Zen state – mind, body & spirit

What happens when you meditate: scientists have mapped out how your brain responds to a Zen state – mind, body & spirit – Brief Article

MEDITATION MAY MAKE YOU THINK OF “QUIETING THE mind” and giving your brain a vacation. But researchers now realize that the opposite is true. Deep meditation involves activity in multiple regions of your brain, according to researcher Andrew Newberg, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Knowing how the brain responds to meditation could help scientists understand the healing effects of this ritual. Here’s what researchers know so far:

1. Concentrating fully on an object promotes activity in your frontal lobe, which controls motivation.

2. Looking at spiritual images like candles stimulates your lower temporal lobe, where you process visual stimuli.

3. Chanting stimulates the juncture where your temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes meet, which stimulates relaxation.

4. Feelings of joy or awe mean your temporal lobe, which also regulates emotion, is activated.

5. When you lose a sense of connection with your surroundings and feel “one with the universe,” the top part of your parietal lobe (which processes sensations) is quiet.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Weider Publications

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group