Meditation Builds Stronger Brains
Thick-headedness might sound like liability, but when it comes to the brain, it's a good thing. New research shows that long-term meditators have greater gyrification (that is, folds in their cerebral cortex) than those who do not. More of these folds means better neural processing power. And the longer someone had been meditating, the more folds they tended to have. The UCLA study looked at practitioners of various styles of meditation:
Study director Eileen Luders explains:
"Rather than just comparing meditators and non-meditators, we wanted to see if there is a link between the amount of meditation practice and the extent of brain alteration," said Luders. "That is, correlating the number of years of meditation with the degree of folding. The insula has been suggested to function as a hub for autonomic, affective and cognitive integration. Meditators are known to be masters in introspection and awareness as well as emotional control and self-regulation, so the findings make sense that the longer someone has meditated, the higher the degree of folding in the insula."