Meditation Can Speed Up The Brain?

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    Mar 31, 2012 5:54 PM GMT
    The Examiner reported that the most significant discovery was the positive correlation between the number of meditation years and the amount of gyrification.

    "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," said Luders.

    Earlier studies of meditation from UCLA have shown that those who meditate have more gray matter, more connections between regions and less atrophy, said the Examiner.


    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/120315/meditation-can-speed-the-brain-researchers-say
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    Mar 31, 2012 11:07 PM GMT
    This is very interesting to me because I've one family line with Alzheimer's Disease (greatgrandmother, grandpa, mom) out of all my known ancestors and so while I wasn't aware of this particular effect, knowing that thinking creates neurological connections in the brain, I've endeavored to do what I can towards increasing neuroplasticity.

    My mother always kept her mind going with activities of daily life, continued working, being productive, always reading and lots of puzzles (physical ones & word games, crossword, etc.) Though she wound up with AD, she did manage to keep most of her personality intact thoughout the entire course of the disease and so our experience with AD was much different than other people I know who have gone through it too.

    I've taken her work a step further with my practice of dream yoga, a naturally meditative mode of thinking, continuing with it, in part, as I thought it good for my brain. So very interesting for me to see this article speculate on mediation's potential of having protective beneifts for the brain.

    Thanx for posting.

    Here's the original article for anyone interested in further study...

    the abstract:
    http://www.frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00034/abstract

    the full text
    http://www.frontiersin.org/Human_Neuroscience/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00034/full
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    May 01, 2012 6:55 AM GMT
    I think it helps somehow...
    I mean when I do the meditation... I can concentrate better on my studies icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 01, 2012 7:00 AM GMT
    Isnt the point of meditation slowing down the brain?
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    May 01, 2012 7:05 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said^ More sarcasm, sweetie?


    Why the fuck are you always on the offensive?

    Holy shit...it was a legitimate question...I thought the point of meditation was to quiet the mind and shut out thoughts and tension to relax.
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    May 01, 2012 7:08 AM GMT
    Yeah, it was a joke...

    My ass. icon_rolleyes.gif
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    May 01, 2012 9:27 PM GMT
    7Famark saidYeah, it was a joke...

    My ass. icon_rolleyes.gif


    Your ass is no joke. It is a work of art xx

    Meditation has many wonderful benefits. Some of them have even been studied.
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    May 01, 2012 9:46 PM GMT
    7Famark said
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said^ More sarcasm, sweetie?


    Why the fuck are you always on the offensive?

    Holy shit...it was a legitimate question...I thought the point of meditation was to quiet the mind and shut out thoughts and tension to relax.
    not going to lie, you getting angry like that is a turn on icon_smile.gif your pic helos too
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2603

    May 01, 2012 9:52 PM GMT
    Seems plausible that emptying the mind of it`s clutter would speed up thinking.

    I`ve found that stilling the conscious brain can be a help to solving problems.
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    May 02, 2012 9:26 PM GMT
    "Speed up thinking" might not quite be the correct wording to describe the process. Just because someone, say someone with dementia, might take longer to remember a word or thought, that doesn't mean that the person who can think of the word or thought more quickly has speedier thinking. It could just mean that the brain of the person with dementia had to take a longer route to get to the word or thought because there are less connections of neurons and so if a more direct pathway has been damaged then the person can still get to that word or thought but they have to use the detour route, which takes longer, which makes it seem like their thinking is slower. It is not so much slower as it just has longer to go. So the response might take longer and seem slower.

    Meditating, like other exercises in plasticity, likely helps create more pathways, specifically, they probably increase the dentrites of the neurons, the branchy receiving end of the neuron at the synapses. What is remarkable about this study is how it shows the extent of the changes to the physical brain which shows up in what science calls the gyrification or the folds of the brain.

    Consider the brain as a piece of paper, And the pulp of the paper is the neurons. So the neurons altogether make up the piece of paper. Now you have only a certain area within your skull that you can fill with paper. If the paper is flat, then it allows for only so many neurons in a given space, but if you put folds in the paper, then you have more surface area for more neurons. And what they have found in meditators are more folds.

    So it isn't that thinking is speeding up in some contrary notion to meditation slowing thinking down (which also is not quite an accurate description for other reasons), but it is that more pathways are being created and so you have more capacity for thinking and you have more direct routes which make the thinking appear faster.

    Likely also is that even if some dementia sets in later in life, the deterioration process might seem slower because the person would have started off with more connections to get from thought to thought, even as pathways are being destroyed.

    cortical_measures.en.jpg
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    May 02, 2012 10:11 PM GMT
    I'd say it's a wash. You lose minutes, you gain minutes.

    One regretful convention of American Protestant society is the de-emphasis on sleeping in spurts (8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is not how we're wired evolutionarily). Many (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox & Islamic) cultures encourage afternoon nap time; unsurprisingly practitioners test more alert, less fatigued and more productive than American 9 to 5ers.

    I'll argue meditation gets more positive press in America: it's more like you're DOING something, as opposed to doing nothing (like napping). But the effect on brain function is virtually the same.
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    May 03, 2012 7:21 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said...how they mimic the benefits of meditation (in order to disqualify the benefit of meditating)...

    ...meditation is healthier than most activities that people engage in such as barhopping, coach potato television watching. Achieving a moderate to high level of introspection alone can make a huge difference in people's lives and can reduce anxiety, depression which may eliminate the need for medication to treat those conditions.

    ...If I could sleep instead of meditate and get the same level of personal benefits I'd sleep instead. But it's not the same thing for me.


    May I say this? You're an ass.

    Plenty of studies to demonstrate the benefits of napping, including increases in memory, productivity AND the preservation of gray matter (although I haven't seen a study that shows INCREASE, as the meditation study asserts).

    However, nowhere in my post was I trying to "disqualify the benefit of meditating." This is why you're an ass, because you naturally assumed I was against it.

    I won't argue that barhopping is healthier than meditation. Although you included that paragraph to what? Set up the straw man you assumed I'd defend?

    The "achieving a moderate to high level of introspection alone" paragraph makes me suspicious that meditation is actually doing that for you. Or maybe meditation IS working for you, in that if you weren't you'd be even more of a obnoxious belligerent ass.

    Maybe you actually need a nap.
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    May 10, 2012 8:03 AM GMT
    wowzer... I have to do it more often.... yoga / taichi are .... moving meditation... but sitting still meditation requires more .... power of the mind.
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    May 16, 2012 7:30 AM GMT
    GreenHopper saidMeditation Can Speed Up The Brain?
    After meditating on this for three hours, I've come to the conclusion that no, it does not speed up the brain. But it's a great time killer when you're bored.
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    Jun 06, 2012 6:16 AM GMT
    i've never meditated properly but I love being out in the country and just lying on the hood of the car and staring up at the clouds.
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    Jun 06, 2012 6:18 AM GMT
    I love meditating. It helps quiet the chatter in my mind...and helps me connect to Source.

    Call it nonsense but for me....meditating helps center me in an otherwise frenetic and chaotic world.
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    Jun 06, 2012 6:25 AM GMT
    Good. I get my meditation when I Walk, LISTEN to Music, Work IN The ZONE and when I can Get Away To A Private Place, other than home. I don't care too much for having too much emotion trailing across my face; cause when I'm calmed from meditation and clear in my thoughts, emotions are ALMOST Irrelevant, but are as welcome as bubbles in a hot tub. icon_cool.gificon_biggrin.gificon_wink.gif
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    Jun 07, 2012 6:53 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said^ Babe, you can't do this while simultaneously sipping martinis.

    M'kay, sweetie?
    The fact that it took you almost three weeks to respond speaks volumes about your martinis. icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 07, 2012 6:58 AM GMT
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/2427234
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    Jul 16, 2012 7:26 AM GMT
    GordonLee90232 said
    7Famark saidIsnt the point of meditation slowing down the brain?


    That was what my thought always was because I thought one of the things to do is to calm and bring order to your mind.


    Actually, anxiety brings down brain speed... as your body works less effectively under too much stress.. by calming it down, the neurons can function better.. thats the idea
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    Jul 16, 2012 1:56 PM GMT
    Although I do believe in meditation and the positive benefits. The study is pretty vague, and doesn't really say a lot.

    'The study group was comprised of 50 meditators (28 men and 22 women) who were recruited from a variety of meditation venues. They were compared to 50 control subjects, matched for age, handedness, and sex, who did not meditate.'

    Individual difference? Age? And there's no coefficient value of the correlation - Is it .5, .6, .7, .2?

    I get paid to read this shit and rip it apart.
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    Jul 16, 2012 4:44 PM GMT
    deltalimen saidAlthough I do believe in meditation and the positive benefits. The study is pretty vague, and doesn't really say a lot.

    'The study group was comprised of 50 meditators (28 men and 22 women) who were recruited from a variety of meditation venues. They were compared to 50 control subjects, matched for age, handedness, and sex, who did not meditate.'

    Individual difference? Age? And there's no coefficient value of the correlation - Is it .5, .6, .7, .2?

    I get paid to read this shit and rip it apart.


    Thats because this is journalism, sir... to get the whole study you have to go to the source, which is linked in the article, but you have to pay for.. journalism does not equal scientific studies.. its only a report...
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    Jul 18, 2012 1:45 PM GMT
    GreenHopper said
    deltalimen saidAlthough I do believe in meditation and the positive benefits. The study is pretty vague, and doesn't really say a lot.

    'The study group was comprised of 50 meditators (28 men and 22 women) who were recruited from a variety of meditation venues. They were compared to 50 control subjects, matched for age, handedness, and sex, who did not meditate.'

    Individual difference? Age? And there's no coefficient value of the correlation - Is it .5, .6, .7, .2?

    I get paid to read this shit and rip it apart.


    Thats because this is journalism, sir... to get the whole study you have to go to the source, which is linked in the article, but you have to pay for.. journalism does not equal scientific studies.. its only a report...


    Nope, this one's free. I linked it above.
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    Jul 30, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    I hope so... I try meditating as much as possible. Even my line of work lets me have a few minutes to focus and find Zen for a few minutes... Wonder if my brain is pruning as I write this... icon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif
  • rdberg1957

    Posts: 662

    Aug 01, 2012 12:40 PM GMT
    Meditation is very helpful for me. I go to a meditation center weekly and plan on doing some retreats. This helps me practice on a daily basis. My mind is clearer when I meditate. The combination of cardiovascular exercise (heart rate up) and meditation (heart rate lowered) is very powerful. I concentrate very well, feel good and at peace. the cardiovascular exercise increases blood flow and decreases body aches and pains. The meditation quiets my mind.