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PresenceHow Mindfulness and Meditation Shape Your Brain, Mind, and Life$
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Paul Verhaeghen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199395606

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199395606.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 May 2021

Telltale Traces in the Brain

Telltale Traces in the Brain

(p.75) 4 Telltale Traces in the Brain

Paul Verhaeghen

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews evidence for structural changes in the brain that occur with long-term meditation practice. It starts with methodological points about causal inference, describes what types of participants have been studied, and discusses publication bias and the power of replication. It then discusses results from studies looking at changes in brain structure, notably in gray matter density and volume as described in a meta-analysis by Fox and colleagues, arranged according to the three themes: attention, body awareness and sense of embodiment, and experience of the self. It also covers changes in white matter tracts and looks at dose–response relationships, and at changes after brief mindfulness interventions and what all this may mean for brain aging. Positive side effects on pain, well-being, stress, and mood are reviewed.

Keywords:   structural changes, meditation, stress, well-being, attention, self, embodiment

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