Meditation can Change Minds

Richard Davidson, a top brain scientist, has conducted research on how meditation can change the way our brains function.

"Our data shows mental practice can induce long-lasting changes in the brain," said Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Just as an injured brain can adapt by mapping out new neuron pathways to accomplish tasks, "brain circuits (for) regulation of emotion and attention are malleable by the environment and are potential targets of training," he said.

Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery, Davidson showed that compassion meditation, even in short-term practitioners, induced significant changes in patterns of functional activity in the brain.

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