Meditation Increases Brain Size

January 28th, 2006 | researchmaterial

People who meditate grow bigger brains than those who don’t. Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that experienced meditators boasted increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input.

In one area of gray matter, the thickening turns out to be more pronounced in older than in younger people. That’s intriguing because those sections of the human cortex, or thinking cap, normally get thinner as we age.

“Our data suggest that meditation practice can promote cortical plasticity in adults in areas important for cognitive and emotional processing and well-being,” says Sara Lazar, leader of the study and a psychologist at Harvard Medical School. “… In other words, the structure of an adult brain can change in response to repeated practice…”


7 Responses to “Meditation Increases Brain Size”

  1. i’ve been playing go (usgo.org) for 3 years and practicing tai chi for the last year, both similar meditative practices, and i’ve definitly noticed an increase in awareness, attention, and a general sense of well being. it’s also helped me moderate my addictions

  2. I do mantra based meditation each night before I go to bed, seems to help a good deal with some of the ol’ brain illnesses

  3. If meditation increases cortical thickness, then masturbation should…

  4. The acerbic Mr. Ellis and meditation. An oddball couple at that…..

  5. Meditation doesn’t have to equal tranquility. There’s a fine tradition of Zen Buddhist priests bitchslapping pupils who ask them philisophical questions questions.

  6. poop

  7. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!