Brain training

meditation by Keoni Cabral

A treatment provider makes the case for mindfulness as recovery tool:

For many years, scientists believed that the brain’s plasticity, that is, its ability to create new structures and learn, was limited after childhood. However, new research shows that we can alter the structure of the brain and reap the benefits well into adulthood. Sara Lazar, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, discovered that the more one practices mindfulness meditation, the thicker the brain becomes in the mid-prefrontal cortex and in the mid-insular region of the brain. [A part of the brain that appears to be impaired in addicts.]

Mindfulness practice may positively affect the amount of activity in the amygdala, the walnut-sized area in the center of the brain responsible for regulating emotions (Davidson 2000). [The amygdala plays an important role in addiction and relapse.]

Over time, mindfulness meditation actually thickens the bilateral, prefrontal right-insular region of the brain (Lazar et al. 2005), the area responsible for optimism and a sense of well-being, spaciousness, and possibility.

2 thoughts on “Brain training

  1. Thank you for this post on the benefits of brain training with meditation. Have you previously discussed the possibilities of neurofeedback in addiction treatment? I know earlier concerns about lack of double-blind research, etc., but understand that more rigorous scientific studies are being done.

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