A study by the UCLA Laboratory for Neuro Imaging shows that those who meditate tend to have significantly larger volumes of the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus. These are all areas of the brain known to regulate the emotions.
44 people were examined, 22 were control subjects and the other 22 had practiced various forms of meditation. Those who practice had done so for between five and 46 years; the average was 24 years.
More than half of all the meditators said that deep concentration was an essential part of their practice. Most meditated for between ten and 90 minutes every day.
The study, however, does not conclude definitively that meditation necessarily produces brain development. Researchers suggest that perhaps those who are attracted to the practice of meditation were already endowed with more regional gray matter. If so, this could be a factor that first drew them to meditation.
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