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How Meditation Changes the Brain


Dr. Sara Lazar




Sara Lazar spoke at the Celebrating Delightful Moments and the Tech Vectors of Happiness event, the official launch of Joyance Partners. She shared the results of recent studies on how meditation changes the brain, showing a capacity for increased levels of empathy and creativity, and decreased levels of stress and depression.


All right, so, uh, my name is Sarah Lazar. I am a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital, and for the past about 20 years, I've been studying the impact of yoga and meditation on brain structure and function. So the first study we sort of did was, uh, we took, um, people who have been meditating for many years.

And we put them in the scanner and we compared 'em to people who had never meditated before. And we found that there were certain brain structures where they had more gray matter than controls. And uh, the areas that were larger were areas involved in sensory awareness and um, uh, which was very consistent with what we know people do when they meditate.

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