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Meditation's Impact on the Brain


Dr. Richard Davidson




This is a clip from the feature documentary "A Joyful Mind".


Science has contributed to our understanding of the effects of meditation on the brain and body. The research that we've done on meditation and the brain has focused on two major domains that meditation affects: attention and emotion. What we have discovered is that meditation can transform the circuits in the brain that are important for regulating both attention and emotion. The overarching goal is to use scientific research to comprehend the nature of suffering and how it can be alleviated. 

Mingyur Rinpoche was one of our first long-term practitioners. In this study, participants will wear a device on their arm to provide ratings of their normal state without meditation. Usually, research involving brain electrical measurements or MRI requires significant post-processing to analyze the collected data. This process involves computer algorithms analyzing the data, which can take many days to extract weak signals from a noisy background—akin to finding a needle in a haystack.

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