Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain
Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit. Eileen Luders, an assistant professor at the UCLA Laboratory of Neuro Imaging, and colleagues, have found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification ("folding" of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. Further, a direct correlation was found between the amount of gyrification and the number of meditation years, possibly providing further proof of the brain's neuroplasticity, or ability to adapt to environmental changes. The article appears in the online edition of the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue. "The insula has been suggested to function as a hub for autonomic, affective and cognitive integration," said Luders.
• Soon Joon