Short-term Meditation Induces White Matter Changes in the Anterior Cingulate

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Aug 31;107(35):15649-52. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1011043107. Epub 2010 Aug 16.

Abstract

The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is part of a network implicated in the development of self-regulation and whose connectivity changes dramatically in development. In previous studies we showed that 3 h of mental training, based on traditional Chinese medicine (integrative body-mind training, IBMT), increases ACC activity and improves self-regulation. However, it is not known whether changes in white matter connectivity can result from small amounts of mental training. We here report that 11 h of IBMT increases fractional anisotropy (FA), an index indicating the integrity and efficiency of white matter in the corona radiata, an important white-matter tract connecting the ACC to other structures. Thus IBMT could provide a means for improving self-regulation and perhaps reducing or preventing various mental disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Executive Function / physiology
  • Female
  • Gyrus Cinguli / anatomy & histology
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods
  • Meditation / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales / statistics & numerical data
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult