Marmoset monkeys will meditate — for marshmallows

September 30, 2011

New Scientist magazine relates that scientists have trained marmoset monkeys to meditate. The study was designed to investigate whether the placebo effect is involved in neurofeedback training, where the electrical activity of the brains of epilepsy sufferers is recorded and displayed back to them, in order to encourage them to generate “helpful brainwaves.”

Since monkeys aren’t aware of the potential helpful effects of being hooked up to a neurofeedback display, they’re not susceptible to the placebo effect, where the expectation of improvement brings improvement about.

The researchers, at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in Rijswijk in the Netherlands,

attached electrodes to the brains of marmoset monkeys to pick up electroencephalogram (EEG) signals from the brain.

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