Jill Sakai, Medical Xpress: With evidence growing that meditation can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body.
A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of mindfulness meditation.
The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. After eight hours of mindfulness practice, the meditators showed a range of genetic and molecular differences, including altered levels…
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion — the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate. The report, published Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates whether training adults in compassion can result in greater altruistic behavior and related changes in neural systems underlying compassion.
“Our fundamental question was, ‘Can compassion be trained and learned in adults? Can we become more caring if we practice … Read more »
Alison DeShaw Rowe, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Groundbreaking research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison is the focus of the new documentary film, “Free the Mind,” which debuts in Madison tomorrow, May 15.
Directed by Danish filmmaker Phie Ambo, the film chronicles the life-changing experiences of combat veterans and children who took part in mindfulness-based research studies – focused on an enhanced and calm awareness of one’s physical and mental state – at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) at the UW–Madison Waisman Center, led by psychology and psychiatry professor Richard Davidson.
CIHM’s “Kindness Curriculum” study…
Wynne Parry, LiveScience. Throughout life, even shortly before death, the brain can remodel itself, responding to a person’s experiences. This phenomenon, known as neuroplasticity, offers a powerful tool to improve well-being, experts say.
“We now have evidence that engaging in pure mental training can induce changes not just in the function of the brain, but in the brain’s structure itself,” Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told an audience at the New York Academy of Sciences on Thursday (Feb. 6) evening.
The brain’s plasticity does change over time, Davidson pointed out. For instance, young children have an easier time learning a second language or a musical instrument…
eople suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma — in which psychological stress plays a major role — may benefit from mindfulness meditation techniques, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists with the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction, originally designed for patients with chronic pain, consists of continuously focusing attention on the breath, bodily sensations and mental content while seated, walking or practicing yoga.
While interest in meditation as a means of reducing stress has grown over the years, there has been little evidence to support benefits specific to mindfulness meditation practice. This was the first study designed to … Read more »