Do the Brains of Expert Meditators Function Differently than Novice Meditators?

What’s This Research About?

This study examines differences in brain activity between novice and expert meditators using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Their goals were to determine:

1) If meditation causes an increase or decrease in brain activity in regions associated with attention.

2)    If experienced meditators have greater attentional control over distractions by showing less activation in brain regions associated with mind wandering and emotional processing.

3) If the number of hours spent practicing meditation could be related to brain function.

About The Author


Brittany Fair

TITLE: Neural correlates of attentional expertise in long-term meditation practitioners


PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

DATE: July, 2007

AUTHORS : J. A. Brefczynski-Lewis, A. Lutz, H. S. Schaefer, D. B. Levinson, and R. J. Davidson

Concentration meditation: a type of meditation where the attention is focused on the breath or a specific object.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI): a technique that indirectly measures brain activity via changes in blood flow to different brain regions.

Neuroplasticity: the ability of the brain to change its structure and function throughout the lifespan

The rest of this article is only available to members. Please…

Log In Become a Member View Full Sample Article

By |2018-11-10T16:15:21-04:00November 13th, 2018|Meditation|0 Comments

About the Author:

M.S. Neuroscience, RYT200, RCYT has a passion for scientific discovery and communicating science. She is a Professor of Anatomy & Physiology at Colby-Sawyer College and has worked as a science communicator for CNN International. She has published in an academic journal with a Nobel Laureate and worked at both UC San Francisco and Stanford University as a researcher. Through these academic and professional experiences, she has gained strong communication skills and a solid background in neuroscience, anatomy, biology and research methodology. Brittany is fascinated with how practicing yoga and meditation can alter human physiology, especially the brain. While teaching yoga, she combines her knowledge and passion of science, movement, and yoga into one cohesive path. She has developed and taught her NeuroFlow workshop around the world, which provides yogis with a basic understanding about how meditation and yoga affect the brain and why meditation and yoga are good for your health and overall wellbeing. Neuroflow is currently being offered as a course this fall at MIT in Boston, MA. For more about Brittany and her NeuroFlow workshop go to: