A new study from the University of California–Los Angeles found that long-term meditators have more gyrification, or folding, of the brain’s cerebral cortex. Gyrification has been found to be associated with intelligence, though a causal relationship has not been found.
The researchers took MRI scans of 50 meditators and 50 nonmeditators. They found not only that the meditators have more gyrification than nonmeditators, but also that among meditators, those who have meditated for more years have more gyrification.
“The insula [in the cortex] has been suggested to function as a hub for autonomic, affective and cognitive integration,” researcher Eileen Luders said in a press release. “Meditators are known to be masters in introspection and awareness as well as emotional control and self-regulation, so the findings make sense that the longer someone has meditated, the higher the degree of folding in the insula.”
The study was published online in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
Read the research paper here
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