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Resting state functional connectivity associated with sahaja yoga meditation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Alfonso Barros-Loscertales, Sergio Elias Hernandez, Yaqiong Xiao, Jose Luis Gonzalez-Mora, Katya Rubia

Original languageEnglish
Article number614882
JournalFrontiers In Human Neuroscience
Volume15
Early online date16 Mar 2021
DOIs
Accepted/In press25 Jan 2021
E-pub ahead of print16 Mar 2021
Published16 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: KR has received research support from the Medical Research Council (MR/P012647/1) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. AB-L has received research support from the Universitat Jaume I (UJI-B2020-30; UJI-B2016-21). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care. Funding Information: We acknowledge the support of MRI services for Biomedical Studies (Servicio de Resonancia Magn?tica para Investigaciones Biom?dicas) of the University of La Laguna. We warmly thank all the volunteers for their participation in this study. Funding. KR has received research support from the Medical Research Council (MR/P012647/1) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King?s College London. AB-L has received research support from the Universitat Jaume I (UJI-B2020-30; UJI-B2016-21). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care. Publisher Copyright: © Copyright © 2021 Barrós-Loscertales, Hernández, Xiao, González-Mora and Rubia. Copyright: Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Neuroscience research has shown that meditation practices have effects on brain structure and function. However, few studies have combined information on the effects on structure and function in the same sample. Long-term daily meditation practice produces repeated activity of specific brain networks over years of practice, which may induce lasting structural and functional connectivity (FC) changes within relevant circuits. The aim of our study was therefore to identify differences in FC during the resting state between 23 Sahaja Yoga Meditation experts and 23 healthy participants without meditation experience. Seed-based FC analysis was performed departing from voxels that had shown structural differences between these same participants. The contrast of connectivity maps yielded that meditators showed increased FC between the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex but reduced FC between the left insula and the bilateral mid-cingulate as well as between the right angular gyrus and the bilateral precuneus/cuneus cortices. It thus appears that long-term meditation practice increases direct FC between ventral and dorsal frontal regions within brain networks related to attention and cognitive control and decreases FC between regions of these networks and areas of the default mode network.

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