Short-term meditation induces white matter changes in the anterior cingulate.

Author: Tang YY, Lu Q, Geng X, Stein EA, Yang Y, Posner MI.
Affiliation: Institute of Neuroinformatics and Lab for Body and Mind, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China.
Conference/Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
Date published: 2010 Aug 16
Other: Word Count: 120

The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is part of a network implicated in the development of self-regulation and whose connectivity changes dramatically in development. In previous studies we showed that 3 h of mental training, based on traditional Chinese medicine (integrative body-mind training, IBMT), increases ACC activity and improves self-regulation. However, it is not known whether changes in white matter connectivity can result from small amounts of mental training. We here report that 11 h of IBMT increases fractional anisotropy (FA), an index indicating the integrity and efficiency of white matter in the corona radiata, an important white-matter tract connecting the ACC to other structures. Thus IBMT could provide a means for improving self-regulation and perhaps reducing or preventing various mental disorders.