Previous research suggests that training in mindfulness meditation improves behavior outcomes of executive functioning of the brain such as working memory, attention, emotional regulation, cognitive control and decision-making process. However the mechanism through which this occurs was unclear. A recent study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine illustrates how mindfulness training tends to connect various parts of the brain involves in executive, especially Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex (diPFC).
Thirty stressed out individuals were randomly assigned to either a 3 day intensive mindfulness residential retreat or a simple relaxation program. The residential mindfulness program was condensed version of a standard MBSR program. A pre and post resting state MRI was taken of the participants to assess any impact of the interventions.
The participants in mindfulness setting showed increased connectivity among various brain regions involved in executive functioning in comparison to the relaxation setting. These findings supports previous research indicating that formal training in meditation tends to bring together various brain regions involved in important behavioral outcomes.
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