Meditation may improve attention, reduce stress

November 14th, 2007 - 1:52 am ICT by admin  
Yi-Yuan Tang of China’s Dalian University of Technology and Michael Posner of the University of Oregon studied the mechanisms behind meditation and well being by assigning college undergraduate students0-person experimental or control groups.

The experimental group was given meditation training using a technique called Integrative Body-Mind Training (IBMT), for five days.

Relaxation training for five days was given to the control group.

Both groups took tests involving attention and reaction to mental stress, before and after training.

The attention test designed to measure the subjects’ abilities to resolve conflict among stimuli showed that the experimental group had greater improvement than the control. Stress was induced by mental arithmetic.

Both groups initially showed elevated release of the stress hormone cortisol following the math task, but after training the experimental group showed less cortisol release, indicating a greater improvement stress regulation.

The analysis also showed that the experimental group had lower levels of anxiety, depression, anger and fatigue as compared to the control group.

“This study improves the prospect for examining brain mechanisms involved in the changes in attention and self-regulation that occur following meditation training,” Michael I. Posner, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Oregon, said.

Posner claimed that the findings could benefit people through body-mind meditation, especially involving an effective training regimen.

The study will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (ANI)

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