Buddhist monk bends the scales of brain activity while meditating in a laboratory

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Matthieu Ricard is a writer and photographer, but his time spent as a Buddhist monk has given him an understanding of meditation.

He describes it as lifting weights or exercising for the mind.

Here, Ricard is getting suited up in the 256 sensors that will detect his brain activity in the study.  He clears up some misconceptions of what he considers meditation.



Shortly after suiting up, Ricard began meditating on compassion and his brain's gamma wave production went off the chart.  Activity in his left prefrontal cortex also spiked, relative to the right half, indicating a sizable increase in th capacity for happiness and an unlikeliness for negativity.

The changes were directly related to improvements in consciousness, attention, learning and memory.

The study also watched other monks and found that those with more than 50,000 rounds of meditation showed significant changes in their brain function, noting that even those with only three weeks of 20-minute meditation per day demonstrated some change.
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