People who are experienced meditators seem to switch off areas of the brain associated with daydreaming—and with psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.
Less day dreaming is associated with increased happiness levels, says Judson A. Brewer, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University, who believes understanding how meditation works may aid investigations into a host of diseases.
“Meditation’s ability to help people stay in the moment has been part of philosophical and contemplative practices for thousands of years,” Brewer says. “Conversely, the hallmarks of many forms of mental illness is a preoccupation with one’s own thoughts, a condition meditation seems to affect.
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