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Neural correlates of mindfulness related to stress: How mindfulness promotes wellbeing
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Mindfulness practice is used to treat mental and physical symptoms. The problem is that research on the long-term effects and the neural changes involved, correlated with well-being, are inconsistent. The purpose of this review is to create a deeper understanding of mindfulness and its neural correlates related to stress. In mindfulness, one can use focused attention meditation (FA), involving anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), prefrontal cortex (PFC), parietal areas, thalamus, visual cortex, intraparietal sulcus, and amygdala. In open monitoring meditation (OM), ACC, PFC, insula, somatosensory cortex, limbic areas and amygdala are involved. In exposure to a high amount of stress, the grey matter volume decreases in the hippocampus, PFC, and amygdala. Research has also shown that 19 000 hours of mindfulness practice increases activation in areas involved in FA and OM. This increased activation might also enhance the subject’s ability to control emotions. After 44 000 hours of meditation, areas involved in FA showed less activation which might imply that more hours of mindfulness practice involve less cognitive activity and a calmer state of mind. Regardless of hours spent on meditating, a decreased activation in the amygdala and ACC occurs, which correlates with less response towards negative stimuli. The neural changes involved in mindfulness practice was related to less experienced stress and enhanced psychological well-being. For future research, an investigation of the interaction between attentional networks and stress would be of relevance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 31
Keywords [en]
mindfulness, stress, psychological well-being, neural correlates, focused attention, open monitoring
National Category
Philosophy Neurosciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-16089OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-16089DiVA, id: diva2:1242641
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-08-29 Created: 2018-08-28 Last updated: 2018-08-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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