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Feb 20, 2007

Studies of chinese original quiet sitting by using fMRI

Studies of chinese original quiet sitting by using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2005;5:5317-9

Authors: Liou CH, Hsieh CW, Hsieh CH, Chen JH, Wang CH, Lee SC

Since different meditations may activate different regions in brain, we can use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate it. Chinese original quiet sitting is mainly one kind of traditional Chinese meditation. It contains two different parts: a short period of keeping phrase and intake spiritual energy, and a long period of relaxation with no further action. In this paper, both those two stages were studied by fMRI. We performed two different paradigms and found the accurate positions in the brain. The pineal gland and the hypothalamus showed positive activation during the first and second stages of this meditation. The BOLD (Blood Oxygenation Level Dependent) signal changes had also been found.

20:25 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Feb 19, 2007

Mindfulness in mood disorders

The application of mindfulness-based cognitive interventions in the treatment of co-occurring addictive and mood disorders.

CNS Spectr. 2006 Nov;11(11):829-51

Authors: Hoppes K

This article reviews the theory, clinical application, and empirical findings on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for mental health and addictive disorders. Expanding upon the research demonstrating the efficacy of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for addiction, this article develops and explores the rationale for combining mindfulness-based interventions with evidence-based CBTs in treating addictive disorders, with an emphasis on substance use disorders with co-occurring mood disorders. This article proposes that deficits in affect--regulation related to the behavioral and emotional effects of neurobiological changes that occur with long-term substance abuse--pose a unique set of challenges in early recovery. Prolonged use of addictive substances impairs the brain pathways that mediate certain affect regulation functions. These functions involve attention and inhibitory control, the saliency of and response to addictive versus natural reward stimuli, and the ability to detach or maintain perspective in response to strong emotional states. In treating this affective dysregulation, which can contribute to the vulnerability to relapse in the early stages of recovery, the affect-regulation-specific focus of MBCT adds a valuable element to augment CBT for addiction. Summarizing magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography findings on the effects of MBCT and the neurobiology of drug addiction, this article outlines directions for further research on potential benefits of MBCT for the recovering individual. Finally, this article describes a structured protocol, developed at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, which combines CBT with mindfulness-based intervention, for the treatment of affect-regulation issues specific to co-occurring addictive and mood disorders.

20:25 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Feb 17, 2007

Mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training

A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive States of mind, rumination, and distraction.

Ann Behav Med. 2007 Feb;33(1):11-21

Authors: Jain S, Shapiro SL, Swanick S, Roesch SC, Mills PJ, Bell I, Schwartz GE

Background: Although mindfulness meditation interventions have recently shown benefits for reducing stress in various populations, little is known about their relative efficacy compared with relaxation interventions. Purpose: This randomized controlled trial examines the effects of a 1-month mindfulness meditation versus somatic relaxation training as compared to a control group in 83 students (M age = 25; 16 men and 67 women) reporting distress. Method: Psychological distress, positive states of mind, distractive and ruminative thoughts and behaviors, and spiritual experience were measured, while controlling for social desirability. Results: Hierarchical linear modeling reveals that both meditation and relaxation groups experienced significant decreases in distress as well as increases in positive mood states over time, compared with the control group (p < .05 in all cases). There were no significant differences between meditation and relaxation on distress and positive mood states over time. Effect sizes for distress were large for both meditation and relaxation (Cohen's d = 1.36 and .91, respectively), whereas the meditation group showed a larger effect size for positive states of mind than relaxation (Cohen's d =.71 and .25, respectively). The meditation group also demonstrated significant pre-post decreases in both distractive and ruminative thoughts/behaviors compared with the control group (p < .04 in all cases; Cohen's d = .57 for rumination and .25 for distraction for the meditation group), with mediation models suggesting that mindfulness meditation's effects on reducing distress were partially mediated by reducing rumination. No significant effects were found for spiritual experience. Conclusions: The data suggest that compared with a no-treatment control, brief training in mindfulness meditation or somatic relaxation reduces distress and improves positive mood states. However, mindfulness meditation may be specific in its ability to reduce distractive and ruminative thoughts and behaviors, and this ability may provide a unique mechanism by which mindfulness meditation reduces distress.

20:27 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Mindfulness meditation and alcohol use

The role of thought suppression in the relationship between mindfulness meditation and alcohol use.

Addict Behav. 2007 Jan 23;

Authors: Bowen S, Witkiewitz K, Dillworth TM, Marlatt GA

Previous studies have demonstrated that attempts to suppress thoughts about using substances may actually lead to increases in substance use. Vipassana, a mindfulness meditation practice, emphasizes acceptance, rather than suppression, of unwanted thoughts. A study by Bowen and colleagues examining the effects of a Vipassana course on substance use in an incarcerated population showed significant reductions in substance use among the Vipassana group as compared to a treatment - usual control condition [Bowen S., Witkiewitz K., Dillworth T.M., Chawla N., Simpson T.L., Ostafin B.D., et al. (2006). Mindfulness Meditation and Substance Use in an Incarcerated Population. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.]. The current study further examines the mediating effects of thought suppression in the relationship between participation in the course and subsequent alcohol use. Those who participated in the course reported significant decreases in avoidance of thoughts when compared to controls. The decrease in avoidance partially mediated effects of the course on post-release alcohol use and consequences.

20:26 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Feb 06, 2007

Mindfulness meditation alleviates depressive symptoms in women with fibromyalgia

Mindfulness meditation alleviates depressive symptoms in women with fibromyalgia: Results of a randomized clinical trial.

Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jan 31;57(1):77-85

Authors: Sephton SE, Salmon P, Weissbecker I, Ulmer C, Floyd A, Hoover K, Studts JL

OBJECTIVE: Depressive symptoms are common among patients with fibromyalgia, and behavioral intervention has been recommended as a major treatment component for this illness. The objective of this study was to test the effects of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention on depressive symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia. METHODS: This randomized controlled trial examined effects of the 8-week MBSR intervention on depressive symptoms in 91 women with fibromyalgia who were randomly assigned to treatment (n = 51) or a waiting-list control group (n = 40). Eligible patients were at least 18 years old, willing to participate in a weekly group, and able to provide physician verification of a fibromyalgia diagnosis. Of 166 eligible participants who responded to local television news publicizing, 49 did not appear for a scheduled intake, 24 enrolled but did not provide baseline data, and 2 were excluded due to severe mental illness, leaving 91 participants. The sample averaged 48 years of age and had 14.7 years of education. The typical participant was white, married, and employed. Patients randomly assigned to treatment received MBSR. Eight weekly 2.5-hour sessions were led by a licensed clinical psychologist with mindfulness training. Somatic and cognitive symptoms of depression were assessed using the Beck Depression Inventory administered at baseline, immediately postprogram, and at followup 2 months after the conclusion of the intervention. RESULTS: Change in depressive symptoms was assessed using slopes analyses of intervention effects over time. Depressive symptoms improved significantly in treatment versus control participants over the 3 assessments. CONCLUSION: This meditation-based intervention alleviated depressive symptoms among patients with fibromyalgia.

05:38 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Jan 28, 2007

Mindfulness based stress reduction for smokers

A pilot study on mindfulness based stress reduction for smokers.

BMC Complement Altern Med. 2007 Jan 25;7(1):2

Authors: Davis JM, Fleming MF, Bonus KA, Baker TB

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mindfulness means paying attention in the present moment, non-judgmentally, without commentary or decision-making. We report results of a pilot study designed to test the feasibility of using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) (with minor modifications) as a smoking intervention. METHODS: MBSR instructors provided instructions in mindfulness in eight weekly group sessions. Subjects attempted smoking cessation during week seven without pharmacotherapy. Smoking abstinence was tested six weeks after the smoking quit day with carbon monoxide breath test and 7-day smoking calendars. Questionnaires were administered to evaluate changes in stress and affective distress. RESULTS: 18 subjects enrolled in the intervention with an average smoking history of 19.9 cigarettes per day for 26.4 years. At the 6-week post-quit visit, 10 of 18 subjects (56%) achieved biologically confirmed 7-day point-prevalent smoking abstinence. Compliance with meditation was positively associated with smoking abstinence and decreases in stress and affective distress. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that mindfulness training may show promise for smoking cessation and warrants additional study in a larger comparative trial.

Jan 15, 2007

Effects of spiritual mantram repetition on HIV outcomes

Effects of spiritual mantram repetition on HIV outcomes: a randomized controlled trial.

J Behav Med. 2006 Aug;29(4):359-76

Authors: Bormann JE, Gifford AL, Shively M, Smith TL, Redwine L, Kelly A, Becker S, Gershwin M, Bone P, Belding W

We examined the efficacy of a psycho-spiritual intervention of mantram repetition--a word or phrase with spiritual associations repeated silently throughout the day--on psychological distress (intrusive thoughts, stress, anxiety, anger, depression), quality of life enjoyment and satisfaction, and existential spiritual well-being in HIV-infected adults. Using a 2-group by 4-time repeated measures design, 93 participants were randomly assigned to mantram (n = 46) or attention control group (n = 47). Over time, the mantram group improved significantly more than the control group in reducing trait-anger and increasing spiritual faith and spiritual connectedness. Actual mantram practice measured by wrist counters was inversely associated with non-HIV related intrusive thoughts and positively associated with quality of life, total existential spiritual well-being, meaning/peace, and spiritual faith. Intent-to-treat findings suggest that a mantram group intervention and actual mantram practice each make unique contributions for managing psychological distress and enhancing existential spiritual well-being in adults living with HIV/AIDS.

Neuro-ontological interpretation of spiritual experiences

Neuro-ontological interpretation of spiritual experiences.

Neuropsychopharmacol Hung. 2006 Oct;8(3):143-153

Authors: Frecska E, Luna LE

The prevailing neuroscientific paradigm considers information processing within the central nervous system as occurring through hierarchically organized and interconnected neural networks. The hierarchy of neural networks doesn't end at the neuroaxonal level; it incorporates subcellular mechanisms as well. When the size of the hierarchical components reaches the nanometer range and the number of elements exceeds that of the neuroaxonal system, an interface emerges for a possible transition between neurochemical and quantum physical events. "Signal nonlocality", accessed by means of quantum entanglement is an essential feature of the quantum physical domain. The presented interface may imply that some manifestations of altered states of consciousness, unconscious/conscious shifts have quantum origin with significant psychosomatic implications. Healing methods based on altered states of consciousness and common in spiritual or shamanic traditions escape neuroscientific explanations based on classical cognition denoted here as "perceptual-cognitive-symbolic" (characteristic of ordinary states of consciousness). Another channel of information processing, called "direct-intuitive-nonlocal" (characteristic of non-ordinary states of consciousness) is required to be introduced for interpretation. The first one is capable of modeling via symbolism and is more culturally bound due to its psycholinguistic features. The second channel lacks the symbolic mediation, therefore it has more transcultural similarity and practically ineffable for the first one, though culture specific transliteration may occur. Different traditional healing rituals pursue the same end: to destroy "profane" sensibility. The ritual use of hallucinogens, the monotonous drumming, the repeated refrains, the fatigue, the fasting, the dancing and so forth, create a sensory condition which is wide open to the so-called "supernatural". According to contemporary anthropological views, the breakdown of ordinary sensibility/cognition is not the ultimate goal, but the way to accomplish healing, that is psychointegration in the widest sense. From the perspective of system theory, integration needs information to be brought into the system. According to the presented model, when the coping capability of the "perceptual-cognitive-symbolic" processing is exhausted in a stressful, unmanageable situation, or its influence is eliminated by the use of hallucinogens or in case of transcendental meditation, a frame shift occurs, and the "spiritual universe" opens up through the "direct-intuitive-nonlocal" channel. There is little chance either for a psychointegrative effect, or for a meaningful "opening" without ritual context, and with the recreational use of mind altering strategies. Keywords: altered states of consciousness, cognition, cytoskeleton, dimethyltryptamine, ethnopharmacology, hallucinogenic agents, ritual healing.

Dec 20, 2006

Studies of advanced stages of meditation in the tibetan buddhist and vedic traditions

Studies of advanced stages of meditation in the tibetan buddhist and vedic traditions. I: a comparison of general changes.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Dec;3(4):513-21

Authors: Hankey A

This article is the first of two comparing findings of studies of advanced practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in remote regions of the Himalayas, with established results on long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation programs. Many parallel levels of improvement were found, in sensory acuity, perceptual style and cognitive function, indicating stabilization of aspects of attentional awareness. Together with observed increases in EEG coherence and aspects of brain function, such changes are consistent with growth towards a state of total brain functioning, i.e. development of full mental potential. They are usually accompanied by improved health parameters. How they may be seen to be consistent with growth of enlightenment will be the subject of a second article.

21:36 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Dec 18, 2006

The Neurobiological Dimension of Meditation

The Neurobiological Dimension of Meditation - Results from Neuroimaging Studies.

Psychother Psychosom Med Psychol. 2006 Dec;56(12):488-492

Authors: Neumann NU, Frasch K

Meditation in general can be understood as a state of complete and unintentional silent and motionless concentration on an activity, an item or an idea. Subjectively, meditative experience is said to be fundamentally different from "normal" mental states and is characterized by terms like timelessness, boundlessness and lack of self-experience. In recent years, several fMRI- and PET-studies about meditation which are presented in this paper have been published. Due to different methods, especially different meditation types, the results are hardly comparable. Nevertheless, the data suggest the hypothesis of a "special" neural activity during meditative states being different from that during calm alertness. Main findings were increased activation in frontal, prefrontal and cingulate areas which may represent the mental state of altered self-experience. In the present studies, a considerable lack of scientific standards has to be stated making it of just casuistic value. Today's improved neurobiological examination methods - especially neuroimaging techniques - may contribute to enlighten the phenomenon of qualitatively different states of consciousness.

Dec 13, 2006

Changes in p300 following two yoga-based relaxation techniques

Changes in p300 following two yoga-based relaxation techniques.

Int J Neurosci. 2006 Dec;116(12):1419-30

Authors: Sarang SP, Telles S

Cyclic meditation (CM) is a technique that combines "stimulating" and "calming" practices, based on a statement in ancient yoga texts suggesting that such a combination may be especially helpful to reach a state of mental equilibrium. The changes in the peak latency and peak amplitude of P300 auditory event-related potentials were studied before and after the practice of cyclic meditation compared to an equal duration of supine rest in 42 volunteers (group mean age +/- SD, 27 +/- 6.3 years), from Fz, Cz, and Pz electrode sites referenced to linked earlobes. The sessions were one day apart and the order was alternated. There was reduction in the peak latencies of P300 after cyclic meditation at Fz, Cz, and Pz compared to the "pre" values. A similar trend of reduction in P300 peak latencies at Fz, Cz, and Pz was also observed after supine rest, compared to the respective "pre" values, although the magnitude of change in each case was less after supine rest compared to after cyclic meditation. The P300 peak amplitudes after CM were higher at Fz, Cz, and Pz sites compared to the "pre" values. In contrast, no significant changes were observed in the P300 peak amplitudes at Fz, Cz, and Pz after supine rest compared to the respective "pre" state. The present results support the idea that "cyclic" meditation enhances cognitive processes underlying the generation of the P300.

Effects of transcendental meditation practice on interhemispheric frontal asymmetry and frontal coherence

Cross-sectional and longitudinal study of effects of transcendental meditation practice on interhemispheric frontal asymmetry and frontal coherence.

Int J Neurosci. 2006 Dec;116(12):1519-38

Authors: Travis F, Arenander A

Two studies investigated frontal alpha lateral asymmetry and frontal interhemispheric coherence during eyes-closed rest, Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice, and computerized reaction-time tasks. In the first study, frontal coherence and lateralized asymmetry were higher in 13 TM subjects than in 12 controls. In the second study (N = 14), a one-year longitudinal study, lateral asymmetry did not change in any condition. In contrast, frontal coherence increased linearly during computer tasks and eyes-closed rest, and as a step-function during TM practice-rising to a high level after 2-months TM practice. Coherence was more sensitive than lateral asymmetry to effects of TM practice on brain functioning.

Nov 22, 2006

Short-Term Autonomic and Cardiovascular Effects of Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation

Short-Term Autonomic and Cardiovascular Effects of Mindfulness Body Scan Meditation.

Ann Behav Med. 2006;32(3):227-234

Authors: Ditto B, Eclache M, Goldman N

Background: Recent research suggests that the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program has positive effects on health, but little is known about the immediate physiological effects of different components of the program. Purpose: To examine the short-term autonomic and cardiovascular effects of one of the techniques employed in mindfulness meditation training, a basic body scan meditation. Methods: In Study 1, 32 healthy young adults (23 women, 9 men) were assigned randomly to either a meditation, progressive muscular relaxation or wait-list control group. Each participated in two laboratory sessions 4 weeks apart in which they practiced their assigned technique. In Study 2, using a within-subjects design, 30 healthy young adults (15 women, 15 men) participated in two laboratory sessions in which they practiced meditation or listened to an audiotape of a popular novel in counterbalanced order. Heart rate, cardiac respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), and blood pressure were measured in both studies. Additional measures derived from impedance cardiography were obtained in Study 2. Results: In both studies, participants displayed significantly greater increases in RSA while meditating than while engaging in other relaxing activities. A significant decrease in cardiac pre-ejection period was observed while participants meditated in Study 2. This suggests that simultaneous increases in cardiac parasympathetic and sympathetic activity may explain the lack of an effect on heart rate. Female participants in Study 2 exhibited a significantly larger decrease in diastolic blood pressure during meditation than the novel, whereas men had greater increases in cardiac output during meditation compared to the novel. Conclusions: The results indicate both similarities and differences in the physiological responses to body scan meditation and other relaxing activities.

Nov 05, 2006

Tongue Piercing by a Yogi: QEEG Observations

Tongue Piercing by a Yogi: QEEG Observations.

Appl Psychophysiol Biofeedback. 2006 Nov 3;

Authors: Peper E, Wilson VE, Gunkelman J, Kawakami M, Sata M, Barton W, Johnston J

This study reports on the QEEG observations recorded from a yogi during tongue piercing in which he demonstrated voluntary pain control. The QEEG was recorded with a Lexicor 1620 from 19 sites with appropriate controls for impedence and artifacts. A neurologist read the data for abnormalities and the QEEG was analyzed by mapping, single and multiple hertz bins, coherence, and statistical comparisons with a normative database. The session included a meditation baseline and tongue piercing. During the meditative baseline period the yogi's QEEG maps suggesting that he was able to lower his brain activity to a resting state. This state showed a predominance of slow wave potentials (delta) during piercing and suggested that the yogi induced a state that may be similar to those found when individuals are under analgesia. Further research should be conducted with a group of individuals who demonstrate exceptional self-regulation to determine the underlying mechanisms, and whether the skills can be used to teach others how to manage pain.

21:25 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Oct 30, 2006

Free Daily Yoga HD Videos from Yoga Today

Via Mindware forum (by way of the LifeHacker blog)

Yoga Today offers daily yoga instruction videos that can be downloaded for free. The videos are shot against an awesome Wyoming landscape and delivered in the iHD format


22:01 Posted in Meditation & brain | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: meditation

Sep 10, 2006

Neuroimaging of meditation's effect on brain reactivity to pain

Neuroimaging of meditation's effect on brain reactivity to pain.

Neuroreport. 2006 Aug 21;17(12):1359-63

Authors: Orme-Johnson DW, Schneider RH, Son YD, Nidich S, Cho ZH

Some meditation techniques reduce pain, but there have been no studies on how meditation affects the brain's response to pain. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the response to thermally induced pain applied outside the meditation period found that long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation technique showed 40-50% fewer voxels responding to pain in the thalamus and total brain than in healthy matched controls interested in learning the technique. After the controls learned the technique and practiced it for 5 months, their response decreased by 40-50% in the thalamus, prefrontal cortex, total brain, and marginally in the anterior cingulate cortex. The results suggest that the Transcendental Meditation technique longitudinally reduces the affective/motivational dimension of the brain's response to pain.

Aug 08, 2006

Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns

Neural correlates of a mystical experience in Carmelite nuns 
M. Beauregard, V. Paquette
Neuroscience Letters, (in press, corrected proof) 
The main goal of this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was to identify the neural correlates of a mystical experience. The brain activity of Carmelite nuns was measured while they were subjectively in a state of union with God. This state was associated with significant loci of activation in the right medial orbitofrontal cortex, right middle temporal cortex, right inferior and superior parietal lobules, right caudate, left medial prefrontal cortex, left anterior cingulate cortex, left inferior parietal lobule, left insula, left caudate, and left brainstem. Other loci of activation were seen in the extra-striate visual cortex. These results suggest that mystical experiences are mediated by several brain regions and systems.

Apr 11, 2006

Acceptability and effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

An exploratory mixed methods study of the acceptability and effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for patients with active depression and anxiety in primary care.

BMC Psychiatry. 2006 Apr 7;6(1):14

Authors: Finucaine A, Mercer SW

ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is an 8-week course developed for patients with relapsing depression that integrates mindfulness meditation practices and cognitive theory. Previous studies have demonstrated that non-depressed participants with a history of relapsing depression are protected from relapse by participating in the course. This exploratory study examined the acceptability and effectiveness of MBCT for patients in primary care with active symptoms of depression and anxiety METHODS: 13 patients with recurrent depression or recurrent depression and anxiety were recruited to take part in the study. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted three months after completing the MBCT programme. A framework approach was used to analyse the data. Beck depression inventories (BDI-II) and Beck anxiety inventories (BAI) provided quantitative data and were administered before and three months after the intervention. RESULTS: The qualitative data indicated that mindfulness training was both acceptable and beneficial to the majority of patients. For many of the participants, being in a group was an important normalising and validating experience. However most of the group believed the course was too short and thought that some form of follow up was essential. More than half the patients continued to apply mindfulness techniques three months after the course had ended. A minority of patients continued to experience significant levels of psychological distress, particularly anxiety. Statistically significant reductions in mean depression and anxiety scores were observed; the mean pre-course depression score was 35.7 and post-course score was 17.8 (p=0.001). A similar reduction was noted for anxiety with a mean pre-course anxiety score of 32.0 and mean post course score of 20.5 (p=0.039). Overall 8/11 (72%) patients showed improvements in BDI and 7/11 (63%) patients showed improvements in BAI. In general the results of the qualitative analysis agreed well with the quantitative changes in depression and anxiety reported. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this exploratory mixed methods study suggest that mindfulness based cognitive therapy may have a role to play in treating active depression and anxiety in primary care.

Apr 07, 2006

The meeting of meditative disciplines and Western psychology

The meeting of meditative disciplines and Western psychology: a mutually enriching dialogue.

Am Psychol. 2006 Apr;61(3):227-39

Authors: Walsh R, Shapiro SL

Meditation is now one of the most enduring, widespread, and researched of all psychotherapeutic methods. However, to date the meeting of the meditative disciplines and Western psychology has been marred by significant misunderstandings and by an assimilative integration in which much of the richness and uniqueness of meditation and its psychologies and philosophies have been overlooked. Also overlooked have been their major implications for an understanding of such central psychological issues as cognition and attention, mental training and development, health and pathology, and psychological capacities and potentials. Investigating meditative traditions with greater cultural and conceptual sensitivity opens the possibility of a mutual enrichment of both the meditative traditions and Western psychology, with far-reaching benefits for both.

Apr 01, 2006

Emotional effects of sertraline: novel findings revealed by meditation

Emotional effects of sertraline: novel findings revealed by meditation.

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2006 Jan;76(1):134-7

Authors: Walsh R, Victor B, Bitner R

Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors continues to increase, as does concern about previously unrecognized, subtle side effects and questions about whether these drugs produce effects on healthy subjects. The authors report novel emotional effects identified by an experienced, psychologically healthy meditator who is a psychiatrist and researcher. On a meditation retreat, the subject identified a specific profile of emotional changes related to sertraline use. In particular, cognitive abilities and the emotions of fear and anger seemed unaffected. However, the emotions of sadness, happiness, rapture, and love were dramatically reduced in intensity and duration. ((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).