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Reductions in perceived stress following Transcendental Meditation practice are associated with increased brain regional connectivity at rest.
Brain Cogn. 2020 03; 139:105517.BC

Abstract

Transcendental Meditation (TM) is defined as a mental process of transcending using a silent mantra. Previous work showed that relatively brief period of TM practice leads to decreases in stress and anxiety. However, whether these changes are subserved by specific morpho-functional brain modifications (as observed in other meditation techniques) is still unclear. Using a longitudinal design, we combined psychometric questionnaires, structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) to investigate the potential brain modifications underlying the psychological effects of TM. The final sample included 19 naïve subjects instructed to complete two daily 20-min TM sessions, and 15 volunteers in the control group. Both groups were evaluated at recruitment (T0) and after 3 months (T1). At T1, only meditators showed a decrease in perceived anxiety and stress (t(18) = 2.53, p = 0.02), which correlated negatively with T1-T0 changes in functional connectivity among posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus and left superior parietal lobule. Additionally, TM practice was associated with increased connectivity between PCC and right insula, likely reflecting changes in interoceptive awareness. No structural changes were observed in meditators or control subjects. These preliminary findings indicate that beneficial effects of TM may be mediated by functional brain changes that take place after a short practice period of 3 months.

Authors+Show Affiliations

MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy.MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy.MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy.David Lynch Foundation, New York City, NY, USA.Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, IA, USA.Department of Translational Research and New Technologies in Medicine and Surgery, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy.MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy.MoMiLab Research Unit, IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca, Lucca, Italy. Electronic address: pietro.pietrini@imtlucca.it.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31945602

Citation

Avvenuti, Giulia, et al. "Reductions in Perceived Stress Following Transcendental Meditation Practice Are Associated With Increased Brain Regional Connectivity at Rest." Brain and Cognition, vol. 139, 2020, p. 105517.
Avvenuti G, Leo A, Cecchetti L, et al. Reductions in perceived stress following Transcendental Meditation practice are associated with increased brain regional connectivity at rest. Brain Cogn. 2020;139:105517.
Avvenuti, G., Leo, A., Cecchetti, L., Franco, M. F., Travis, F., Caramella, D., Bernardi, G., Ricciardi, E., & Pietrini, P. (2020). Reductions in perceived stress following Transcendental Meditation practice are associated with increased brain regional connectivity at rest. Brain and Cognition, 139, 105517. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2020.105517
Avvenuti G, et al. Reductions in Perceived Stress Following Transcendental Meditation Practice Are Associated With Increased Brain Regional Connectivity at Rest. Brain Cogn. 2020;139:105517. PubMed PMID: 31945602.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Reductions in perceived stress following Transcendental Meditation practice are associated with increased brain regional connectivity at rest. AU - Avvenuti,Giulia, AU - Leo,Andrea, AU - Cecchetti,Luca, AU - Franco,Maria Fatima, AU - Travis,Frederick, AU - Caramella,Davide, AU - Bernardi,Giulio, AU - Ricciardi,Emiliano, AU - Pietrini,Pietro, Y1 - 2020/01/13/ PY - 2019/10/21/received PY - 2019/12/17/revised PY - 2020/01/06/accepted PY - 2020/1/17/pubmed PY - 2020/1/17/medline PY - 2020/1/17/entrez KW - Anxiety KW - Cortical thickness KW - Default mode KW - Functional connectivity KW - Meditation SP - 105517 EP - 105517 JF - Brain and cognition JO - Brain Cogn VL - 139 N2 - Transcendental Meditation (TM) is defined as a mental process of transcending using a silent mantra. Previous work showed that relatively brief period of TM practice leads to decreases in stress and anxiety. However, whether these changes are subserved by specific morpho-functional brain modifications (as observed in other meditation techniques) is still unclear. Using a longitudinal design, we combined psychometric questionnaires, structural and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) to investigate the potential brain modifications underlying the psychological effects of TM. The final sample included 19 naïve subjects instructed to complete two daily 20-min TM sessions, and 15 volunteers in the control group. Both groups were evaluated at recruitment (T0) and after 3 months (T1). At T1, only meditators showed a decrease in perceived anxiety and stress (t(18) = 2.53, p = 0.02), which correlated negatively with T1-T0 changes in functional connectivity among posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), precuneus and left superior parietal lobule. Additionally, TM practice was associated with increased connectivity between PCC and right insula, likely reflecting changes in interoceptive awareness. No structural changes were observed in meditators or control subjects. These preliminary findings indicate that beneficial effects of TM may be mediated by functional brain changes that take place after a short practice period of 3 months. SN - 1090-2147 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31945602/Reductions_in_perceived_stress_following_Transcendental_Meditation_practice_are_associated_with_increased_brain_regional_connectivity_at_rest L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0278-2626(19)30478-6 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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