Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners
Language: 
English
Short Title: 
Is meditation associated with altered brain structure?
Abstract: 

Numerous studies have begun to address how the brain's gray and white matter may be shaped by meditation. This research is yet to be integrated, however, and two fundamental questions remain: Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? If so, what is the magnitude of these differences? To address these questions, we reviewed and meta-analyzed 123 brain morphology differences from 21 neuroimaging studies examining ?300 meditation practitioners. Anatomical likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis found eight brain regions consistently altered in meditators, including areas key to meta-awareness (frontopolar cortex/BA 10), exteroceptive and interoceptive body awareness (sensory cortices and insula), memory consolidation and reconsolidation (hippocampus), self and emotion regulation (anterior and mid cingulate; orbitofrontal cortex), and intra- and interhemispheric communication (superior longitudinal fasciculus; corpus callosum). Effect size meta-analysis (calculating 132 effect sizes from 16 studies) suggests a global 'medium' effect size (Cohen's d¯=0.46; r¯=.19). Publication bias and methodological limitations are strong concerns, however. Further research using rigorous methods is required to definitively link meditation practice to altered brain morphology.

Author(s): 
Fox, Kieran C. R.
Nijeboer, Savannah
Dixon, Matthew L.
Floman, James L.
Ellamil, Melissa
Rumak, Samuel P.
Sedlmeier, Peter
Christoff, Kalina
Item Type: 
Journal Article
Publication Title: 
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Journal Abbreviation: 
Neurosci Biobehav Rev
Publication Date: 
2014-06
Publication Year: 
2014
Pages: 
48-73
Volume: 
43
ISSN: 
1873-7528
DOI: 
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.016
Library Catalog: 
PubMed
Extra: 
PMID: 24705269

Turabian/Chicago Citation

Kieran C. R. Fox, Savannah Nijeboer, Matthew L. Dixon, James L. Floman, Melissa Ellamil, Samuel P. Rumak, Peter Sedlmeier and Kalina Christoff. 2014-06. "Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners." Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 43: 48-73. 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.016.

Wikipedia Citation

<ref> {{Cite journal | doi = 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.016 | issn = 1873-7528 | volume = 43 | pages = 48-73 | last = Fox | first = Kieran C. R. | coauthors = Nijeboer, Savannah, Dixon, Matthew L., Floman, James L., Ellamil, Melissa, Rumak, Samuel P., Sedlmeier, Peter, Christoff, Kalina | title = Is meditation associated with altered brain structure? A systematic review and meta-analysis of morphometric neuroimaging in meditation practitioners | journal = Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | date = 2014-06 | pmid = | pmc = }} </ref>