Interaction Between Neuroanatomical and Psychological Changes After Mindfulness-Based Training

Published in PLOS One, the following study analyzes several morphometric indexes at both cortical and subcortical brain level, as well as multiple psychological dimensions, before and after a brief -8 weeks- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training program, in a group of 23 meditation naïve-subjects compared to age-gender matched subjects. The authors found a significant cortical thickness increase in the right insula and the somatosensory cortex of MBSR trainees, coupled with a significant reduction of several psychological indices related to worry, state anxiety, depression and alexithymia. Most importantly, an interesting correlation between the increase in right insula thickness and the decrease in alexithymia levels during the MBSR training were observed. Taken together, these findings documented the significant impact of a brief MBSR training on brain structures, as well as stressing the idea of MBSR.

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