How does brain work during mindfulness meditation?

[Speaker] Kumano, Hiroaki:1
[Co-author] Kawashima, Issaku:1, Haitani, Tomosumi:1, Sugiyama, Fukiko:1, Tomita, Nozomi:1, Shima, Taiki:1
1:Waseda University (Japan)

Mindfulness meditation is composed of two kinds of meditations including Samatha and Vipassana. In terms of attention control, they correspond to focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditations, respectively. During FA meditation, sustained attention on the target such as breath sensation, mind-wandering, awareness of mind-wandering and shifting attention appear repeatedly, and they corresponded to the activities of central executive network (CEN), default mode network (DMN), salience network and CEN, respectively. Comparing FA period with rest, the activity of dorsal ACC was increased and those of insula, dorsolateral PFC and precuneus were decreased, which means brain activities other than attention control decreased to save mental energy. On the other hand, comparing OM period with rest, the activity of DMN was decreased and those of insula, precuneus and superior parietal lobule were increased often, which means meditators accept various information from their body and environment and still keep their mind calm.
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