Research Topic

Neuroimaging and Neuropsychology of Meditation states

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One way of training cognitive functions and triggering plasticity can be through exercising meditation (Barinaga, 2003; Knight, 2004). Accordingly, it has been shown that this complex cognitive state induces both neurophysiological and psychological modifications, which have been consistently addressed by ...

One way of training cognitive functions and triggering plasticity can be through exercising meditation (Barinaga, 2003; Knight, 2004). Accordingly, it has been shown that this complex cognitive state induces both neurophysiological and psychological modifications, which have been consistently addressed by neuroscience regarding their potential benefit for mental and physical health (Davidson and McEwen, 2012).

In particular, the brain network governing meditation has been studied using a variety of strategies eliciting different cognitive processes (e.g., silence, attention to own body, sense of joy, mantras, etc.). Furthermore, the effect of expertise (i.e., short- vs. long-term) has been shown to influence the areas activated by meditation. Lastly, meditation training has been found to influence cognitive performance, e.g., attention, executive functions.

In order to promote the development of the neuroscientific investigation and discussion on how meditation activates and can modify brain areas, this Frontiers Research Topic aims at bringing together contributions from researchers whose interests focus on neural mechanisms involved in meditation. We are particularly interested in collecting contributions addressing this issue from a neuroimaging and a neuropsychological perspective. For this Research Topic, we solicit studies addressing meditation-related changes by using functional imaging (fMRI), resting state (default mode network), structural analyses (e.g., voxel based morphometry, VBM) as well as functional connectivity (e.g., Psychophysiological interactions, PPIs and dynamic causal modelling, DCM) and structural connectivity (diffusion tensor imaging, DTI). We welcome contributions in which a meta-analytic approach of brain imaging studies has been used. In addition, behavioural and neuropsychological studies in which meditation techniques have been used and in which cognitive changes have been found will be privileged. Lastly, we encourage studies in social-affective neuroscience, reporting meditation-related modifications of personality, or changes of emotion-related network regulating stress and cognitive resource and studies using tests tapping implicit-explicit attitudes, like the implicit-association test (IAT).


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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