by Svend Davanger, MD PhD
People have been meditating for thousands of years. During the last decade, researchers have obtained a better understanding of what goes on in the brain during meditation.
The impact of meditation on the meditator’s heart rhythm, blood pressure and hormone level has been known for many years. Recent technological developments are beginning to provide answers about what goes on in the brain during meditation.
For the last 15 years or so, new ways of applying MRI have made it possible to register and observe activity in the brain while it is consciously used for various tasks, including meditation.
These recent developments in neurological research indicate that meditation may actually change parts of the brain’s reactivity to stress.