Why A Neuroscientist Would Study Meditation

For the interest it may have, below is the link to a YouTube video of the TED talk by a neuroscientist at Brown Univ about why meditation works.

The sense of her talk is that permanent improvements in brain structure and function arise from contemplative practice (including yoga and meditation in all their forms) and the mental habits it cultivates. A key technical term for this is “experience-dependent neuroplasticity” of the prefrontal cortex; we get good at what we practice because our brain changes with experience.


We are using this and related research to encourage criminal justice leaders here in No. Va. to program more courses in centering, yoga and meditation in the county jails here. So far our main emphases in this has been classes in anger and stress mgt and yoga/meditation. Virginia is a conservative state, so far there’s some promising response to our efforts.

Let me close by saying how much we appreciate the great work being done by and through the PDN.


Bruce Blackman



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