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  Mindfulness meditation regulates anterior insula activity during empathy for social pain

Laneri, D., Krach, S., Paulus, F. M., Kanske, P., Schuster, V., Sommer, J., et al. (2017). Mindfulness meditation regulates anterior insula activity during empathy for social pain. Human Brain Mapping, 38(8), 4034-4046. doi:10.1002/hbm.23646.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002D-2AA9-E Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-C566-C
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Laneri, Davide1, Author
Krach, Sören2, Author
Paulus, Frieder M.2, Author
Kanske, Philipp3, Author              
Schuster, Verena1, Author
Sommer, Jens1, Author
Müller-Pinzler, Laura2, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Philipps University Marburg, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Lübeck, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Department Social Neuroscience, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, Leipzig, DE, ou_634552              

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Free keywords: Mindfulness meditation; Social pain; Vicarious embarrassment; Empathy; Anterior insula
 Abstract: Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, promote health, and well-being, as well as to increase compassionate behavior toward others. It reduces distress to one's own painful experiences, going along with altered neural responses, by enhancing self-regulatory processes and decreasing emotional reactivity. In order to investigate if mindfulness similarly reduces distress and neural activations associated with empathy for others' socially painful experiences, which might in the following more strongly motivate prosocial behavior, the present study compared trait, and state effects of long-term mindfulness meditation (LTM) practice. To do so we acquired behavioral data and neural activity measures using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during an empathy for social pain task while manipulating the meditation state between two groups of LTM practitioners that were matched with a control group. The results show increased activations of the anterior insula (AI) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) as well as the medial prefrontal cortex and temporal pole when sharing others' social suffering, both in LTM practitioners and controls. However, in LTM practitioners, who practiced mindfulness meditation just prior to observing others' social pain, left AI activation was lower and the strength of AI activation following the mindfulness meditation was negatively associated with trait compassion in LTM practitioners. The findings suggest that current mindfulness meditation could provide an adaptive mechanism in coping with distress due to the empathic sharing of others' suffering, thereby possibly enabling compassionate behavior.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-04-252016-07-082017-04-282017-05-152017-08
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23646
PMID: 28504364
Other: Epub 2017
 Degree: -

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Project name : -
Grant ID : KR 3803/7‐1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : KR 60‐0023
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Von Behring‐Röntgen‐Stiftung

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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 38 (8) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 4034 - 4046 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686