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  Gray matter and functional connectivity in anterior cingulate cortex are associated with the state of mental silence during Sahaja Yoga meditation

Hernández, S. E., Barros-Loscertales, A., Xiao, Y., González-Mora, J. L., & Rubia, K. (2018). Gray matter and functional connectivity in anterior cingulate cortex are associated with the state of mental silence during Sahaja Yoga meditation. Neuroscience, 371, 395-406. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.12.017.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0000-2F7D-1 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-4F7E-8
Genre: Journal Article

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Hernandez_Barros-Loscertales_2017.pdf (Publisher version), 1013KB
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 Creators:
Hernández, Sergio Elías1, Author
Barros-Loscertales, Alfonso2, Author
Xiao, Yaqiong3, Author              
González-Mora, José Luis4, Author
Rubia, Katya5, Author
Affiliations:
1Department of Industrial Engineering, University of La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Psychology, Jaume I University, Castellón de la Plana, Spain, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
4Department of Physiology, University of La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, ou_persistent22              
5Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, United Kingdom, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Rostral anterior cingulate cortex; Anterior insula; Functional connectivity; VBM; fMRI; Meditation
 Abstract: Some meditation techniques teach the practitioner to achieve the state of mental silence. The aim of this study was to investigate brain regions that are associated with their volume and functional connectivity (FC) with the depth of mental silence in long-term practitioners of Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Twenty-three long-term practitioners of this meditation were scanned using Magnetic Resonance Imaging. In order to identify the neural correlates of the depth of mental silence, we tested which gray matter volumes (GMV) were correlated with the depth of mental silence and which regions these areas were functionally connected to under a meditation condition. GMV in medial prefrontal cortex including rostral anterior cingulate cortex were positively correlated with the subjective perception of the depth of mental silence inside the scanner. Furthermore, there was significantly increased FC between this area and bilateral anterior insula/putamen during a meditation-state specifically, while decreased connectivity with the right thalamus/parahippocampal gyrus was present during the meditation-state and the resting-state. The capacity of long-term meditators to establish a durable state of mental silence inside an MRI scanner was associated with larger gray matter volume in a medial frontal region that is crucial for top-down cognitive, emotion and attention control. This is furthermore corroborated by increased FC of this region during the meditation-state with bilateral anterior insula/putamen, which are important for interoception, emotion, and attention regulation. The findings hence suggest that the depth of mental silence is associated with medial fronto-insular-striatal networks that are crucial for top-down attention and emotional control.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2017-07-102017-12-142017-12-222018-02-10
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.12.017
PMID: 29275207
Other: Epub 2017
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Title: Neuroscience
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Oxford : Pergamon
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 371 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 395 - 406 Identifier: ISSN: 0306-4522
CoNE: /journals/resource/954925514498