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  Meditation-induced effects on whole-brain structural and effective connectivity

De Filippi, E., Escrichs, A., Càmara, E., Garrido, C., Marins, T., Sánchez-Fibla, M., et al. (2022). Meditation-induced effects on whole-brain structural and effective connectivity. Brain Structure & Function. doi:10.1007/s00429-022-02496-9.

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De Filippi, Eleonora1, Author
Escrichs, Anira1, Author
Càmara, Estela2, 3, Author
Garrido, César4, Author
Marins, Theo5, Author
Sánchez-Fibla, Marti6, Author
Gilson, Matthieu1, 7, Author
Deco, Gustavo1, 8, 9, 10, Author           
1Computational Neuroscience Group, Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Center for Brain and Cognition, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
2Cognition and Brain Plasticity Unit, Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL), Llobregat, Spain, ou_persistent22              
3Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology, University of Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
4Radiology Unit, Hospital Clinic Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
5D'Or Institute for Research and Education, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ou_persistent22              
6Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Center for Brain and Cognition, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
7Theory of Multi-scale Neuronal Networks, Research Center Jülich, Germany, ou_persistent22              
8Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain, ou_persistent22              
9Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
10Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, ou_persistent22              


Free keywords: Effective connectivity; Meditation; Resting-state; Structural connectivity; Whole-brain modeling; fMRI
 Abstract: In the past decades, there has been a growing scientific interest in characterizing neural correlates of meditation training. Nonetheless, the mechanisms underlying meditation remain elusive. In the present work, we investigated meditation-related changes in functional dynamics and structural connectivity (SC). For this purpose, we scanned experienced meditators and control (naive) subjects using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to acquire structural and functional data during two conditions, resting-state and meditation (focused attention on breathing). In this way, we aimed to characterize and distinguish both short-term and long-term modifications in the brain's structure and function. First, to analyze the fMRI data, we calculated whole-brain effective connectivity (EC) estimates, relying on a dynamical network model to replicate BOLD signals' spatio-temporal structure, akin to functional connectivity (FC) with lagged correlations. We compared the estimated EC, FC, and SC links as features to train classifiers to predict behavioral conditions and group identity. Then, we performed a network-based analysis of anatomical connectivity. We demonstrated through a machine-learning approach that EC features were more informative than FC and SC solely. We showed that the most informative EC links that discriminated between meditators and controls involved several large-scale networks mainly within the left hemisphere. Moreover, we found that differences in the functional domain were reflected to a smaller extent in changes at the anatomical level as well. The network-based analysis of anatomical pathways revealed strengthened connectivity for meditators compared to controls between four areas in the left hemisphere belonging to the somatomotor, dorsal attention, subcortical and visual networks. Overall, the results of our whole-brain model-based approach revealed a mechanism underlying meditation by providing causal relationships at the structure-function level.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-06-182022-04-042022-05-06
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1007/s00429-022-02496-9
Other: online ahead of print
PMID: 35524072
 Degree: -



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Project name : -
Grant ID : 945539
Funding program : Human Brain Project
Funding organization : -
Project name : -
Grant ID : 785907
Funding program : Horizon 2020
Funding organization : European Union
Project name : -
Grant ID : INSOCO-DPI2016-80116-P
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO)

Source 1

Title: Brain Structure & Function
  Abbreviation : Brain Struct Funct
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Berlin : Springer
Pages: - Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1863-2653
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1863-2653