Sara Lazar is a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School and expert on the benefits of meditation. Lazar proved herself the benefits of yoga and meditation and then he decided to study them in a scientific way. His work compiling various studies shows that meditation affects mainly five areas of the brain. Remarkably, the people of 50 years who meditate have the same amount of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex than those of 25 years ago.
In short, meditation improves your concentration (or controls mind-wandering, also known as ruminación), makes us less selfish, improves cognitive processes, the emotional control, the production of certain neurotransmitters and the mechanisms associated with empathy, compassion, and decrease stress.
1. The main difference, according to Lazar, occurs in the posterior cingulate, which is involved in mind-wandering and the relevance of the self.
2. Also in the left hippocampus, which assists in the learning, cognition, memory, and emotional regulation
3. Also, at the intersection temporo-parietal, associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion.
4. Similarly, in an area of the brainstem called the Pons, which produce a number of neurotransmitters regulatory.
5. And finally in the amygdala, the area associated to the response of flee, and fight, key in anxiety, fear and stress. This area was reduced in size with a program of mindfulness.