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The Neurobiology of Meditation and Stress Reduction

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Abstract

Meditation is a complex mental process that involves changes in cognition, sensory perception, emotions, hormones, and autonomic activity. Many different neurotransmitter systems, including dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, and opiates are likely affected by meditation practices. Meditation has also become widely used, either alone or combined with other therapies, for stress reduction, as well as for a variety of physical and mental disorders. There has been an increasing understanding of the overall biological mechanism of meditation practices in terms of their effects on the brain and the body. Recent studies using clinical tools and functional neuroimaging have substantially augmented knowledge of the biology of meditative practices.

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... Neseni neirobioloģiski, kognitīvi un uzvedības pētījumu dati liecina, ka apzinātība ietekmē divas specifiskas jomas -uzmanību un pieņemšanu. (Newberg & Yaden, 2018). Gan akadēmiskā, gan populārā prese ir secinājusi, ka apzinātība sniedz nozīmīgu ieguvumu gan veseliem indivīdiem, gan arī tiem, kas cieš no fiziskām un psiholoģiskām problēmām. ...
... jas, gan arī hormoni un autonomā nervu sistēma. Šī prakse ietekmē dažādas neirotransmiteru sistēmas, tai skaitā dopamīnu, serotonīnu, glutamatu un opiātus. Neseni pētījumi, izmantojot klīniskus pētniecības instrumentus un funkcionālo smadzeņu kartēšanu (neuroimaging), būtiski padziļinājuši izpratni par apzinātības prakšu bioloģiskajiem mehānismiem.(Newberg & Yaden, 2018) Termini apzinātība un meditācija aizvien vairāk saplūst. Bieži publiskā diskursā par apzinātību tiek nosauktas integratīvas prakses, tādas kā vizualizācijas, joga u.c., kas izpludina šī termina nozīmi un mēdz radīt neskaidrības. Svarīgi arī, ka ne visas meditācijas ir apzinātības prakses un tāpat apzinātības prakses neaprobežojas ar med ...
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Darbā autors veicis apzinātības praktizēšanas aprakstu, analizējis apzinātības praktizēšanas ieguvumus un ietekmi sociāli emocionālās mācīšanās kontekstā uz skolotāju labbūtību un profesionālo jomu, kā arī dažādos ieguvumus audzēkņiem. Ņemot vērā, ka izglītības sistēmas visā pasaulē būtiski balstās uz pedagogu profesionālo pilnveidi, kā primāro mehānismu, lai panāktu uzlabojumus izglītībā vispār, (McChesney & Aldridge, 2019) autors analizē profesionālās pilnveides programmas apzinātībā, kā arī apraksta kvalitatīvu pētījumu par apzinātības praktizēšanas ietekmi uz pedagogu profesionālo un personisko jomu. Pētījumā gūts apstiprinājums, ka apzinātības praktizēšana pedagogu profesionālajā pilnveidē var risināt ne tikai skolotāju labbūtības problēmas, bet arī uzlabot pedagogu profesionālo sniegumu, kā arī būt centrālais instruments sociāli emocionālās mācīšanas ieviešanā mācību iestādēs.
... Brain structures such as the cerebellum and limbic regions are known to be involved in the expression and modulation of emotions. Thus, finding changes in these areas after an intensive spiritual retreat help to clarify how the components of the retreat affect brain processes that lead to psychological changes Newberg and Yaden 2018). ...
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Background: Many individuals participate in spiritual retreats to enhance their sense of spirituality or to improve their overall mental and spiritual well-being. We are not aware of any studies specifically evaluating changes in functional connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in individuals undergoing an intense spiritual retreat program. The goal of this study was to determine whether such changes occur as a result of participating in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Methods: We conducted psychological and spiritual measures in conjunction with functional connectivity analysis of fMRI in 14 individuals prior to and following shortly after their participation in a one-week spiritual retreat. Results: Significant changes in functional connectivity were observed after the retreat program, compared to baseline evaluation, particularly in the posterior cingulate cortex, pallidum, superior frontal lobe, superior parietal lobe, superior and inferior temporal lobe, and the cerebellum. Significant changes in a variety of psychological and spiritual measures were identified as result of participation in the retreat. Conclusion: Overall, these preliminary findings suggest that this intensive spiritual retreat resulted in significant changes in brain functional connectivity, and warrants further investigation to evaluate the physiological, psychological, and spiritual impact of these changes.
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Between the covers of this Handbook readers will find what we consider to be the core material, in terms of theory, methods, and empirical evidence, of an emergent scientific domain, affective science. It is not a "Handbook of Emotion." Affective science is a considerably broader concept that subsumes emotion but is not restricted to it. The purpose of this Handbook is to illustrate how many different disciplines are making fundamental contributions to the development of affective science and to provide a compendium for scholars inside and outside of this rapidly developing field. In addition, the chapters in this Handbook bring into focus the many specific areas in the neural, behavioral, and social sciences that are impacted by research on affective processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study seeks to highlight construct measurement issues in information systems (IS) research. It describes the normative process of construct measurement and identifies the difficult problems involved in measurement and some ways in which these difficulties may be overcome. An illustrative construct-operationalization study in the area of strategic systems outlines how the normative guidelines may be applied to IS. Some specific recommendations for IS include developing a preliminary model of the construct even if there is little previous measurement research, devoting greater attention to predictive validity because a lack of theories in IS precludes the examination of nomological validity, verifying the assumptions underlying the computation of an overall index, and examining the measurement properties of the index.
Chapter
In this chapter we first define religious, spiritual and mystical experiences (RSMEs). We then review clinical data about patients with epilepsy suggesting a role for the temporal lobe and the limbic system in RSMEs. The possibility of experimentally inducing such experiences by stimulating the temporal lobe with weak electromagnetic currents is examined. The limbic-marker hypothesis is also presented. The findings of brain imaging studies of RSMEs carried out during the last decade are then examined. Next, these findings and the phenomenology of RSMEs in regard to the mind-brain problem are discussed. Finally, we terminate the chapter with a few concluding remarks.