Send to

Choose Destination
Soc Neurosci. 2011;6(3):231-42. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2010.513495. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

The neural substrates of mindfulness: an fMRI investigation.

Author information

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


"Mindfulness" is a capacity for heightened present-moment awareness that we all possess to a greater or lesser extent. Enhancing this capacity through training has been shown to alleviate stress and promote physical and mental well-being. As a consequence, interest in mindfulness is growing and so is the need to better understand it. This study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify the brain regions involved in state mindfulness and to shed light on its mechanisms of action. Significant signal decreases were observed during mindfulness meditation in midline cortical structures associated with interoception, including bilateral anterior insula, left ventral anterior cingulate cortex, right medial prefrontal cortex, and bilateral precuneus. Significant signal increase was noted in the right posterior cingulate cortex. These findings lend support to the theory that mindfulness achieves its positive outcomes through a process of disidentification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center