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Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 29;9(1):10977. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47470-4.

Alterations in Brain Structure and Amplitude of Low-frequency after 8 weeks of Mindfulness Meditation Training in Meditation-Naïve Subjects.

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Clinical Affective Neuroimaging Laboratory, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Departamento de Psicología Básica, Clínica y Psicobiología, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain.
Department of Neurology, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Departamento de Psicología Educativa, Social y Metodología, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain.
Departamento de Psicología Básica, Clínica y Psicobiología, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón de la Plana, Spain.
Department of Behavioral Neurology, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Center of Behavioral Brain Sciences, Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany.
Department of Psychiatry, Eberhard Karls University Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.


Increasing neuroimaging evidence suggests that mindfulness meditation expertise is related to different functional and structural configurations of the default mode network (DMN), the salience network (SN) and the executive network at rest. However, longitudinal studies observing resting network plasticity effects in brains of novices who started to practice meditation are scarce and generally related to one dimension, such as structural or functional effects. The purpose of this study was to investigate structural and functional brain network changes (e.g. DMN) after 40 days of mindfulness meditation training in novices and set these in the context of potentially altered depression symptomatology and anxiety. We found overlapping structural and functional effects in precuneus, a posterior DMN region, where cortical thickness increased and low-frequency amplitudes (ALFF) decreased, while decreased ALFF in left precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex correlates with the reduction of (CES-D) depression scores. In conclusion, regional overlapping of structural and functional changes in precuneus may capture different components of the complex changes of mindfulness meditation training.

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