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Neuroscience of Mindfulness

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What are the effects of mindfulness in the brain? What are its health benefits. View these slides to find out more

What are the effects of mindfulness in the brain? What are its health benefits. View these slides to find out more

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  • Here is a little test to find out whether you predominantly use your left brain or your right brain when experiencing the world. Take a look at the spinning dancer. Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? If the dancing lady in the image is turning clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and if she is turning anticlockwise you use more of the left side of the brain.
  • ReferenceCecilia S. M. Chong, BS; Megumi Tsunaka, BS; Hector W. H. Tsang, PhD; Edward P. Chan, BA; Wai Ming Cheung, PhD. Effects of Yoga on Stress Management in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review. AlternTher Health Med 2011;17(1):32-38
  • ReferenceCecilia S. M. Chong, BS; Megumi Tsunaka, BS; Hector W. H. Tsang, PhD; Edward P. Chan, BA; Wai Ming Cheung, PhD. Effects of Yoga on Stress Management in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review. AlternTher Health Med 2011;17(1):32-38
  • Back in the 1970s, the research Maxwell Cade proposed that the different levels of consciousness were associated with distinct brain wave patterns. By taking EEG recording from a wide range of different people, he identified that theta waves were high during dreaming sleep and alpha waves were high during meditation.
  • Maxwell Cade observed this brain wave pattern in healers, spiritual master and meditators. In these individuals, it was a permanent brain wave state. He, and his protégé, Anna Wise, also observed it in artists, composers, dancers, inventors, scientists and even some CEOs. In all of these individuals, this brain wave state was associated with an expanded sense of awareness and experience of the world.

Transcript

  • 1. NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESS AND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACE PERFORMANCE Dr Shanida NatarajaCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja,Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
  • 3. BRAIN IS BIOSUPERCOMPUTER THAT ALLOWS US TO RUN ON “AUTO-PILOT”  The brain:  Weighs 1½ lbs  Has the consistency of jelly  Contains 100 billion brain cells  Is highly interconnected  It controls behavior so efficiently that we can run on “auto-pilot”Copyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 4. STRUCTURE OF BRAIN IS HIGHLY COMPLEX ANDDISTINCT STRUCTURES HAVE SPECIFIC FUNCTIONS
  • 5. HUMANS HAVE A HIGHLY DEVELOPED FOREBRAIN WITH TWO SIDES WITH DIFFERENT FUNCTIONS Humans have two sides to their forebrain, each with a different functions Left brain Right brain • Rational • Abstract • Analytical • Intuitive • Reductionist • Holistic • Language • CreativityCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 6. ARE YOU RIGHT-BRAINED OR LEFT-BRAINED?WHICH WAY DOES THE DANCER SPIN?
  • 7. MINDFULNESS AND HEALTH
  • 8. MINDFULNESS HAS POSITIVE EFFECT ON PHYSICAL HEALTH Improves Reduces stress, Improved skin acceptance, anxiety & Improved clearing in coping depression, glycaemic psoriasis and strategies and and improved control in symptom relief well-being symptoms in diabetes in IBS chronic pain heart disease 1982 1998 2003 2007 1992 2003 2004 2007 Improved well- Improved Reduces blood being, symptom immune Reduced levels pressure control in function in of cortisol and (normotensive, patients with healthy and stress cancer) fibromyalgia HIV patientsCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 9. MINDFULNESS HAS POSITIVE EFFECT ON MENTAL HEALTH Improved Improves Reduced risk anxiety & sleep time Reduces of relapse or depression in and efficiency anxiety recurrence in bipolar in chronic depression disorder insomnia 1992 2000 2008 2008 1999 2006 2008 2010 Improved Improves well- Weight loss in decision being, QoL and Reduced women with making & coping anxiety and binge eating abstinence in strategies in stress in disorders substance cancer schizophrenia and/or obesity abuse patientsCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 10. MINDFULNESS PRACTICE HAS MULTITUDE OF EFFECTS OF COGNITIVE FUNCTION Promotes insightful problem-solving Enhances Cultivates curiosity and positive attitude receptiveness to to perceived new experiences stress Promotes Facilitates emotional sustained stability attention Cultivates Decreases observing tendency to attitude self-reference Reduces Enhances negative emotional emotions and intelligence worrying Increases openness and extroversionCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 11. BRAIN IMAGING RESEARCH
  • 12. OBSERVING MEDITATORS IN LABORATORY REVEALS BRAIN REGIONS INVOLVED IN MEDITATION  Newberg and D’Aquili observed experienced meditators in controlled laboratory conditions  Radioactive tracer was released into blood at peak moment of meditation  These methods allow visualisation of blood flow in specific brain regionsCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 13. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION INVOLVES CHANGES IN FRONTAL AND PARIETAL LOBES  Frontal lobe  Increased activity in attentional networks  Decreased activity in surrounding areas  Parietal lobe  Decreased activity in orientation area  Decreased activity in networks involved in relaying experiences through languageCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 14. FOCUSED ATTENTION PROMPTS SHIFT FROM LEFT TO RIGHT BRAIN Left-brain Right-brain Rational Abstract Analytical Holistic Logical Intuitive Meditation elicits shift to different mode of perceiving and thinkingCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 15. MINDFULNESS MEDITATION INVOLVES CHANGES IN LIMBIC SYSTEM AND MIDBRAIN STRUCTURES  Limbic system  Increased activity in amygdala and hippocampus  Autonomic nervous system  Increased activity in hypothalamus and midbrain  Sequential activation of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systemsCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 16. LONG-TERM MEDITATION ELICITS DISTINCT CHANGES IN NUMEROUS AREAS OF BRAIN Attention Increased activity in attention networks in frontal cortex Perception Increased/assymetrical activity in thalamus Emotional regulation Increased activity in limbic system Autonomic function Increased activity in midbrainCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 17. MINDFULNESS HAS FOUR KEY EFFECTS ON BRAIN AND BEHAVIOUR Subjective Subjective • Focused attention for extended • Enhanced awareness of bodily periods of time states and subtle bodily sensations • Distractions disturb focus less Objective frequently (executive attention) • Increased activity in insula Objective (interoreceptive awareness) • Increased activity in and cortical • Increased cortical thickness and thickness of anterior cingulate grey matter density of insula cortex (ACC) Subjective Subjective • Less prone to emotional or • Improved and expanded sense of behavioural outbursts identity (‘self’) Objective Objective • Increased activity in prefrontal • Decrease activity in default mode cortex (PFC) network (DMN; self-referential • Greater control of PFC over processing), including mPFC and amygdala posterior cingulate gyrusCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 18. ELECTRICAL BRAIN WAVE RESEARCH
  • 19. RECORDINGS IDENTIFY FOUR MAJOR TYPES OF BRAIN WAVES Delta Theta Alpha Beta Unconscious Creative subconscious Relaxed alertness Active thought Painting Relaxing Strategising Writing Playing sport Problem-solving Composing Listening to music CommunicatingCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 20. MEDITATION IS ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE PATTERN Delta Theta Theta Alpha Alpha Beta Beta Unconscious Creative subconscious Creative subconscious Relaxed alertness Relaxed alertness Active thought Active thought Increase in activity Decrease in activityCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 21. DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS LINKED WITH DIFFERENT BRAIN WAVE PATTERNS Meditative High alpha/theta Panic states High beta Dreaming sleep High theta Hypnogogic/ High alpha hypnopompic Deep sleep High deltaCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 22. „AWAKENED‟ OR „HIGH-PERFORMANCE‟ STATE ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE CHANGES Delta Theta Theta Alpha Alpha Beta Beta Unconscious Creative subconscious Creative subconscious Relaxed alertness Relaxed alertness Active thought Active thought Increase in activity Decrease in activityCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 23. „HIGH PERFORMANCE‟ MIND ASSOCIATED WITH DISTINCT BRAIN WAVE CHANGES  Observed in healers, spiritual masters and meditators (permanent state)  Observed in artists, composers, dancers, i nventors, mathematicians, sci entists (transient insight)  Associated with high performance and creativityCopyright 2012 Dr Shanida Nataraja, Author of The Blissful Brain: Neuroscience and Proof of the Power of Meditation
  • 24. ANY QUESTIONS?
  • 25. NEUROSCIENCE OF MINDFULNESSAND ITS IMPACT ON WORKPLACEPERFORMANCEDr Shanida Nataraja