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科学60秒:冥想会改变大脑结构?

时间: 2020年03月20日 | 作者: Admin | 来源: 领研网(linkresearcher.com)


一项研究发现,为期8周的冥想会导致大脑的结构性改变。


 [听力全文]


The benefits of meditation have received newfound evidence from neuroscience in the last five years, as researchers are finding real physiological changes due to a sort of formally practiced introspection.


Recently scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital had 16 participants take an eight-week mindfulness meditation program. This sort of meditation focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations and feelings. Subjects practiced for about 30 minutes a day.


Brain images were taken of each subject before and after the training. Scientists found increases in gray-matter density in the hippocampus—an area responsible for learning and memory. And they saw decreased density in the amygdala—which is responsible for our anxiety and stress responses.


One area that did not change is the insula, which is associated with self-awareness. The researchers speculate that longer-term meditation might be necessary to affect that area.


All this reminds us of two things: 1) The brain is much more plastic than scientists thought even just a decade ago and 2) the way we feel—calm or anxious—can be correlated with real structural indicators in our brains.  


—Christie Nicholson


 [重难点词汇、短语]


introspection: n. 内省;反省

mindfulness meditation: 正念冥想

nonjudgmental awareness: 非判断性意识

hippocampus: n. 海马结构

amygdala: n.杏仁核

insula: n. [解剖] 脑岛,岛叶


 [参考译文]


过去五年内,不断有研究人员发现正式的内省练习会引起真正的生理变化,冥想的益处由此收获了来自神经科学的新证据。


麻省总医院(Massachusetts General Hospital)的科学家让16名受试者接受为期8周的正念冥想项目。这种类型的冥想集中锻炼感官和感觉的非判断性意识,每位受试者每天练习约30分钟。


在接受训练前后,研究人员对每位受试者都进行了大脑成像图,他们发现,受试者大脑的海马灰质密度增加了,海马区主要负责学习和记忆。他们还看到杏仁核密度下降,这一区域则负责处理我们的焦虑和压力响应。


而没有发生变化的一个区域则是岛叶,这和我们的自我意识相关。研究人员推测长期冥想训练可能会影响这一区域。


上述种种告诉我们两件事:第一,相比十几年前的科学认知,大脑实际上更具可塑性;第二,我们平静或焦虑的感觉,可能与我们大脑内的真实结构相关联。


翻译 阿金