Poster B81, Sunday, March 25, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Increased Default Mode Network Functional Connectivity in Individuals with Greater Meditative Experience
Lauren Goodes1, Yush Kukreja2, Jeffrey Rouse M.D2, Jeremy D. Cohen Ph.D.1; 1Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orelans, LA, USA, 2Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
In those that have practiced mindfulness meditation over a long period of time, research suggests increased functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) between dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and right inferior parietal lobule. The current study examined the relationship between resting-state functional connectivity of the DMN and meditation experience in 40 subjects (M=20; F=20) from the Nathan Kline Institute Rockland-Sample. Subjects ranged in age from 20-40 (M=30.1 SD=5.5) who provided a self report measure of their experience with meditation. SPM12 and the CONN toolbox were used to preprocess subject brain data and conduct functional connectivity analyses, using self report scores of meditation experience as a covariate across subjects. DMN regions were selected as seed regions. Results from this study indicate that increased meditative experience is correlated with an increase in functional connectivity of the right superior parietal lobule with both the right and left nucleus accumbens. Previous research of persons in the meditative state has identified alterations in activity of the superior parietal lobule, potentially related to its function of awareness of the self in spatial relation to one’s surroundings. Nucleus accumbens involvement may be a novel finding associated with meditation and is intriguing in light of its associating with reward processing. Data here supports that more experienced meditators show greater functional connectivity between brain regions that are involved in reward and self-awareness. Future work will seek to replicate these results in a larger sample and investigate potential similar correlations with various reward-related regions.
Topic Area: METHODS: Neuroimaging