Good Article Review About Meditation And Neuroscience

Published: 2021-07-01 00:00:05
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Category: Education, Study, Science, Brain, Genetics, Gene, Pain, Meditation

Type of paper: Essay

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The article titled “Mediation Has Power to Influence Your Gene” by Christopher Bergland gives a summary of the findings of two researchers conducted to investigate the relationship between meditation and pain. The first research explored by the article was conducted by a group of Scientist from Spain and France. According to Christopher, it was the first study to establish that there was an alteration of gene expressions in individuals practicing mindfulness mediation. The article reported that the comparison of gene alterations was done between experienced mediators who had undergone intensive mediation and untrained control participants who were involved in non meditative activities. It was found that mediation had lowered the pro-inflammatory genes which are associated with faster recovery from stress. Initially, both the control group and mediators showed no differences in genes. Meaning, the meditation had effects on specific regulatory pathways. He supports the findings by stating that meditation had been accepted by American Heart Association as a one of ways of lowering the risk of heart attack. The practice of meditation down-regulates genes associated with inflammation (Christopher). They include RIPK2 and COX2. According to the article, the result of research by scientists from France and Spain provides an explanation of the biological mechanism associated with therapeutic advantages of mediation. The second study whose findings have been summarized by the article was conducted in 2011. It was published in the Journal of Neuroscience. The study found out that meditation substantially relieved pain in the brain. According to the research, meditation produced greater effect on pain than any other drug. It reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness by 40% and 57% respectively. The article reported that the authors of the research came up with the results by subjecting participants to a 5 minutes pain inflicting heat. The brain scans were then conducted after focused attention, which is a form of trained meditation. The research further established that that mediation substantially reduced brain activity in primary somatosensory cortex. This region of the brain is responsible for perception of location and intensity of pain. Christopher concludes by stating that consistent meditation has the capability of improving a person well being at both genetic and neurobiological level. However, the author argues that regular practice influences long term benefits of mindfulness meditation. The summary of the two studies contained in Christopher’s article relates well with the concepts of neuroscience as explained by David Myers in his book titled “Psychology.” Meyer discusses the functioning of the brain and nervous system with respect to organism internal and external conditions. Thus, the book explores the relationship between neuroscience and behavior. The same relationship was under investigation in two studies. In the first study, meditation, which is a form of behavior, is found to influence gene expression. The second study established that meditation reduces pain by substantially. All these findings provide biological explanation of the impact of meditation on pain and stress. The explanation for the first study is given in terms of down regulation of inflammatory genes, which results in pain or stress relief. On the other hand, pain relief is explained in terms of reduced activity of brain in the somatosensory cortex. These explanations are connected to neuroscience because pain relief involves perception of the intensity of the pain. This perception takes place in the nervous system. The regulation of the pain is a function of the endocrine system.
Works Cited
Myers, David G. Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers, 2007. Print.
Christopher , Bergland. "Psychology Today." Meditation Has the Power to Influence Your Genes. Sussex Directories, 9 Dec. 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013. .

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