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Brain Imaging Technology to Examine the Effects of Meditation

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00082160
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 4, 2004
Last Update Posted : August 4, 2006
Information provided by:
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to use brain imaging technology to identify the parts of the brain that are activated during meditation and to compare these parts to those activated during other activities. This study will also determine the effects of meditation on involuntary functions, such as breathing.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment
Healthy Behavioral: Meditation Procedure: Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Detailed Description:

Meditation and relaxation-based interventions are becoming more widely accepted in clinical settings because of their low cost, low risk, and proven effectiveness as a complementary intervention in a wide range of diseases. Despite the success and growing use of relaxation-based treatments, few studies have addressed the basic mechanism by which these treatments work. This study will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to define the brain mechanisms underlying the meditative state, to differentiate this state from other states, and to determine how meditation-induced brain changes affect autonomic function.

Participants in this study will have an fMRI brain scan. Brain activity, breathing rate, and heart rate will be measured while the participant engages in three different activities: lying quietly, meditating, and mentally generating numbers.

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Study Type : Observational
Enrollment : 60 participants
Observational Model: Defined Population
Time Perspective: Other
Official Title: fMRI Investigation of Meditation
Study Start Date : July 2001
Study Completion Date : June 2005

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 50 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Daily practice of Vipassana or Kundalini meditation for at least 1 year and participation in at least one 1-week meditation retreat

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current medical or psychological illness
  • Use of antidepressants, antianxiolytics, or compounds that alter cerebral blood flow
  • Claustrophobia
  • Pregnancy

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00082160

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United States, Massachusetts
Massachusetts General Hospital
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02129
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
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Principal Investigator: Sara Lazar, PhD Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Psychiatry
Layout table for additonal information Identifier: NCT00082160    
Other Study ID Numbers: K01AT000694-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 4, 2004    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: August 4, 2006
Last Verified: August 2006
Keywords provided by National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH):