Just launched www.themeditativebrain.com!

TheMeditativeBrain.comJust launched http://www.themeditativebrain.com!

There is a lot planned for this brand new website so stay tuned! We’ve got some well-tested guided meditations available now and much more to come. I hope you enjoy!

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Genome-wide expression changes in a higher state of consciousness.

Genome-wide expression changes in a higher state of consciousness.

Wow…I didn’t think I’d find research like this already. This research group rounded up a small number of “experienced meditators” (again, its difficult to assess what this really means without a solid descriptor used by all, but the researchers did their best) and used a micro-array to determine what genes are upregulated and downregulated during higher states of consciousness. Some similarities and differences were found, as expected. 

What does it mean? Who knows. Its really hard (for me) to interpret micro-array data. They had more similarities in under-expressed genes than over-expressed genes. Generally they noticed a down regulation of “metabolic and cell cycle processes, signaling, protein transport, regulation of gene expression, DNA repair, epigenetic mechanisms.”. 

While not being grilled for this during my dissertation, I’d say that this is what we might expect right? Everything seems to be slowing down when we meditate for long periods – our thoughts, our breathing, ability to regulate temperature. 

Very cool if this type of research begins to take hold. This is a very small study – but at least someone did it (AND GOT FUNDING!?)

 

Learn from a 3D Brain/Einstien’s Brain Facts

Learn from a 3D Brain/Einstien’s Brain Facts

A LITTE GROUND WORK FIRST – Over the next while, I’ll be posting some information that will talk about different brain structures. Its always hard learning about something if you don’t actually have an idea about what the structure does, what the structure looks like, where its located, and what is beside it!

If you want to follow along or go back and reference this post, I’d suggest this tool from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory as a fun way to learn about structures and functions. 

Just hover over the brain to identify structures and use the dialog box to the right to learn about the features of 29 different structures.

Check it out here: http://www.g2conline.org/

……..Ready?….Ok….Now that you’ve learned about some of the structures, here are two facts about Einstein’s brain. Go find these structures on the map!

  • Einstein’s parietal lobes were wider than normal parietal lobes. In addition, he had extra grooves and ridges in his parietal lobes (perhaps related to his advanced visual, mathematical, and spatial thinking)
  • Einstein had knoblike structures on his motor cortex. (perhaps related to Einstein’s musical ability)