Mindfulness meditation has become a popular way to promote mental health and well-being, but it remains unclear whether it can actually change the structure of the brain. A new study from the University of Wisconsin–Madison has found no evidence of structural brain changes with short-term mindfulness training.
Chalking this under “Probably not unexpected” section, but unlike studies where long-term mindfulness meditation did have effects on Brain’s White Matter Microstructure, it looks like there is no significant difference in brain structure for short-term mindfulness practice.
The study, led by Richard Davidson, compared brain scans of people who completed an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course with those of a control group who did not receive any mindfulness training. The researchers found no significant differences in brain structure between the two groups.
While it is still early in the research on the effects of meditation on the brain, this study provides some evidence that mindfulness meditation may not be as effective as previously thought in terms of changing brain structure.