Focused attention meditation changes the boundary and configuration of functional networks in the brain.
Sci Rep. 2020 10 28 ;10(1):18426. Epub 2020 Oct 28. PMID: 33116216
Research has shown that focused attention meditation not only improves our cognitive and motivational functioning (e.g., attention, mental health), it influences the way our brain networks [e.g., default mode network (DMN), fronto-parietal network (FPN), and sensory-motor network (SMN)] function and operate. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the possibility that meditation alters the architecture (composition) of these functional brain networks. Here, using a single-case experimental design with intensive longitudinal data, we examined the effect of mediation practice on intra-individual changes in the composition of whole-brain networks. The results showed that meditation (1) changed the community size (with a number of regions in the FPN being merged into the DMN after meditation) and (2) led to instability in the community allegiance of the regions in the FPN. These results suggest that, in addition to altering specific functional connectivity, meditation leads to reconfiguration of whole-brain network architecture. The reconfiguration of community architecture in the brain provides fruitful information about the neural mechanisms of meditation.