Brain Mechanisms of Mindfulness Meditation

  • Yi-Yuan TangEmail author


Many brain regions have been reported to be involved in different forms of mindfulness meditation. What is the function of each participating region? Do different forms of mindfulness meditation involve different brain networks? Do different practice stages recruit the same or distinct brain regions while practicing the same mindfulness technique? Does the brain network differ with amount of effort during practice? To answer these questions, I organize this chapter based on the latest neuroscience findings, showing that mindfulness meditation includes at least three components: enhanced attention control, improved emotion regulation, and altered self-awareness. I discuss the brain regions involved in these components respectively, mainly including anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and adjacent prefrontal cortex, striatum, insula, and default mode network (DMN). I also propose a distinction between state training and network training to clarify the unique brain networks following mindfulness meditation.


Attention control Emotion regulation Self-awareness Self-control State training Network training Default mode network Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbockUSA

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