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  #1  
Old 03-15-12, 09:53 PM
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Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

An article from Science Daily:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0314170647.htm

Quote:
Earlier evidence out of UCLA suggested that meditating for years thickens the brain (in a good way) and strengthens the connections between brain cells. Now a further report by UCLA researchers suggests yet another benefit.
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Old 03-16-12, 04:13 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Personal observation - that meditation/daydream/calmness of mind etc is not possible when stressed.

~s~
Quote:
Arnsten offers a focus article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience that describes how stress impairs the top-down cognitive control functions of the prefrontal cortex
In a similar pattern to my response to GBYR's comments on effects of stress on parent (failure to attune to child)
- it's difficult to offer meditation as a solution (even though it is)
- if the individual is in an inescapably stressful environment.

We're all in an inescapably stressful environment - as long as competition between humans is the dominant paradigm in social infrastructure -
as opposed to collaboration between all people against the oppression of a limiting physical world.

We're all in an inescapably stressful environment - it's just that some of us are more sensitive to the effects.

As Barliman and GBYR mention - the heritable component in ADHD (epigenetically) through metabolic efficiency is sensitivity (the flip-side of the coin being increased stress sensitivity).

Currently eating for 8-12 hours and fasting for 60-64 hours (for the last few weeks now) without ANY problem whatsoever.
In line with Athos - food consumed in the window is predominantly (90%) non starchy vegetables, fish, olive oil and herb tea.

We're incredibly metabolically efficient - and are the very expression of the Thrifty gene hypothesis -
- though perhaps to call us a result of speciation through a Thrifty epigenomic 'event' would be more accurate.

[1] We need less 'fuel'.
[2] We're stress sensitive.
[3] Stress drives us to consume reward (fuel).
[4] Our bodies become overloaded.
[5] In a state of constant stress - just in the way of examples - attunement (GBYR) and the meditative state of mind (Unmanagable) become impossible to attain.
[6] The connection to executive function/PFC problems in the ADDer mind:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADHD is
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) — the most evolved brain region — subserves our highest-order cognitive abilities. However, it is also the brain region that is most sensitive to the detrimental effects of stress exposure.
[7] From a personal perspective - I've noted that the stress results in immune system collapse - from bleeding gums, to asthma, joint disease, hip disease, infectious disease susceptibility ... ... ...
mental problems, metabolic problems - though the most painful are the immunological set of disorders/diseases which result.

It feels as though all bodily systems are collapsing - that stress leads to collapse in all bodily systems.

And the worst thing about it - there's nothing that the individual can do to shield him/her self from a stressful outer environment created by other (less sensitive) people.

We get to suffer for other's lack of morality.

Lucky us !
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Old 03-16-12, 04:23 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

I have two family members at UCLA in different areas of research...

I think that trained medication over a period of extended time, and beginning at an early age or at a time/place that allows for reduced stress over a prolonged period post adolescence and beyond would reasonably provide common result.

Unfortunately, people don't work that way.

Had rumination been identified (validated) and re-directed when I was very young? Possibly, I would have a greater ability to concentrate and meditate.

Any more, I just apologize to the almighty.
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Old 03-16-12, 05:12 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

ADHD - the disorder component - stress of an immoral context.

Hell is other people.
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Old 03-16-12, 06:46 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADHDTigger View Post
I have two family members at UCLA in different areas of research...

I think that trained medication over a period of extended time, and beginning at an early age or at a time/place that allows for reduced stress over a prolonged period post adolescence and beyond would reasonably provide common result.

Unfortunately, people don't work that way.

Had rumination been identified (validated) and re-directed when I was very young? Possibly, I would have a greater ability to concentrate and meditate.

Any more, I just apologize to the almighty.

I think that we all work differently,

for some people neuroplasticity works more and some less.

There are more than one reason why neuroplasticity might or might not work.

Like SB_UK mentioned if the person is stressed plasticity will be less.

The power of belief is another strong factor, etc...


The fact that more than 80% of a human adult brain,

develops before the age of 3.

During the rapid time of neural brain development,

when "neural pruning" occurs,

( Used neurology stays and develops in interaction with the environment while some unused neurology get "pruned" .)

I think the possibilities for the promotion of faster and more abundant self-brain development,

occurs more,

in early life.

Seems undeniable.

(exception Trauma from strokes, or blunt force in later life,
will heal quicker after the time of injury)

Both will show some long term improvement with consistent long-term exercise

In the research in the OP.

The areas of more brain development,

were in people who were capable of long-term meditation and I assume capable of better "self stress regulation",

than a person with severe ADHD.

Honestly,

I am not even sure I know what meditation is.

I have been practicing,

trying to suck a sucker without crunching it into little bits,

for a couple of years.


I have learned to sometimes take the sucker out of my mouth before I crunch it to pieces with my teeth.

It seems that these functions are part of the nervous system and fall pray to my lack of self regulation,

as do other actions,

like swallowing food before I chew,

talking while other people are talking,etc...

A couple of times I managed to suck a whole sucker right to the stick.

And sometimes I managed to almost suck the sucker to the stick.

Sometimes,

is the key word.

When I first started practicing trying not to crunch,

I would not last ten seconds before I would crunch the sucker into bits with my teeth.

No matter how much I planned not to crunch.

I would say to myself don't crunch,

lose the thought and crunch the sucker literally seconds later.

It is a huge accomplishment for me to able to actually almost not crunch the sucker.


I think we all could do better to get more emotional nurturance,

no matter our age.

One problem I noticed with myself,

is I am so emotionally sensitive to emotional pain and hurt.

It is easier for me to disassociate.

Than to open up and trust someone,

and risk getting hurt again.

I notice this change to disassociate,

more and more as I grow older.

And chalk up the failed experience as a win some,

and I lose some endings.


One big reason I think the information is important for people to understand,

is not really so much for a huge benefit in my own life.

(although I have made some surprisingly huge new accomplishments in training my executive functions with and with out the aid of medication.)



I feel I got to try to understand for those people who do not have ADHD predisposition determeined (yet),

therefore,

have not developed ADHD or ADHD comorbids yet.

There might be a possibility of prevention or lessening of symptoms/severity for those people,

not yet born or developed ADHD, yet.

Especially,

in the preoperational stage of early human development.


I also find it helps me to look at attunement process,

as a basic part of normal childhood education.

The classes begin at birth.

(Or as some research shows, maybe even months before birth.)


In my unprofessional opinion,

neuroplasticity exercises do not increase emotional pain,

they are exercises the brain own ability to decrease emotional pain.

Example Meditation or sucking suckers without crunching them do not cause emotional pain.

They promote and exercise individual core self-regulation.

And is proven to work for some people circumstances.

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  #6  
Old 03-16-12, 12:03 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

I'm sure that any kind of exercise that focuses the brain on a single task, like meditation, neurofeedback during learning tasks, various kinds of puzzles or hobbies that require a specific skill and/or thought process, will all strengthen the brain one way or another. I don't believe that meditation is singular in this, and I know I'm not alone in having had no success in meditation because of my ADD.

So what I don't like about articles like this is the take-away: you should meditate to strengthen your brain. The take-away should be that meditation is something you can use to strengthen your brain, so try it and see how it works for you.

I remember when the articles came out saying that doing crossword puzzles could help prevent dementia. I can't tell you how many people were all doom-and-gloom about their future sanity because they couldn't do crosswords or didn't like them! Just because something can influence an outcome, its presence or absence in your life doesn't guarantee an outcome.
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Old 03-16-12, 12:53 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

The only meditation I have had success with was Transcendental. I need the 'focus' of a mantra to work with... something to drown out the impulsive thoughts. I had to start at 3 min.. then work up gradually to 20 minutes (twice a day) However I needed almost complete silence - there was no way to do it with any outside noise or distractions - even having someone else quietly in my environment was too much distraction for me.

BUT the effects were very positive... much calmer, more emotionally 'balanced'.

Then I stopped doing it - because I'm ADD and that happens (?)

I'd like to take it up again though and hopefully will shortly as it did have benefits for me - especially with my low grade anxiety.

That's all I know about that
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Old 03-16-12, 03:52 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amtram View Post
I'm sure that any kind of exercise that focuses the brain on a single task, like meditation, neurofeedback during learning tasks, various kinds of puzzles or hobbies that require a specific skill and/or thought process, will all strengthen the brain one way or another. I don't believe that meditation is singular in this, and I know I'm not alone in having had no success in meditation because of my ADD.

So what I don't like about articles like this is the take-away: you should meditate to strengthen your brain. The take-away should be that meditation is something you can use to strengthen your brain, so try it and see how it works for you.

I remember when the articles came out saying that doing crossword puzzles could help prevent dementia. I can't tell you how many people were all doom-and-gloom about their future sanity because they couldn't do crosswords or didn't like them! Just because something can influence an outcome, its presence or absence in your life doesn't guarantee an outcome.
To me it is a fact,

that we are what we eat,

we are what we do,

and we are what we do not do.

A little more,

or a little less every day.

I do think,

if the project is good.

If I can,

I should try.


Quote:
“I was exhilarated by the new realization that I could change the character of my life by changing my beliefs. I was instantly energized because I realized that there was a science-based path that would take me from my job as a perennial “victim” to my new position as “co-creator” of my destiny. (Prologue, xv)”
― Bruce H. Lipton(Author of Biology of Belief.)
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Old 03-16-12, 04:34 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Awesome thread and posts replies from the members.

I really appreciate the information,

learning new terms and over all education of this science based information.

Neuroplasticity is fascinating.


This is the last paragraph in the article,


Quote:
Other authors of the study included Florian Kurth, Emeran A. Mayer, Arthur W.Toga, and Katherine L. Narr, all of UCLA, and Christian Gaser, University of Jena, Germany. Funding was provided by several organizations, including the National Institutes of Health. The authors report no conflict of interest.
Would anybody disagree,

If I said,

"anything under the sun,

that can be exercised,

long term,

by the human brain/body,

will have long term effects,

on that Brain/body"

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Old 03-17-12, 04:18 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Quote:
The answer to underdevelopment is development,

and for development the appropriate conditions must exist.

No matter how efficiently they are able to arose the higher brain centers,

medications offer only a partial solution to the problems posed by ADD.

We may not be able to prescribe development directly,

but we can promote an environment that makes development possible.

Fortunately,

as we will see when we come to the chapters on the healing process in ADD,

neurological and psychological maturation can take place at any time during the life cycle,

even in late adulthood.
Gabor Mate M.D., Scattered Minds: A New Look At The Origins And Healing Of Attention Deficit Attention, 1999, P.43.

Quote:
ADD is situational: in the same individual its expression may vary greatly from one circumstance to another.

There are certain classes,

for example,

in which the ADD child may perform remarkably well,

while in others she is scattered,

unproductive and perhaps disruptive.

Teachers may conclude that the child is willfully deciding when or when not to buckle down and work diligently.

Many children with ADD are subjected to overt disapproval and public shaming in the classroom for behaviors they do not consciously choose.

These children are not not purposively inattentive or disobedient.

There are emotional neurophysiology forces at play that do the actual deciding for them.

We shall examine the in due course.
Gabor Mate M.D., Scattered Minds: A New Look At The Origins And Healing Of Attention Deficit Attention, 1999, P. 14-15.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:17 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Rather than classify the state of mind as meditation - in previous threads we've examined falling into that state of mind in either the seated or the moving posture.

Seated meditation (allowing one's mind to acquire the reflective/philosophical/third person perspective) divorced from real-time,
losing oneself
- and moving meditation, in the aerobic 'zone' -

- personal preference is for the aerobic 'zone' because, I'm pretty sure that it reduces elevated blood glucose levels (from stress), alongside, making it easier (as the mind dissociates through blood glucose normalization ?) not to consider how stressful life is - through the dissociation which comes with falling into the 'zone' during exercise.

It's nice not to think - when all thought leads to stress.

The human species is a real mess.

It's nice for the chronically stressed state to obtain reduction in blood glucose levels, even if only transiently.

I wonder whether any others have noticed that there's a reflex action to move, move, move when particularly (as opposed to chronic low level) stressed -
I've experienced it before and after job interviews (for instance) -
- where, especially afterwards, the desire is to exercise for hours on end in order (I'm pretty sure) to normalize blood glucose levels back down.

Also noticed the anxiety (more than either chronically/acutely stressed) (when particularly anxious about money, the future -etc-) disappears - albeit transiently on exercise.

When blood glucose levels are elevated - and stressed - the mind is not happy, can't think straight.

I guess we've insight into the squirming (hyperactivity) which we associate with the ADDer child in the classroom - simply a reactive measure to combat stress.

So - and with a nod to GBYR - for his comment on 'what is meditation ?'
- I'd suggest that it's simply a dissociated/dissociative state of mind, from first person (the animal or child realm of consciousness) into

third person perspective.

An actual shift in consciousness state - though it feels as though I shouldn't use that term (so woo! has it become) - and so perhaps to be described as a shift in state of mind - much as we experience a shift in state of mind from public speaking, to relaxing, to falling asleep, to within sleep.

-*-

So ... ... ...

connecting this idea to previous ideas.

Meditation (that shift in state of mind) - wonderful - though difficult to be able to attain in our vicious world of competitive instead of collaborative practices.
Moving and Seated meditations/shifts in state of mind with perhaps ? to the chronically stressed individual - {dissociation/the transcendental state/shift in consciousness state/shift in state of mind} through moving meditation (aerobic respiration) easier to attain
- because of its assistance in normalising blood glucose levels.

Stress and the lovely state of mind of calm detachment aren't bedfellows.
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Old 03-17-12, 07:32 AM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Still operating under the idea that ADDers're more metabolically efficient resulting in a propensity towards wisdom/morality

- that we're naturally gifted towards falling into the meditative state of mind (have a healthy disdain for the 'thinking' mind borne through our ability to dissociate), though where the two factors which prevent us (which force us out) from entering 'bliss' (the promised land within) are -
and as the flipside of the comment above
Quote:
Still operating under the idea that [1] ADDers're more metabolically efficient resulting in [2] a propensity towards wisdom/morality
[consequence of 2] Life in a viciously corrupt, competitive environment - which our mind refuses to allow us (because it's illogical/immoral so to do) to take part in (which disrupts our fine-tuned metabolic (through the glucocorticoid stress hormone) requirements) - resulting in - [consequence of 1] stress from reactive comfort eating (stress relief, reward mechanism activation, self-medication) which FURTHER disrupts our fine-tuned metabolic requirements.

ADHD - understood almost, but not quite (we still need a conceptual model for mind as a logical framework encoding the best for current and future species wellbeing (that's everybody's wellbeing)- that is of a (aspiration towards and then completion in) morality structure) completely - from a perspective of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism.

Surprise ! Surprise !

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Old 03-17-12, 01:55 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

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Originally Posted by SB_UK View Post
Still operating under the idea that ADDers're more metabolically efficient resulting in a propensity towards wisdom/morality
Please define "metabolically efficient", "wisdom", and "morality," and provide citations for correlation.

Without that, there is no validity to your statements, and no relevance to the topic of this thread.
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Old 03-17-12, 02:47 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amtram View Post
Please define "metabolically efficient", "wisdom", and "morality," and provide citations for correlation.

Without that, there is no validity to your statements, and no relevance to the topic of this thread.
See the thread you created on science subforum where all of those ideas were described.
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Old 03-17-12, 08:02 PM
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Re: Evidence builds that meditation strengthens the brain (article)

Described, not defined, and not presented with any scientifically supportive evidence. Philosophy is not science. That's one of the reasons that thread exists.
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