Functional Connectivity of Prefrontal Cortex in Various Meditation Techniques - A Mini-Review

Author: Mrithunjay Rathore1, Meghnath Verma2, Mohit Nirwan2, Soumitra Trivedi1, Vikram Pai3
1 Department of Anatomy, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India.
2 Department of AYUSH, CCRYN-CMBIY, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India.
3 Department of Yoga and Naturopathy, AIIMS, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India.
Conference/Journal: Int J Yoga
Date published: 2022 Sep-Dec
Other: Volume ID: 15 , Issue ID: 3 , Pages: 187-194 , Special Notes: doi: 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_88_22. , Word Count: 254

Meditation is a practice of concentration and relaxation. In philosophical terms, it is a process of gaining self-consciousness. Although there is diversity in meditation (Mindfulness, compassion, transcendental, and focused attention meditation), interventions show that meditation practices improve prefrontal cortex (PFC) functions like cognition, self-awareness, attention, and memory and reduce psychological symptoms. These results are thought to be due to meditation increasing functional connections of different brain regions. We reviewed to show the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex in various meditation practices. We were viewed various neuroimaging interventions of functional connectivity associated with the prefrontal cortex and different brain areas during meditation techniques on healthy meditators compared with non-meditators. fMRI findings show that meditation practices are associated with increased neural function and processing, default mode network, gray matter volume, and functional coupling in the brain area related to different parts of PFC. PFC's functional connectivity is associated with increased attention, working memory, cognitive control, executive control, emotion regulation, counteracting adverse effects, self-perception, and self-compassion. Furthermore, PFC's functional connectivity decreases anxiety, depression, perceived stress, negative emotion, and hyperarousal symptoms. In this review, we outlined the published effect of meditation on the function and structure of the different parts of the prefrontal cortex. We suggest a positive theoretical correlation between meditation and the functional connectivity of the prefrontal cortex. Altered prefrontal connectivity is seen in some neurological and psychosocial disorders. Therefore meditation can also play an influential role in treating these disorders.

Keywords: Compassion; functional connectivity; meditation; mindfulness; prefrontal cortex.

PMID: 36949839 PMCID: PMC10026337 DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.ijoy_88_22