Resting state neural correlates of mindfulness: an fMRI study

Thumbnail Image
Bilevicius, Elena
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Since the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), there have been many novel advances in our understanding of brain structure and function. More recently, functional MRI has revealed networks of spatially isolated brain regions with temporally correlated activity, forming resting state networks. Research has long shown that mindfulness can produce psychological improvements. A new wave of research is demonstrating how mindfulness is associated with alterations in these brain networks. The current thesis examined changes in patterns of functional connectivity associated with scores from a commonly used mindfulness questionnaire in three resting state networks: the default mode network, the central executive network, and the salience network. Independent component analysis data from 32 healthy participants revealed that mindfulness is associated with altered patterns of functional connectivity in all three networks. For example, decreased connectivity was observed in the precuneus in two of the networks, a region associated with mind wandering. This suggests that mindfulness has a physiological influence on the resting state functional connectivity of the brain that coincides with the underlying principles of mindfulness.
Mindfulness, Resting state, Functional MRI