The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on brain activity: A systematic review of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies

Article in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews

2017.08.30 | Anne-Mette Pedersen

Abstract

Mindfulness-based interventions are increasingly used in the treatment and prevention of mental health conditions. Despite this, the mechanisms of change for such interventions are only beginning to be understood, with a number of recent studies assessing changes in brain activity. The aim of this systematic review was to assess changes in brain functioning associated with manualised 8-session mindfulness interventions. Searches of PubMed and Scopus databases resulted in 39 papers, 7 of which were eligible for inclusion. The most consistent longitudinal effect observed was increased insular cortex activity following mindfulness-based interventions. In contrast to previous reviews, we did not find robust evidence for increased activity in specific prefrontal cortex sub-regions. These findings suggest that mindfulness interventions are associated with changes in functioning of the insula, plausibly impacting awareness of internal reactions ‘in-the-moment’. The studies reviewed here demonstrated a variety of effects across populations and tasks, pointing to the need for greater consistency in future study design.

 

 

Katherine S. Young, Anne Maj van der Velden, Michelle G. Craskea, Karen Johanne Pallesen, Lone Fjorback, Andreas Roepstorff and Christine E. Parsons (2017). The impact of mindfulness-based interventions on brain activity: A systematic review of functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews (In Press).

Publication

Kommentar