Dynamic Change of Awareness during Meditation Techniques: Neural and Physiological Correlates
Recent findings illustrate how changes in consciousness accommodated by neural correlates and plasticity of the brain advance a model of perceptual change as a function of meditative practice. During the mind-body response neural correlates of changing awareness illustrate how the autonomic nervous system shifts from a sympathetic dominant to a parasympathetic dominant state. Expansion of awareness during the practice of meditation techniques can be linked to the Default Mode Network (DMN), a network of brain regions that is active when the one is not focused on the outside world and the brain is restful yet awake (Chen et al., 2008). A model is presented illustrating the dynamic mind-body response before and after mindfulness meditation, and connections are made with prefrontal cortex activity, the cardiac and respiratory center, the thalamus and amygdala, the DMN and cortical function connectivity. The default status of the DMN changes corresponding to autonomic modulation resulting from meditation practice.