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Transcript of Article critique
Richard J. Davidson, PHD, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PHD, Jessica Schumacher, MS, Melissa Rosenkranz, BA, Daniel Muller, PHD, Saki F. Sanotorelli, EDD, Ferris Urbanowski, MA, Anne Harrington, PHD, Katherine Bonus, MA, John F. Sheridan, PHD.
Background and Hypotheses
-The human brain is plastic
-Research has indicated that the left hemisphere of the brain is associated with anxiety (reduction) and reflection.
-Positive affect is associated with left sided activation of the anterior regions in the brain.
-Meditation decreases anxiety and increases positive affect, so
people who practice meditation will show increased left side activation of noted brain regions.
-Stress is associated with the immune system, meditation can alter immunities.
Those who meditate will produce more antibodies in presence of viruses.
The magnitude of change in relation to left side brain activation will mirror the magnitude of increase in antibody titers of those participants who meditate.
-This is a true experiment.
-Used a meditation group and a control group (wait list).
-Participants were subject to EEGs (ran to medical standards, 27 sites).
-They were also vaccinated for influenza and blood samples were taken for white blood cell counts. (titers).
-Time trials before meditation, immediately after 8 week meditation course and 4 months later. Vaccine given at week 4. Blood count drawn on week 6 and 8.
48 participants total- all right handed. Due to research pertaining to cross over of the brain- body connection and interest in strengthening the left hemisphere of the brain.
Mean age-36 29- F, 19-M
2 non white participants Recruited via referrals
Meditation course was taught by one professional to all 32 meditation participants. MBSR meditation training.
Control N-16 Experimental N-32.
*Significant group x time interaction. [F(1,31)=5.45, p<.05].
*Significant decrease in negative affect over time, [t(20)=2.27 and t(21)=2.45, p,.05.
*Significant main effect for Group across time periods, [F(1,33)=4.57, p=.04).
*Significant in central leads and temporal anterior electrodes.
*Significant increase in left sided activation in these regions from time 1 to 3 and 4.
*Antibody production was greater in participants who took the meditation course than those on wait list.
See Figure 5.
*Influenza antibody titers increased as left sided activation increased, (r=.53, p<.05).
The proposed hypotheses by the researchers were all supported.
There is many implications for therapy and medicine based on this research.
*The brain is able to be molded and changed at will.
*Meditation and stress relief can greatly improve health.
*This can impact incidences of community illness and community health.
*Important for schools and hospitals and vulnerable populations
*Implications for the debate on vaccines.
Holistic health endeavours
Davidson, R.J., Kabat-Zinn, J., Schumacher, J., Rosenkranz, M., Muller, D., Santorelli, S.F., Urbanowski, F., Harrington, A., Bonus, K., Sheridan, J.F. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic medicine, 65, 564-570.
There were no significant relationships between measures of practice and any biological or self -report measures.
See Table 1.
Findings suggest that a short training program in mindfulness meditation has demonstrated significant effects on brain and immune functioning.