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Article critique

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Whitley Bartholomew

on 30 July 2013

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Transcript of Article critique

Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Mediation:
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.
Methods
-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.
Participants
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
(Asian american).
Trials
Meditation course was taught by one professional to all 32 meditation participants. MBSR meditation training.

Control N-16 Experimental N-32.

Statistics

ANOVAs
Results
*Significant group x time interaction. [F(1,31)=5.45, p<.05].
Figure 1.

*Significant decrease in negative affect over time, [t(20)=2.27 and t(21)=2.45, p,.05.
Figure 1.
*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.
Figure 2,3,4.
*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).
Figure 6.
Conclusions
The proposed hypotheses by the researchers were all supported.

So what?

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

Reference
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.
Results
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.
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