Zeidan, F, Martucci, K. T., Kraft, R. A. et al. (2011). Brain mechanisms supporting the modulation of pain by mindfulness meditation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 5540 –5548 (S)

 

Describe what is meant by mindfulness meditation (Shamatha or focused attention). Use more informal terms that the text.

 

Why is fMRI particularly suited to understanding the brain bases of meditative states?

 

What brain areas do the authors hypothesize will be activated by mindfulness meditation? Why?

 

Describe the testing procedure used in this study.

 

What effect did meditation have on the specific brain site (SI) associated with the application of the noxious stimulus?

 

What meditation associated brain changes appeared to be most closely associated with pain reduction?

 

What brain areas are more active during meditation (but not necessarily associated with pain reduction)?

 

How larger were the meditation-related pain intensity reductions and unpleasantness rating reductions across subjects?

 

What three mechanisms of pain reduction do the authors cite as most likely responsible for the observed results? What brain areas are associated with each?

 

Speculate on how Parrado and Canessa’s mental strategies used during their trek might have activated the mechanisms discussed in this paper.

 

Describe the type of mindfulness meditation taught and used in the study.

 

What were the author’s hypotheses? Did their results confirm or fail to confirm them?

 

Describe the methods used in the study.

 

Why did the authors include a rest and attention to breathing condition?

 

What brain mechanisms does meditation appear to reduce pain through?