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19-03-2018 | ORIGINAL PAPER | Uitgave 6/2018 Open Access

Mindfulness 6/2018

Differences in Functional Connectivity of the Insula Between Brain Wave Vibration in Meditators and Non-meditators

Mindfulness > Uitgave 6/2018
Joon Hwan Jang, Jae-Hun Kim, Je-Yeon Yun, Soo-Hee Choi, Seung Chan An, Do-Hyung Kang
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s12671-018-0928-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


The majority of meditation involves focusing attention on internal events or sensations and becoming aware of emotions. The insula cortex, through a functional connection with the prefrontal cortex and other brain regions, plays a key role in integrating external sensory information with internal bodily state signals and emotional awareness. The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine the resting-state functional connectivity of the insula with other brain regions in meditation practitioners and control subjects. Thirty-five Brain Wave Vibration meditation practitioners and 33 controls without meditation experience were included in this study. All subjects underwent 4.68-min resting-state functional scanning runs using magnetic resonance imaging. The anterior and posterior insulae were chosen as seed regions for the functional connectivity map. Meditation practitioners showed significantly greater insula-related functional connectivity in the thalamus, caudate, middle frontal gyrus, and superior temporal gyrus than did controls. Control subjects demonstrated greater functional connectivity with the posterior insula in the parahippocampal gyrus. Our findings suggest that the practice of Brain Wave Vibration meditation may be associated with functional differences in regions related to focused attention, executive control, and emotional awareness and regulation.

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