Most people dismiss meditation as a bunch of hippy nonsense. But no longer; scientists have established that meditation, if done regularly and for long enough, is linked to the brain being able to process information faster. Take that, sceptics.
The research, undertaken at UCLA, used MRI scans to compare the brains of 50 meditators to 50 non-meditators. What they discovered was that long-term meditators display large amounts of something known as gyrification in the brain. Gyrification is just a fancy-pants term for the amount of folding in the cortex — it's what gives the brain its unique, ridged appearance. Furthermore, there's a heap of evidence supporting the fact that the more folded a brain is, the quicker it can process information.
In fact, the researchers found a direct correlation between the number of years participants had been meditating for and the amount of gyrification, which suggests that, over time, people who meditate see an increase in the speed at which they can process information. Speaking to Medical Express, Eileen Luders, one of the researchers, said:
"Meditators are known to be masters in introspection and awareness as well as emotional control and self-regulation, so the findings make sense that the longer someone has meditated, the higher the degree of folding..."
While the finding will likely make those who meditate smile smugly and say "I told you so", you should attempt to rise above it with Zen-like calm. After all, it might do you good. [Frontiers in Human Neuroscience via Medical Express; Image: Shutterstock]