Experienced meditators have brains that are physically 7 years younger than non-meditators

Posted on April 16, 2016

If you want to keep your brain young, you could do a lot worse than taking up meditation. That's if you believe the results of a new study in NeuroImage that's found experienced meditators have brains that appear 7.5 years younger, on average, than non-meditators.

The researchers used a computer programme that they created previously – it was trained on brain scans taken from hundreds of people to recognise what brains of different ages typically look like, in terms of amounts of grey matter, white matter, and cerebral spinal fluid. For the new study, the same programme analysed the brains of 50 experienced meditators (average age 51, with an average of 20 years meditation experience) and the brains of 50 healthy, non-meditators (also average age 51) and it produced a figure for each person saying how old their brain was in terms of its physical condition, as compared with the actual age of the person. Using this approach, the group of meditators had brains that were 7.5 years younger than the control group, on average.

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Source material from British Psychological Society