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The scientists, based at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds and the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, run a robust program analyzing the effects of meditation. The new study adds to a growing body of knowledge in the young field.

The study involved an advanced form of mindfulness meditation called Open Presence, but other kinds of meditation also may provide benefits, says Dr. Antoine Lutz, first author on the paper appearing recently in NeuroImage.

"We predict that mindfulness-based stress reduction and related programs should also lead to a decrease in some of the elaborate brain processes that account for distress as people deal with pain," he says.

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