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Fig. 6 a-b. Top panel illustrates pre- and post-training brain electrical asymmetry measures from subjects in the meditation and control groups. Note that positive numbers denote greater left-sided activation and negative numbers denote greater right-sided activation. The middle panel illustrates differences between the meditation and control groups in antibodytiters in response to influenza vaccine. Errors bars in the top two plots denote standard error of the mean. The bottom panel illustrates the relation between pre-to-post test increases in left-sided activation and rise in antibodytiters to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation group only (N=25 for meditation group; N=16 for control group; from Davidson et al. 2003).

Fig. 6 a-b. Top panel illustrates pre- and post-training brain electrical asymmetry measures from subjects in the meditation and control groups. Note that positive numbers denote greater left-sided activation and negative numbers denote greater right-sided activation. The middle panel illustrates differences between the meditation and control groups in antibodytiters in response to influenza vaccine. Errors bars in the top two plots denote standard error of the mean. The bottom panel illustrates the relation between pre-to-post test increases in left-sided activation and rise in antibodytiters to influenza vaccine among subjects in the meditation group only (N=25 for meditation group; N=16 for control group; from Davidson et al. 2003).

Antibody Titer <HIA>

Antibody Titer <HIA>

of the brain... But the wiring in our brains is not static, not irrevocably fixed. Our brains are also adaptable" (pp. 44-45).

Collectively the findings reviewed in this chapter indicate that there are neural reflections of positive affective styles and that these affective styles are associated with a pattern of peripheral biological function that reflects a more positive health profile. It is our conjecture that such positive affective styles are also associated with higher levels of empathy and compassion, since these are characteristics that are described as being strongly present in meditation adepts who have spent a considerable time training these neural circuits. Future research should be directed at the impact of strategies for transforming affective style on brain function and behaviors that reflect empathy and compassion.

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