In a paper published in Nature Mental Health, Northeastern psychology professor Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli advises policy makers to consider turning to the low-cost, readily available practice of mindfulness meditation to change brain activity associated with mental illness.
“We wanted to show that lifestyle changes and behavioral interventions such as mindfulness meditation and exercise actually target the same (brain) network as quite invasive therapies such as deep brain stimulation, electroshock therapy and treatment with SSRIs,” she says.
“And they do ways that typically don’t have any negative side effects and are equitable in the sense that people can do them anywhere, anytime,” says Whitfield-Gabrieli, whose EPIC Lab at Northeastern world to understand the brain basis of psychiatric disorders.
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