A newish study:

 According to researchers at UCLA, meditation is ... a way to build a bigger brain. Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to scan the brains of people who meditate and people who don’t, researchers found that certain brain areas - specifically “the hippocampus and areas within the orbito-frontal cortex, the thalamus and the inferior temporal gyrus” - were significantly larger in people who meditate. And, those bigger brain parts might actually play a role in long-term meditators’ abilities to grab on to and maintain control of their mindfulness and emotions.

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