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University Planning to Study Meditation's Effects on Academic Performance

Researchers at Mahariashi University in Iowa are hoping to prove that meditation improves academic performance.

According to a March 19th article from the St. Louis Post, the university hopes to use brain monitoring technology to wire all of its 750 students and issue them "brain integration report cards." The goal is to determine how the college experience, which includes daily meditation, effects the students' brains.

The article reports that: "Researchers at Maharishi University hope to prove that the deep body relaxation technique of meditation can increase academic performance, improve judgment and decision-making skills."

Although the idea of brain integration report cards may seem far-fetched to some, meditation is being studied by scientists and neurologists all over the globe. Researchers are beginning to understand how meditation affects the brain, and according to the St. Louis Post article, the alleged benefits of regular meditation may include: "reduction in stress hormones, lower blood pressure, slowing or reversal of hardening of the arteries, lower rates of smoking and alcohol abuse, reduced death rate from heart disease, lower hospitalization rates for cancer and psychiatric diseases, and reduced rates of infectious diseases."

Recent research at the University of Wisconsin revealed that Buddhist Monks who had been practicing meditation for 15-40 years showed much larger increases in a type of brain waves called gamma waves when compared to novice meditators.

The researchers at Mahariashi University are coordinating more studies with nearby hospitals and universities with the intention of better understanding transcendental meditation. In the meantime, Mahariashi University is planning to continue with the brain scan report cards and is urging other universities to follow suit.

Source:
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/stlouiscitycounty/story/446FC52217935CE886256FC900267054?OpenDocument

By: Laura Stevens

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