Juan Santoyo is studying neuro and contemplative sciences to help solve the problem of mental disorders in our country. Every year, about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffers from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia.
Santoyo’s family migrated to the United States from Colombia. He noticed that several homeless people suffered from ongoing psychological disorders without treatment. based on the preliminary results of a study published in “Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,” he discovers a method of treatment that isn’t just prescribing medicine.
The study describes how meditation can affect a subject’s ability to change brain activity in the posterior cingulate cortex. “You can observe both of these phenomena together and discover how they are co-determining one another,” Santoyo said. “Within 10 one-minute sessions, they [participants in a meditation study] were able to develop certain strategies to evoke a certain experience and use it to drive the signal.”
For some scientists, the news that meditation can trigger mental and genetic alterations is groundbreaking. Science certainly isn’t needed to experience or even prove the benefits of this ancient practice, these studies are likely heavily contributing to doctors prescribing things like meditation to patients instead of medications.
Featured image via World Science Festival