Consciousness and Cognition 21 (1):269-276 (2012)

Abstract
Meditation comprises a series of practices mainly developed in eastern cultures aiming at controlling emotions and enhancing attentional processes. Several authors proposed to divide meditation techniques in focused attention and open monitoring techniques. Previous studies have reported differences in brain networks underlying FA and OM. On the other hand common activations across different meditative practices have been reported. Despite differences between forms of meditation and their underlying cognitive processes, we propose that all meditative techniques could share a central process that would be supported by a core network for meditation since their general common goal is to induce relaxation, regulating attention and developing an attitude of detachment from one’s own thoughts. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a quantitative meta-analysis based on activation likelihood estimation of 10 neuroimaging studies on different meditative techniques to evidence the core cortical network subserving meditation. We showed activation of basal ganglia , limbic system and medial prefrontal cortex . We discuss the functional role of these structures in meditation and we tentatively propose a neurocognitive model of meditation that could guide future research
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DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2011.09.019
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