THE SPIRIT IS POWERFUL! (1/4) – The prodigious advances in neuroscience over the past twenty years have made it possible to precisely measure the effects of meditative practices on our brain. The results are spectacular. First part of our series on the new territories of consciousness.
It was “bat one year” after her retirement, she had just celebrated her 66th birthday when Sabine Lecler applied to become “guinea pig”. The leaflet distributed at the Inter-Ages University of Caen where she had enrolled proposed an experience “exciting” : learn to meditate, in the company of about fifteen retirees, and agree to be examined from all angles to advance science. Today, the former child welfare secretary “curious about everything” is 71 years old and talks about his “neuropsy test, completed this morning”, with a hint of nostalgia. “It was my last… I feel really lucky to have participated in such an experience. » And for good reason, the European Silver Health Study program is, to date, the most ambitious ever launched in the world on the impact of meditation on the brain during aging.
Conducted at the Cyceron imaging center in Caen, the experiment, unprecedented in its duration – four years – is also unprecedented in the number of participants: one hundred and fifty volunteers, recruited during several waves spread over eighteen months, and divided into three groups; the first took English lessons; the second, meditation sessions; the last lived his life, without new activity. But all have had their weight, diet, sleep and brain activity scrupulously monitored, via questionnaires, blood tests, electroencephalograms, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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