Reduced Age-Related Gray Matter Loss in the Orbitofrontal Cortex in Long-Term Meditators

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Kurth, Florian ORCID: 0000-0001-8662-1809, Strohmaier, Sarah ORCID: 0000-0002-2569-8447 and Luders, Eileen ORCID: 0000-0001-5659-992X (2023) Reduced Age-Related Gray Matter Loss in the Orbitofrontal Cortex in Long-Term Meditators. Brain Sciences, 13 (12). p. 1677. ISSN 2076-3425


The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a functionally heterogeneous brain region contributing to mental processes relating to meditation practices. The OFC has been reported to decline in volume with increasing age and differs in volume between meditation practitioners and non-practitioners. We hypothesized that the age-related decline of the OFC is diminished in meditation practitioners. We tested this hypothesis in a sample of 50 long-term meditators and 50 matched controls by correlating chronological age with regional gray matter volumes of the left and right OFC, as well as in seven left and right cytoarchitectonically defined subregions of the OFC (Fo1–Fo7). In both meditators and controls, we observed a negative relationship between age and OFC (sub)volumes, indicating that older participants have smaller OFC volumes. However, in meditators, the age-related decline was less steep compared to controls. These age-related differences reached significance for left and right Fo2, Fo3, Fo4, and Fo7, as well as left Fo5 and right Fo6. Since different subregions of the OFC are associated with distinct brain functions, further investigations are required to explore the functional implications of these findings in the context of meditation and the aging brain

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/brainsci13121677
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Keywords aging , ageing, brain, orbitofrontal cortex, gray matter
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