The Structure of the Mindful Brain

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Research from Japan, published in PLoS One, assessed 19 undergraduates for qualities of mindfulness then performed cranial MRI scans, finding that variations in the right anterior insula were consistent with theories of this region’s function and of quality of mindfulness, and “contrary to the description of alexithymia, a reduction or incapacity to experience or verbalize emotions. The developed right anterior insula volume in individuals with a higher describing score in the present study may facilitate more awareness of their own emotional states, and awareness of their own stressful states may enable them to exert cognitive control over their emotions.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

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