One of my most basic assumptions about the relationship between mental effort and brain function has begun to crumble. Here’s why.
My earliest research interests as a psychologist were in the ways mental training can shape biological systems. My doctoral dissertation was a psychophysiological study of meditation as an intervention in stress reactivity; I found (as have many others since) that the practice of meditation seems to speed the rate of physiological recovery from a stressor.
My guiding assumptions included the standard premise that the mind-body relationship operates according to orderly, understandable principles. One such might be called the “dose-response” rule, that the more time put into a given method of training, the greater the result in the targeted biological system.»