ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Garlic Yields Up Its Health Secret
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
Vitamin D Plus Calcium Guards Against Fractures
Stem Cells Might Treat Tough Fractures
CANCER
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
More Cancer Tests Mean More False-Positive Results
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
DIET, NUTRITION
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Database Helps Assess Your Breast Cancer Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Deployment Takes Toll on Army Wives
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fatty Fish May Cut Heart Failure Risk in Men
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
Martial Arts Training May Save Seniors' Hips
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
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Meditation May Boost Short-Term Visual Memory

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- A certain type of meditation may help the brain retain images for short periods, says a new study on visual-spatial abilities.

When people view an object, they usually retain a clear picture of it in their visual short-term memory for only a few seconds before the details fade. An experiment by George Mason University researchers, though, found that people who practice Deity Yoga (DY) do much better at visual-spatial tasks shortly after they meditate.

The study's authors, writing in a recent issue of Psychological Science, said the finding may have "many implications for therapy, treatment of memory loss and mental training."

Practitioners of DY meditation zero in on an image of their deity, conjuring up a vivid, three-dimensional mental picture of it while honing in on the deity's emotions and environment.

In the experiment, led by psychologist Maria Kozhevnikov, meditation and non-meditation practitioners performed two visual-spatial tests: imagining the rotation of a 3-D object and viewing an image, then trying to identify it from among several other similar images. After a first round of tests, the participants spent the next 20 minutes either meditating or performing non-meditative tasks before being tested again.

All the subjects had similar scores on the first round of tests, suggesting that meditating in general causes no overall, long-term improvement in visual-spatial skills.

However, those who performed DY meditation between rounds did much better on both tasks in the second phase of tests than those who did non-meditative activities or practiced Open Presence (OP) meditation. OP practitioners, rather than focusing on a specific thing, try to achieve awareness by contemplating a wider array of experiences, images or thoughts that may come to them.

The study authors concluded that further investigations should be done to see if other visual meditation techniques can produce similar improvements in visual-spatial memory or if the results are specific to DY meditation.

More information

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about the health benefits of meditation.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, April 27, 2009

Last Updated: May 21, 2009

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