ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Know Your Asthma Triggers
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Improved Hip Implants Can Last 20 Years
Fruits and Veggies May Strengthen Bones
CANCER
Papaya Could Be a Cancer Fighter
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Mineral May Reduce High-Risk Bladder Disease
CAREGIVING
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome as Deadly as Ever
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Anemia Rates Down for U.S. Women and Children
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
Breakfast Eggs Keep Folks on Diet
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Pesticides and How to Affordably Eat Organic or Reduce Pesticide Consumption
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Restaurant Sushi May Have More Mercury Than Store-Bought Fare
EYE CARE, VISION
Hybrid Cars Pose Risk to Blind, Visually Impaired
Music Can Help Restore Stroke Patients' Sight
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Football Can Shrink Players
Exercise Guards White Blood Cells Against Aging
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
8 Drugs Doctors Would Never Take
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation May Boost College Students' Learning
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Air Pollution Slows Women's Marathon Times
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
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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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