Recent improvements in the discipline known as neuroimaging are allowing us to understand how the brain works on a whole new level. Its showing that at least a few behaviors, if repeated, can have a long term effect on the actual structure of the brain and subsequently how we act and think.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a brain with certain regions highlighted its likely an image from a process known as neuroimaging. The term covers things like functional MRI’s of the brain, PET scans, in which slightly radioactive molecules are released in the blood stream and traced as they move throughout the brain, and other methods.
Studies continuing to come out this year measure test subjects while exercising, praying, and meditating, and for the first time show the causal linkages between blood flow, brain structure and particular outcomes, like better memory or mood. The interactive below explores these relationships further.