If you’re one of those people who straddle the gulf between science and creativity (and I think, deep down, most people are, cf. 43 folders)… or if you’re just someone who likes finishing what you start… then this latest study in PhysOrg should be relevant to your interests. A team of Emory behavioral psychiatrists found that Zen meditation has a measurable effect on getting over interruptions:
Giuseppe Pagnoni, PhD, Emory assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and co-workers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine changes in blood flow in the brain when people meditating were interrupted by stimuli designed to mimic the appearance of spontaneous thoughts.
After interruption, experienced meditators were able to bring activity in most regions of the default network back to baseline faster than non-meditators. This effect was especially prominent in the angular gyrus, a region important for processing language.
So, if you’re often in that situation where you find yourself staring straight up and muttering, “What word is that? What’s the word? Argh!” then maybe consider spending a few minutes a day just sitting.