Junbo Yu

The Effect of Meditation on Brain Physiology and Longevity

I attended an online summer camp named Summer Stem Institute (SSI) where high school students interested in STEM research could design and pursue their own projects. As a Tibetan Buddhist and a student interested in cognitive and neuroscience, I initiated a research topic on the effects of meditation on human brain physiology and longevity. Through six weeks of work, I found that long-term meditators have significantly more grey matter in multiple regions of the brain and significantly longer telomeres in their cells. This research sheds light on alternative solutions to mental illnesses and possible approaches for humans to increase life expectancy through spiritual practices.

This was a valuable experience for me because I can see the complementary relationship between science and human spirituality with more clarity and I developed an immense appreciation for interdisciplinary studies to address advanced problems in our world. Junbo Yu ’21