The effect of body-mind relaxation meditation induction on major depressive disorder: A resting-state fMRI study

Chen, Fangfang, Lv, Xueyu, Fang, Jiliang, Yu, Shan, Sui, Jing, Fan, Lingzhong, Li, Tao, Hong, Yang, Wang, XiaoLing, Wang, Weidong and Jiang, Tianzi (2015) The effect of body-mind relaxation meditation induction on major depressive disorder: A resting-state fMRI study. Journal of Affective Disorders, 183 75-82. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2015.04.030

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Author Chen, Fangfang
Lv, Xueyu
Fang, Jiliang
Yu, Shan
Sui, Jing
Fan, Lingzhong
Li, Tao
Hong, Yang
Wang, XiaoLing
Wang, Weidong
Jiang, Tianzi
Title The effect of body-mind relaxation meditation induction on major depressive disorder: A resting-state fMRI study
Journal name Journal of Affective Disorders   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1573-2517
Publication date 2015-09-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jad.2015.04.030
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 183
Start page 75
End page 82
Total pages 8
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Subject 2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
3203 Clinical Psychology
Formatted abstract

Meditation has been increasingly evaluated as an important complementary therapeutic tool for the treatment of depression. The present study employed resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to examine the effect of body–mind relaxation meditation induction (BMRMI) on the brain activity of depressed patients and to investigate possible mechanisms of action for this complex intervention.


21 major depressive disorder patients (MDDs) and 24 age and gender-matched healthy controls (HCs) received rs-fMRI scans at baseline and after listening to a selection of audio designed to induce body–mind relaxation meditation. The rs-fMRI data were analyzed using Matlab toolbox to obtain the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) of the BOLD signal for the whole brain. A mixed-design repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed on the whole brain to find which brain regions were affected by the BMRMI. An additional functional connectivity analysis was used to identify any atypical connection patterns after the BMRMI.


After the BMRMI experience, both the MDDs and HCs showed decreased ALFF values in the bilateral frontal pole (BA10). Additionally, increased functional connectivity from the right dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) to the left dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the left lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) was identified only in the MDDs after the BMRMI.


In order to exclude the impact of other events on the participants◊≥ brain activity, the Hamilton Rating Scales for Depression (HDRS) was not measured after the body–mind relaxation induction.


Our findings support the hypothesis that body–mind relaxation meditation induction may regulate the activities of the prefrontal cortex and thus may have the potential to help patients construct reappraisal strategies that can modulate the brain activity in multiple emotion-processing systems.
Keyword Major depressive disorder
Body-mind relaxation meditation
Cognitive reappraisal
Medial frontal cortex
Orbitofrontal cortex
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2016 Collection
Centre for Advanced Imaging Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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