Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital had meditation study participants take part in an eight-week meditation program requiring only 30 minutes of unstructured meditation per day. Brain scans conducted at the end of the test period showed that even within this brief span of time, changes in certain parts of the brain could be detected.
The brain scans showed that participants' hippocampal regions had increased, suggesting an increase in capacity for memory and learning. Also, the density of the amygdala decreased, implying a decrease in stress and anxiety.
Such studies demonstrate that the brain is highly malleable and readily responds to even short-term, light meditational discipline.