Two models of PTSD in Rats Selectively Bred for High and Low Saccharin Intake

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Prior research has explored which specific neurological areas are activated when people calculate how much they would be willing to pay for various household items. Other studies have shown that these neurological areas are also activated during certain styles of meditation. The shared activity of these neurological regions, specifically the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, may indicate a relationship between meditation and maximum dollar willingness to pay, or WTP. To explore this potential relationship, my research investigated whether practicing meditation before completing valuation calculations might influence a subject's subsequent WTP responses. In my study, participants were provided with meditation instruction and asked to meditate prior to completing several valuation calculations. These valuations were then contrasted against those of additional participant groups that did not meditate beforehand, and may or may not have received meditation instruction. Through this means, I wanted to investigate whether meditation had a short-term or long-term effect of WTP. Unfortunately, my study was unable to provide significant results illustrating an effect of meditation on either maximum or minimum dollar willingness to pay. Nevertheless, future study might explore this same relationship with the use of experienced meditation practitioners who may be more successful in activating the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while in meditation.


Nancy Dess and Clinton Chapman




Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education Grant

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