Desbordes, G., et al. (2012). Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, 6:292. Full text.
From the Abstract: The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful attention, both in beginner meditators after an eight-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators.
However, the longitudinal effects of meditation training on amygdala responses have not been reported when participants are in an ordinary, non-meditative state. In this study, we investigated how eight weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. …
[Our] finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function.