We found changes in regions associated with empathy, emotion regulation and reward processing.
But can compassion be learned through practice?
As a graduate student I designed and conducted a study testing this exact hypothesis: that we can become more compassionate through practicing meditation, and that this will result in more kind acts towards others. I hypothesized this wouldn’t take extreme amounts of practice.
As part of the study, people from the Madison, Wisconsin community practiced just 30 minutes a day for two weeks, like a new exercise regime.