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May – June 2019 • Vol 3, No 104
The benefits for the brain of chanting mantras or reciting sacred texts in Sanskrit has moved from the realm of ardent devotees into the arena of hard science. James Hartzell, Ph.D., a neuroscientist researching the topic, has looked at physical changes that happen in the brain during the memorization and recitation of Sanskrit texts. He is calling this “The Sanskrit Effect.”
Hartzell has discovered that Sanskrit pandits (Brahmin scholars) have over ten percent more grey matter across both cerebral hemispheres, a measurement consistent with higher cognitive functioning. The right hippocampus, connected to long and short-term memory and sensitive to auditory and visual patterns, has also been shown to have more grey matter across nearly seventy-five percent of its structure.
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