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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Recent research has examined the beneficial impact of kindness-based meditation practices, including cognitively-based compassion training (CBCT). Here we provide a theoretical and practical account of CBCT and review the emerging evidence that it affects the brain and body in ways that are relevant for health. Initial research demonstrated that CBCT alters immune function and stress physiology, and augments empathy as well as the neural activity supporting it. More recent studies indicate that CBCT is differentially effective, depending on the population that practices. We suggest directions for future research to best examine the apparently complex effects of CBCT on health and well-being.

Keywords: compassion, empathy, empathic accuracy, immune system, inflammation, interleukin, c-reactive protein, fMRI, oxytocin

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