Participation in research - Recruitment of volunteers

Monday, February 27, 2023 - 17:06

Within the scope of the Neuroanatomical research project correlates of wellbeing in a mindfulness and religious exercises program, supported and funded by the Bial Foundation and by the Center for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies of the Catholic University of Portugal, we request the expression of interest to participate in the scientific experiments that will be carried out the end.

Seeking to answer the question "can the well-being resulting from religiosity be compared with that resulting from the practice of mindfulness?", the aim of this investigation is to study the similarities and differences in brain structure and neuronal activity resulting from the practice of mindfulness. mindfulness (MBSR - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program) and spiritual exercises from Sto. Ignatius of Loyola in groups of individuals with experience in the respective practices, compared with a control group.

Those interested will be assessed using self-report questionnaires and using magnetic resonance imaging (before and after the exercises/program). People interested in participating in this experience should reserve around 9 days of their time. Participants in the Spiritual Exercises group must book dates between May 2nd and May 10th inclusive. Mindfulness group participants must book dates between May 30 and June 8 inclusive. In the first two days, the questionnaires will be applied and the first MRI will be performed; the five days of the program follow; finally, in the last two days, the initial protocol will be repeated (questionnaires and MRI). No invasive procedures such as blood collection or administration of contrast fluid will be carried out.

The stay for carrying out the programs (spiritual and mindfulness exercises) will have no cost for the participants.

The inclusion criteria for participation in this process are: (1) being over 18 years of age; (2) have previous knowledge and experience of the spiritual exercises or the

mindfulness exercises; (3) not have had a head injury or brain disease. Participants will be excluded if they meet any of the following criteria: (1) be pregnant; (2) be breastfeeding; (3) have color blindness; (4) currently taking antidepressant medication or migraine medication; (5) have a history of cardiovascular disease; (6) have a history of bipolar disorder or psychosis and/or attempted suicide; (7) being a current drug user; (8) have a history of seizures, neurological disease, or uncontrolled diabetes; (8) having had recent traumatic events.

If you wish to participate in this study, fulfill the inclusion criteria and do not observe any exclusion criteria, please access the following link to read and agree to the informed consent.

Thank you in advance for your contribution to this pioneering study.