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What everyone should know about the 'CEO' of the brain

Center for Leadership Performance    Translate This Article
29 September 2007

Leaders who already perform at high levels of personal effectiveness and productivity are under constant pressure to outperform—to elevate their decision-making, planning, judgment, creativity, innovation, health, and fitness to even higher levels.

The most practical and effective tool to achieve all these benefits is the twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, which reduces harmful stress, improves cardiovascular health, enhances creativity, and develops the total brain.

The Center for Leadership Performance, a division of Maharishi University of Management's Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, is a nonprofit educational institution which provides individuals and organizations with training courses in the Transcendental Meditation program. This program has been validated by 40 years of scientific research at America's top medical schools and by the personal experiences of tens of thousands of meditating CEOs and other professionals nationwide.

The web site for the Center for Leadership Performance ( offers a wealth of practical information and knowledge about its programs, and especially about how the practice of Transcendental Meditation promotes total brain functioning.

The 'CEO' of your brain

The all-important prefrontal cortex—or ''CEO''—of the brain is the large area that is located behind the forehead. The prefrontal cortex regulates the brain's higher, rational, executive functions, including the ability to effectively judge, plan, understand, and decide—as well ethical thinking and behavior, and sense of self.

How stress damages the brain

Stress, pressure, fatigue, poor diet, alcohol, and drugs damage neural communications between the brain's prefrontal cortex and the rest of the brain. That is why an individual under prolonged stress has a tendency to be more negative, to respond to daily demands without thinking—and make impulsive, reactive, shortsighted decisions.

The Transcendental Meditation technique promotes total brain functioning

The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique provides the experience of 'restful alertness,' which reduces stress and strengthens communication between the brain's prefrontal cortex and different areas of the brain. This is why individuals practicing the TM technique naturally display stronger executive functions, with more purposeful thinking and farsighted decision-making.

Research on the Transcendental Meditation program

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has provided over $24 million to study the beneficial effects of the Transcendental Meditation program for brain functioning and heart health, including the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. In addition, hundreds of other studies on the effects of the TM program for mind, health, behavior, and society have been conducted at over 250 independent universities and research institutions, and published in such peer-reviewed scientific journals as Science, Scientific American, the American Journal of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association's journal, Hypertension.

This research has confirmed a broad range of benefits from the practice, including:
- Increased IQ
- Increased creativity
- Broader comprehension and improved ability to focus
- Broader comprehension and improved ability to focus
- Decreased anxiety
- Decreased depression
- Improved perception and memory
- Increased self-actualization
- Reduced illness and medical expenditures
- Improved job performance
- Increased job satisfaction
- Reduced substance abuse

The NIH-funded research results include:
- Reduced risk factors for hypertension, diabetes, and obesity
- Increased lifespan
- Reduced thickening of coronary arteries
- Reduced blood pressure in comparison with other procedures
- Reduced heart failure
- Reduced use of hypertensive medication
- Improved brain response to stress and pain

Copyright © 2007 Center for Leadership Performance

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