Giuseppe Pagnoni, a Neuroscientist in the dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University just recently published a study on Zen Meditators and fMRI.
Using fMRI and a simplified meditative condition interspersed with a lexical decision task, they investigated the neural correlates of conceptual processing during meditation in regular Zen practitioners and matched control subjects. While behavioral performance did not differ between groups, Zen practitioners displayed a reduced duration of the neural response linked to conceptual processing in regions of the default network, suggesting that meditative training may foster the ability to control the automatic cascade of semantic associations triggered by a stimulus and, by extension, to voluntarily regulate the flow of spontaneous mentation. See the entire article published in PLoS ONE HERE.
The article received press in The New Scientist. “The closest thing to Jedi Mind Tricks” See HERE.