A Buddhist monk may have shaved eight years of mental ageing through meditation.
A study has found that the Tibetan monk, Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (YMR), has a brain resembling that of a 33-year-old, even though he is 41.
YMR has been mediating since he was 9 and it is suggested that the ''extraordinary number of hours'' he has spent on the practice has kept him mentally sharp.
Researchers wrote in the online journal, Neurocase, that the findings add to growing evidence ''that meditative practice may be associated with slowed biological ageing.''
The study, which was conducted in Wisconsin, compared a control sample of 105 adults from the state to YMR and found that the monk's aged slowly compared to a typical adult.
Richard Davidson, professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said: ''The big finding is that the brain of this Tibetan monk, who has spent more than 60,000 hours of his life in formal meditation, ages more slowly than the brains of controls.''