During my meditation group today we had a dialogue about the benefits of mindfulness meditation. The study conducted by Lazar et al. (2005) came up in our talk where they found cortical thickening in experienced insight meditators. I also briefly mentioned Peterson and company's (2009) study in which a correlation between major depression and cortical thinning were found.
Two things come to mind while looking at these studies. One, thinning seems to be associated with attentional functioning and two, perhaps insight meditation can somehow, if only slightly, reverse the genetic predisposition for or effects of major depression.
We typically associate meditation with non ego-self experiencing and depression with ego-self experiencing. Maybe it's finally time to let go of that illusory concept of "I" and thicken that brain of ours.
Lazar, et al. (2005). Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness. NeuroReport 16, 1893-1897.
Peterson, et al. (2009). Cortical thinning in persons at increased familial risk for major depression. PNAS, 106, 6273-6278.