S.W. Lazar et al. are going to publish an article about thicker brain among meditators of Insight Meditation compared to laymen (NeuroReport Volume 16(17), 28 November 2005, pp 1893-1897). One of the involved area is the right anterior insula, according to them connected with respiration and interoception (sensitivity to stimuli originating inside of the body). You can not miss it, it’s definitely Vipassana: endless awareness training of respiration, sensation, respiration, sensation.
The thickness difference is even greater in the elderly. The fact that when we get older not only our skin sags and shrinks, but our brain gets thinner, too, should be enough to make you run to find a meditation teacher right away. The bad news is, meditation is no recreational sport, if you want to reap any benefit then you certainly need to practice daily.
The other brain area are involved in visual, auditory, and somatosensory. Indeed, for the last few weeks my sensory capability increases that I’m even able to feel physical and emotional pain of my friend, i.e when she gets headache I experience it, too. One week later she can vice versa feel the pain of my wounded hand. Sounds really weird, huh?