Autonomic and EEG patterns during eyes-closed rest and transcendental meditation (TM) practice: The basis for a neural model of TM practice

Consciousness and Cognition 8 (3):302-318 (1999)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this single-blind within-subject study, autonomic and EEG variables were compared during 10-min, order-balanced eyes-closed rest and Transcendental Meditation (TM) sessions. TM sessions were distinguished by (1) lower breath rates, (2) lower skin conductance levels, (3) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia levels, and (4) higher alpha anterior-posterior and frontal EEG coherence. Alpha power was not significantly different between conditions. These results were seen in the first minute and were maintained throughout the 10-min sessions. TM practice appears to (1) lead to a state fundamentally different than eyes-closed rest; (2) result in a cascade of events in the central and autonomic nervous systems, leading to a rapid change in state (within a minute) that was maintained throughout the TM session; and (3) be best distinguished from other conditions through autonomic and EEG alpha coherence patterns rather than alpha power. Two neural networks that may mediate these effects are suggested. The rapid shift in physiological functioning within the first minute might be mediated by a ''neural switch'' in prefrontal areas inhibiting activity in specific and nonspecific thalamocortical circuits. The resulting ''restfully alert'' state might be sustained by a basal ganglia-corticothalamic threshold regulation mechanism automatically maintaining lower levels of cortical excitability

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,271

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Some mechanisms of working memory may not be evident in the human EEG.Emrah Düzel - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (6):732-732.

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
68 (#232,828)

6 months
8 (#317,415)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?