Cognitive processing | 6 Apr 2013
JF Tsai, SH Jou, W Cho and CM Lin
Increased alpha and theta activities in electroencephalography (EEG) have been found during various forms of meditation. However, advanced stage of meditation drew less attention to date. We aimed at exploring EEG characteristics during advanced meditation. Bilateral absolute alpha and theta EEG powers were recorded when a single meditator at rest, exercising breath meditation, and reaching the advanced meditative stage in 10 sessions of meditation. Averaged time-series data were analyzed using simulation modeling analysis to compare the powers during different meditative phases. During breath meditation, significantly higher activities compared with baseline were found only in bilateral theta (P = 0.0406, 0.0158 for left and right sides, respectively), but not in alpha (P = 0.1412, 0.0978 for left and right sides, respectively) bands. When meditation advanced, significantly increased activities were found both in bilateral alpha (P = 0.0218, 0.0258 for left and right sides, respectively) and theta (P = 0.0308, 0.0260 for left and right sides, respectively) bands compared against breath meditation. When advanced meditation compared against baseline, bilateral alpha (P = 0.0001, 0.0001 for left and right sides, respectively) and theta (P = 0.0001, 0.0001 for left and right sides, respectively) bands revealed significantly increased activities. Our findings support that internalized attention manifested as theta activity continuingly enhances significantly in sequential phases of meditation, while relaxation manifested as alpha activity is significant only after the advanced meditative phase is reached.
* Data courtesy of Altmetric.com