Abstract for the 2007 Conference of the
American Psychological Association
Brain Integration Scale:
Corroborating Language-based Instruments of
Loevinger’s Sentence Completion Test (SCT) is a language-based instrument, which delineates pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional stages of self-development. Post-conventional experiences are beyond language—beyond time, space and causation—and so escape detection through a language-based instrument. However, post-conventional experiences are associated with patterns of brain functioning. Thus, an instrument generated from brainwave patterns may help delineate post-conventional experiences.
We have generated a Brain Integration Scale from EEG recorded during challenging computer tasks in 17 long-term Transcendental Meditation practitioners, who reported the permanent integration of “consciousness-itself,” or Transcendental Consciousness, with waking, sleeping and dreaming. This is the first of three stabilized states of enlightenment detailed in the Vedic tradition. Their brainwaves were compared to 17 age-matched meditating and 17 non-meditating subjects. Higher scores on the Brain Integration Scale were associated with 1) the state of enlightenment, 2) higher frontal 6-45 Hz EEG coherence, 3) higher alpha and lower gamma activity, 4) better match between brain preparation and task demands, 5) positive correlation (.4 to .7) with emotional stability, inner orientation, moral reasoning, and openness to experience—a trait positively correlated with ego stage (McCrae and Cost, 1980), and 6) negative correlation with anxiety (.45).
Nineteen randomly assigned American University students, who practiced the TM technique for three months significantly increased on the Brain Integration Scale, while Brain Integration Scale scores for the delayed start group decreased. Thirty-three Norwegian athletes, who had won gold medals in the Olympics or World games, had significantly higher Brain Integration Scale scores than 33 comparison athletes, who did not finish in the top ten. We are scoring the SCT protocols from the 17 enlightened subjects and the 66 athletes. These data will be reported at the symposium as a basis for exploring the synergy of these two measures for delineating post-conventional stages.Fred Travis, Director, Center for Brain, Consciousness and Cognition, Maharishi University of Management