Total Brain Development

Brain, Consciousness and Cognition

EEG Patterns during Transcending

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Frederick Travis, (2001)

Autonomic and EEG Patterns Distinguish Transcending from other Experiences during Transcendental Meditation Practice. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 42, 1-9.


This study compared EEG and autonomic patterns during transcending to “other” experiences during Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice. To correlate specific meditation experiences with physiological measures, the experimenter rang a bell three times during the TM session. Subjects categorized their experiences around each bell ring. Transcending, in comparison to “other” experiences during TM practice, was marked by:

(1) significantly lower breath rates,
(2) higher respiratory sinus arrhythmia amplitudes, and
(3) higher EEG alpha amplitude and
(4) alpha coherence.

In addition, skin conductance responses to the experimenter-initiated bell rings were larger during transcending. These findings suggest that monitoring patterns of physiological variables may index dynamically changing inner-experiences during meditation practice. This could allow a more precise investigation into the nature of meditation experiences and a more accurate comparison of meditation states with other eyes-closed conditions.

EEG of Transcending.pdf

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April 27th, 2007 at 1:32 am

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