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EEG microstates during different phases of Transcendental Meditation practice


Faber, Pascal L; Travis, Frederick; Milz, Patricia; Parim, Niyazi (2017). EEG microstates during different phases of Transcendental Meditation practice. Cognitive Processing, 18(3):307-314.

Abstract

Two phases of Transcendental Meditation (TM)—transcending and undirected mentation—were compared to each other and to task-free resting using multichannel EEG recorded from 20 TM practitioners. An EEG microstate analysis identified four classes of microstates which were labeled A, B, C and D, based on their similarity to previously published classes. For each class of microstates, mean duration, coverage and occurrence were computed. Resting and transcending differed from undirected mentation with decreased prominence of Class A and increased prominence of Class D microstates. In addition, transcending showed decreased prominence of Class C microstates compared to undirected mentation. Based on previous findings on the functional significance of the microstate classes, the results indicate an increased reference to reality and decreased visualization during resting and transcending compared to undirected mentation. Also, our results indicate decreased saliency of internally generated mentations during transcending compared to undirected mentation reflecting a more detached and less evaluative processing. It is proposed that the continuous cycling through these two phases of meditation during a TM session might facilitate and train the flexible modulation of the parameters of these microstates of these particular classes which are known to be altered in psychiatric disorders. This might promote beneficial stabilizing effects for the practitioner of TM.

Abstract

Two phases of Transcendental Meditation (TM)—transcending and undirected mentation—were compared to each other and to task-free resting using multichannel EEG recorded from 20 TM practitioners. An EEG microstate analysis identified four classes of microstates which were labeled A, B, C and D, based on their similarity to previously published classes. For each class of microstates, mean duration, coverage and occurrence were computed. Resting and transcending differed from undirected mentation with decreased prominence of Class A and increased prominence of Class D microstates. In addition, transcending showed decreased prominence of Class C microstates compared to undirected mentation. Based on previous findings on the functional significance of the microstate classes, the results indicate an increased reference to reality and decreased visualization during resting and transcending compared to undirected mentation. Also, our results indicate decreased saliency of internally generated mentations during transcending compared to undirected mentation reflecting a more detached and less evaluative processing. It is proposed that the continuous cycling through these two phases of meditation during a TM session might facilitate and train the flexible modulation of the parameters of these microstates of these particular classes which are known to be altered in psychiatric disorders. This might promote beneficial stabilizing effects for the practitioner of TM.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
04 Faculty of Medicine > The KEY Institute for Brain-Mind Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:August 2017
Deposited On:14 Nov 2017 14:39
Last Modified:09 Dec 2017 03:30
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1612-4782
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10339-017-0812-y
Official URL:http://rdcu.be/rEpA

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Embargo till: 2018-08-31