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Sample records for transcendental meditation tm

  1. Changes in trait brainwave power and coherence, state and trait anxiety after three-month transcendental meditation (TM) practice.

    PubMed

    Tomljenović, Helena; Begić, Dražen; Maštrović, Zora

    2016-03-01

    The amount of studies showing different benefits of practicing meditation is growing. EEG brainwave patterns objectively reflect both the cognitive processes and objects of meditation. This study aimed to examine the effects of transcendental meditation (TM) practice on baseline EEG brainwave patterns (outside of meditation) and to examine weather TM reduces state and trait anxiety. Standard EEG recordings were conducted on volunteer participants (N=12), all students or younger employed people, before and after a three-month meditation training. Artifact-free 100-second epochs were selected and analyzed by Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis. Endlers Multidimensional Anxiety Scales (EMAS) were used to assess anxiety levels. Power (μV(2)) and coherence levels were compared in the alpha, beta, theta and delta frequency band. Changes in EEG patterns after meditation practice were found mostly in the theta band. An interaction effect was found on the left hemisphere (p<0.10). Theta power decreased on the left, but not on the right hemisphere. Increased theta coherence was found overall and in the central, temporal and occipital areas (p<0.10). Decrease in alpha power was found on channels T3 (p<0.10), O1 (p<0.05) and O2 (p<0.10). An interaction effect was found in the delta frequency band (p<0.06), too. A trend for power decreasing was found on the left, and a trend for power increasing on the right hemisphere. Also, power decreased on channel O1 (p<0.10). In the beta frequency band, a decrease was found on channel O2 (p<0.10). Trait anxiety did not differ, but a decrease in state anxiety and cognitive worry was found (p<0.05). Obtained results confirm the effects of TM on some baseline EEG brainwave patterns and state anxiety, suggesting that the left hemisphere is more sensitive to meditation practice. Most of the changes were found in the occipital and temporal areas, less in the central and frontal areas. State anxiety decreased after TM practice. Findings

  2. The Effect of Transcendental Meditation on Language Learning and GPA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dodds, Dinah; And Others

    An experiment was carried out at Lewis and Clark College to measure the effect of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on learning German. Three sections of first-year German were formed into a TM group, a TM-like group, and a control group. The TM group received training in TM given by two trained, experienced teachers. The TM-like section received…

  3. Transcendental Meditation and Progressive Relaxation: Their Physiological Effects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Throll, D. A.

    1982-01-01

    Measured oxygen consumption, subjects' respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure before and after learned Transcendental Meditation (TM) or Jacobson's Progressive Relaxation. Found TM group displayed more significant decreases during meditation and activity, explained primarily in terms of greater amount of time the TM group spent on their…

  4. Transcendental Meditation and Progressive Relaxation: Their Psychological Effects.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Throll, D. A.

    1981-01-01

    Compared the effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and Progressive Relaxation. At posttest the TM group displayed more significant results (decreases in neuroticism, and drug use). Both groups were less anxious. Explained the more pronounced results for meditators in terms of time spent on the technique plus differences between…

  5. Transcendental experiences during meditation practice.

    PubMed

    Travis, Frederick

    2014-01-01

    This article explores transcendental experiences during meditation practice and the integration of transcendental experiences and the unfolding of higher states of consciousness with waking, dreaming, and sleeping. The subject/object relationship during transcendental experiences is characterized by the absence of time, space, and body sense--the framework that gives meaning to waking experiences. Physiologically, transcendental experiences during Transcendental Meditation practice are marked by slow inhalation, along with autonomic orientation at the onset of breath changes and heightened α1 (8-10 Hz) frontal coherence. The integration of transcendental experiences with waking, dreaming, and sleeping is also marked by distinct subjective and objective markers. This integrated state, called Cosmic Consciousness in the Vedic tradition, is subjectively marked by inner self-awareness coexisting with waking, sleeping, and dreaming. Physiologically, Cosmic Consciousness is marked by the coexistence of α1 electroencephalography (EEG) with delta EEG during deep sleep, and higher brain integration, greater emotional stability, and decreased anxiety during challenging tasks. Transcendental experiences may be the engine that fosters higher human development. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Transcendental meditation, hypertension and heart disease.

    PubMed

    King, Michael S; Carr, Tim; D'Cruz, Cathryn

    2002-02-01

    Accumulating evidence that stress contributes to the pathogenesis and expression of coronary heart disease has led to the increasing use of stress reduction techniques in its prevention and treatment. The most widely used and tested technique is transcendental meditation. To describe transcendental meditation and review research on its use in the treatment and prevention of coronary heart disease. Transcendental meditation shows promise as a preventive and treatment method for coronary heart disease. Transcendental meditation is associated with decreased hypertension and atherosclerosis, improvements in patients with heart disease, decreased hospitalisation rates and improvements in other risk factors including decreased smoking and cholesterol. These findings cannot be generalised to all meditation and stress reduction techniques as each technique differs in its effects. Further research is needed to delineate the mechanisms involved and to verify preliminary findings concerning atherosclerosis and heart disease and the findings of short term hypertension studies.

  7. The Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Anxiety Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dillbeck, Michael C.

    1977-01-01

    Two weeks of twice-daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique was compared with 2 weeks of twice-daily practice of passive relaxation as a means of reduction of anxiety, as measured by the Trait scale of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. (Editor)

  8. Three Randomized Experiments on the Longitudinal Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Technique on Cognition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    So, Kam-Tim; Orme-Johnson, David W.

    2001-01-01

    Three studies of 362 high school students in 3 schools in Taiwan tested the hypothesis that regular practice of transcendental meditation (TM) for 6 to 12 months would improve cognitive ability. TM practice produced significant effects on all seven variables studies, and the TM technique was superior to contemplative meditation for five of the…

  9. Transcendental Meditation and Assertive Training in the Treatment of Social Anxiety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wampler, Larry D.; Amira, Stephen B.

    Research indicates that transcendental meditation (TM) may provide relief from accumulated stress and render the meditator better able to cope with future stressful events. Single and combined TM and assertive training programs were compared for effectiveness in the treatment of socially anxious college students. A waiting-list group served as the…

  10. The Effects of Muslim Praying Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Programs on Mindfulness among the University of Nizwa Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aldahadha, Basim

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the Effects of Muslim Praying Meditation (MPM) and Transcendental Meditation (TM) Program on Mindfulness among the University of Nizwa students. The sample of the study consisted of (354) students. The questionnaires of MPM (Al-Kushooa) and Kentucky Inventory of Mindfulness Skills (KIMS) were applied before…

  11. Default mode network activation and Transcendental Meditation practice: Focused Attention or Automatic Self-transcending?

    PubMed

    Travis, Frederick; Parim, Niyazi

    2017-02-01

    This study used subjective reports and eLORETA analysis to assess to what extent Transcendental Meditation (TM) might involve focused attention-voluntary control of mental content. Eighty-seven TM subjects with one month to five years TM experience participated in this study. Regression analysis of years TM practice and self-reported transcendental experiences (lack of time, space and body sense) during meditation practice was flat (r=.07). Those practicing Transcendental Meditation for 1month reported as much transcending as those with 5years of practice. The eLORETA comparison of eyes-closed rest/task and TM practice/task identified similar areas of activation: theta and alpha activation during rest and TM in the posterior cingulate and precuneus, part of the default mode network, and beta2 and beta3 activation during the task in anterior cingulate, ventral lateral and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices, part of the central executive network. In addition, eLORETA comparison of rest and TM identified higher beta temporal activation during rest and higher theta orbitofrontal activation during TM. Thus, it does not seem accurate to include TM practice with meditations in the catgory of Focused Attention, which are characterized by gamma EEG and DMN deactivation. Mixing meditations with different procedures into a single study confounds exploration of meditation effects and confounds application of meditation practices to different subject populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Psychotherapeutic Effects of Transcendental Meditation with Controls for Expectation of Relief and Daily Sitting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Jonathan C.

    1976-01-01

    Two experiments were conducted to isolate the trait-anxiety-reducing effects of transcendental meditation (TM) from expectation of relief and the concomitant ritual of sitting twice daily. The results strongly support the conclusion that the crucial therapeutic component of TM is not the TM exercise. (Author)

  13. The Transcendental Meditation Program and Rehabilitation at Folsom State Prison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abrams, Allan I.; Siegel, Larry M.

    1978-01-01

    Effects of the Transcendental Meditation program in a maximum security prison were studied via cross-validation design. Meditation and control groups indicated reduction in anxiety, neuroticism, hostility, and insomnia as a function of the treatment. (Author)

  14. Reactions of transcendental meditators and nonmeditators to stress films. A cognitive study.

    PubMed

    Kanas, N; Horowitz, M J

    1977-12-01

    To experimentally test the claimed stress-reducing effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM), two stress films were shown to a group of 60 meditators and nonmeditators. Stress response was observed through the use of cognitive and affective measures employing content analysis techniques and self-ratings. The meditators did not show less stress response than the nonmeditators. On several self-rating scales, a group of subjects who had signed up to be initiated into TM rated themselves significantly more stressed and emotionally distressed than either a control group or meditators. There was a trend for meditators who meditated during the experiment to show less stress response to the films than meditators who were told not to meditate; however, this difference was significant on only one measure, a subjective stress scale.

  15. Practicing Transcendental Meditation in High Schools: Relationship to Well-Being and Academic Achievement among Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wendt, Staci; Hipps, Jerry; Abrams, Allan; Grant, Jamie; Valosek, Laurent; Nidich, Sanford

    2015-01-01

    The Quiet Time program provides a 15-min period at the beginning and end of the school day where students may practice Transcendental Meditation (TM) or another quiet activity such as reading silently to oneself. This study examined the impact of participating in Quiet Time on ninth-grade students (n?=?141) by comparing their outcomes to those of…

  16. Experiences from Participants in Large-Scale Group Practice of the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi Programs and Parallel Principles of Quantum Theory, Astrophysics, Quantum Cosmology, and String Theory: Interdisciplinary Qualitative Correspondences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svenson, Eric Johan

    Participants on the Invincible America Assembly in Fairfield, Iowa, and neighboring Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa, practicing Maharishi Transcendental Meditation(TM) (TM) and the TM-Sidhi(TM) programs in large groups, submitted written experiences that they had had during, and in some cases shortly after, their daily practice of the TM and TM-Sidhi programs. Participants were instructed to include in their written experiences only what they observed and to leave out interpretation and analysis. These experiences were then read by the author and compared with principles and phenomena of modern physics, particularly with quantum theory, astrophysics, quantum cosmology, and string theory as well as defining characteristics of higher states of consciousness as described by Maharishi Vedic Science. In all cases, particular principles or phenomena of physics and qualities of higher states of consciousness appeared qualitatively quite similar to the content of the given experience. These experiences are presented in an Appendix, in which the corresponding principles and phenomena of physics are also presented. These physics "commentaries" on the experiences were written largely in layman's terms, without equations, and, in nearly every case, with clear reference to the corresponding sections of the experiences to which a given principle appears to relate. An abundance of similarities were apparent between the subjective experiences during meditation and principles of modern physics. A theoretic framework for understanding these rich similarities may begin with Maharishi's theory of higher states of consciousness provided herein. We conclude that the consistency and richness of detail found in these abundant similarities warrants the further pursuit and development of such a framework.

  17. Design and rationale of a comparative effectiveness trial evaluating transcendental meditation against established therapies for PTSD.

    PubMed

    Rutledge, Thomas; Nidich, Sanford; Schneider, Robert H; Mills, Paul J; Salerno, John; Heppner, Pia; Gomez, Mayra A; Gaylord-King, Carolyn; Rainforth, Maxwell

    2014-09-01

    Although meditation therapies such as the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique are commonly used to assist with stress and stress-related diseases, there remains a lack of rigorous clinical trial research establishing the relative efficacy of these treatments overall and for populations with psychiatric illness. This study uses a comparative effectiveness design to assess the relative benefits of TM to those obtained from a gold-standard cognitive behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in a Veteran population. This paper describes the rationale and design of an in progress randomized controlled trial comparing TM to an established cognitive behavioral treatment - Prolonged Exposure (PE) - and an active control condition (health education [HE]) for PTSD. This trial will recruit 210 Veterans meeting DSM-IV criteria for PTSD, with testing conducted at 0 and 3 months for PTSD symptoms, depression, mood disturbance, quality of life, behavioral factors, and physiological/biochemical and gene expression mechanisms using validated measures. The study hypothesis is that TM will be noninferior to PE and superior to HE on changes in PTSD symptoms, using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). The described study represents a methodologically rigorous protocol evaluating the benefits of TM for PTSD. The projected results will help to establish the overall efficacy of TM for PTSD among Veterans, identify bio-behavioral mechanisms through which TM and PE may improve PTSD symptoms, and will permit conclusions regarding the relative value of TM against currently established therapies for PTSD. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Clinical case series: treatment of PTSD with transcendental meditation in active duty military personnel.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Vernon A; Rigg, John L; Williams, Jennifer J

    2013-07-01

    Active duty U.S. Army Service Members previously diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were selected from review of patient records in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at the Department of Defense Eisenhower Army Medical Center at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia. Patients agreed to practice the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique for 20 minutes twice a day for the duration of a 2-month follow-up period. Three cases are presented with results that show the feasibility of providing TM training to active duty soldiers with PTSD in a Department of Defense medical facility. Further investigation is suggested to determine if a TM program could be used as an adjunct for treatment of PTSD. Impact of this report is expected to expand the complementary and alternative evidence base for clinical care of PTSD. Reprint & Copyright © 2013 Association of Military Surgeons of the U.S.

  19. Beta-adrenergic receptor sensitivity, autonomic balance and serotonergic activity in practitioners of Transcendental Meditation

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, D.A.

    1989-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to investigate the acute autonomic effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program (TM) and resolve the conflict arising from discrepant neurochemical and psychophysiological data. Three experimental investigations were performed. The first examined beta{sub 2}-adrenergic receptors (AR's) on peripheral blood lymphocytes, via (I{sup 125})iodocyanopindolol binding, in 10 male mediating and 10 age matched non-meditating control subjects, to test the hypothesis that the long-term practice of TM and the TM Sidhi Program (TMSP) reduces end organ sensitivity to adrenergic agonists. The second investigated respiratory sinus arrhythmia (an indirect measure of cardiac Parasympathetic Nervous System tone), and skinmore » resistance (a measure of Sympathetic Nervous System tone) during periods of spontaneous respiratory apneusis, a phenomenon occurring during TM that is known to mark the subjective experience of transcending. The third was within subject investigation of the acute effects of the TMSP on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) activity. Platelet 5-HT was assayed by high pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, plasma prolactin (PL) and lutenizing hormone (LH) by radioimmunoassay, tryptophan by spectrofluorimetry, and alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP, a modulator of 5-HT uptake) by radial immunodiffusion assay.« less

  20. Review of Controlled Research on the Transcendental Meditation Program and Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    Walton, Kenneth G.; Schneider, Robert H.; Nidich, Sanford

    2007-01-01

    Because of growing evidence for stress as a major factor contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD), techniques of meditation are being increasingly used. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique is distinct from other techniques of meditation not only in its origin and procedure, but also in the amount and breadth of research testing it. Evidence for its ability to reduce traditional and novel risk factors for CVD includes: 1) decreases in blood pressure, 2) reduced use of tobacco and alcohol, 3) lowering of high cholesterol and lipid oxidation, and 4) decreased psychosocial stress. Changes expected to result from reducing these risk factors, namely, reversal of atherosclerosis, reduction of myocardial ischemia and left ventricular hypertrophy, reduced health insurance claims for CVD, and reduced mortality, also have been found with TM practice. Research on mechanisms suggests that some of the CVD-related benefits as a result of this technique could arise from normalization of neuroendocrine systems whose function has been distorted by chronic stress. Further randomized clinical trials are in progress with a focus on underserved minority populations. PMID:15316306

  1. Transcendental Meditation and Reduced Trauma Symptoms in Female Inmates: A Randomized Controlled Study.

    PubMed

    Nidich, Sanford; Seng, Angela; Compton, Blaze; O'connor, Tom; Salerno, John W; Nidich, Randi

    2017-01-01

    Compared with the general population, trauma experiences are higher among incarcerated women. To evaluate the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on trauma symptoms in female offenders. Twenty-two inmates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, OR, with at least 4 months left of incarceration were enrolled in this randomized controlled pilot study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the TM group (n = 11) or a wait-list control group (n = 11). Subjects were measured at baseline and 4-month posttest using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C; primary outcome) with intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and hyperarousal subscales (secondary outcomes). Twenty of the subjects (10 in each group) took part in their treatment assignment and completed posttesting. Significant reductions were found on total trauma (p < 0.036), intrusive thoughts (p < 0.026), and hyperarousal (p < 0.043) on the PCL-C. Effect sizes ranged from 0.65 to 0.99 for all variables. Eighty-one percent of the TM subjects were compliant with their program. The results of this study indicate feasibility of the TM program in a female prison population and suggest that TM may be an effective tool for decreasing trauma symptoms. Future large-scale research is warranted.

  2. Transcendental Meditation and Reduced Trauma Symptoms in Female Inmates: A Randomized Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Nidich, Sanford; Seng, Angela; Compton, Blaze; O’Connor, Tom; Salerno, John W; Nidich, Randi

    2017-01-01

    Context: Compared with the general population, trauma experiences are higher among incarcerated women. Objective: To evaluate the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on trauma symptoms in female offenders. Design: Twenty-two inmates at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, OR, with at least 4 months left of incarceration were enrolled in this randomized controlled pilot study. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the TM group (n = 11) or a wait-list control group (n = 11). Main Outcome Measures: Subjects were measured at baseline and 4-month posttest using the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian version (PCL-C; primary outcome) with intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and hyperarousal subscales (secondary outcomes). Twenty of the subjects (10 in each group) took part in their treatment assignment and completed posttesting. Results: Significant reductions were found on total trauma (p < 0.036), intrusive thoughts (p < 0.026), and hyperarousal (p < 0.043) on the PCL-C. Effect sizes ranged from 0.65 to 0.99 for all variables. Eighty-one percent of the TM subjects were compliant with their program. Conclusion: The results of this study indicate feasibility of the TM program in a female prison population and suggest that TM may be an effective tool for decreasing trauma symptoms. Future large-scale research is warranted. PMID:28333611

  3. Effects of behavioral stress reduction Transcendental Meditation intervention in Persons with HIV

    PubMed Central

    Chhatre, Sumedha; Metzger, David S.; Frank, Ian; Boyer, Jean; Thompson, Edward; Nidich, Sanford; Montaner, Luis J.; Jayadevappa, Ravishankar

    2013-01-01

    Stress is implicated in the pathogenesis and progression of HIV. The Transcendental Meditation is a behavioral stress reduction program that incorporates mind-body approach, and has demonstrated effectiveness in improving outcomes via stress reduction. We evaluated the feasibility of implementing Transcendental Meditation and its effects on outcomes in persons with HIV. In this community based single blinded Phase-I, randomized controlled trial, outcomes (psychological and physiological stress, immune activation, generic and HIV-specific health related quality of life, depression and quality of well-being) were assessed at baseline and at six months, and were compared using parametric and non-parametric tests. Twenty two persons with HIV were equally randomized to Transcendental Meditation intervention or healthy eating (HE) education control group. Retention was 100% in Transcendental Meditation group and 91% in healthy eating control group. The Transcendental Meditation group exhibited significant improvement in vitality. Significant between group differences were observed for generic and HIV-specific health related quality of life.. Small sample size may possibly limit the ability to observe significant differences in some outcomes. Transcendental Meditation stress reduction intervention in community dwelling adults with HIV is viable and can enhance health related quality of life. Further research with large sample and longer follow-up is needed to validate our results. PMID:23394825

  4. Physiological patterns during practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique compared with patterns while reading Sanskrit and a modern language.

    PubMed

    Travis, F; Olson, T; Egenes, T; Gupta, H K

    2001-07-01

    This study tested the prediction that reading Vedic Sanskrit texts, without knowledge of their meaning, produces a distinct physiological state. We measured EEG, breath rate, heart rate, and skin conductance during: (1) 15-min Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice; (2) 15-min reading verses of the Bhagavad Gita in Sanskrit; and (3) 15-min reading the same verses translated in German, Spanish, or French. The two reading conditions were randomly counterbalanced, and subjects filled out experience forms between each block to reduce carryover effects. Skin conductance levels significantly decreased during both reading Sanskrit and TM practice, and increased slightly during reading a modern language. Alpha power and coherence were significantly higher when reading Sanskrit and during TM practice, compared to reading modern languages. Similar physiological patterns when reading Sanskrit and during practice of the TM technique suggests that the state gained during TM practice may be integrated with active mental processes by reading Sanskrit.

  5. Combined therapy using acupressure therapy, hypnotherapy, and transcendental meditation versus placebo in type 2 diabetes.

    PubMed

    Bay, Roohallah; Bay, Fatemeh

    2011-09-01

    Type 2 diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in the world. The main aim of this research was to evaluate the effect of combined therapy using acupressure therapy, hypnotherapy, and transcendental meditation (TM) on the blood sugar (BS) level in comparison with placebo in type 2 diabetic patients. We used "convenience sampling" for selection of patients with type 2 diabetes; 20 patients were recruited. For collection of data, we used an identical quasi-experimental design called "nonequivalent control group." Therapy sessions each lasting 60-90 min were carried out on 10 successive days. We prescribed 2 capsules (containing 3g of wheat flour each) for each member of the placebo group (one for evening and one for morning). Pre-tests, post-tests, and follow-up tests were conducted in a medical laboratory recognized by the Ministry of Health and Medical Education of Iran. Mean BS level in the post-tests and follow-up tests for the experimental group was reduced significantly in comparison with the pre-tests whereas in the placebo group no changes were observed. Combined therapy including acupressure therapy, hypnotherapy, and TM reduced BS of type 2 diabetic patients and was more effective than placebo therapy on this parameter. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  6. Psychosocial Stress and Cardiovascular Disease Part 2: Effectiveness of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Treatment and Prevention

    PubMed Central

    Walton, Kenneth G.; Schneider, Robert H.; Nidich, Sanford I.; Salerno, John W.; Nordstrom, Cheryl K.; Merz, C. Noel Bairey

    2009-01-01

    Psychosocial stress is a nontraditional risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality that may respond to behavioral or psychosocial interventions. To date, studies applying such interventions have reported a wide range of success rates in treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The authors focus on a natural medicine approach that research indicates reduces both psychosocial and traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease—the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program. Randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses, and other controlled studies indicate this meditation technique reduces risk factors and can slow or reverse the progression of pathophysiological changes underlying cardiovascular disease. Studies with this technique have revealed reductions in blood pressure, carotid artery intima-media thickness, myocardial ischemia, left ventricular hypertrophy, mortality, and other relevant outcomes. The magnitudes of these effects compare favorably with those of conventional interventions for secondary prevention. PMID:16463759

  7. Academic Achievement and Transcendental Meditation: A Study with At-Risk Urban Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nidich, Sanford; Mjasiri, Shujaa; Nidich, Randi; Rainforth, Maxwell; Grant, James; Valosek, Laurent; Chang, Walter; Zigler, Ronald L.

    2011-01-01

    The middle school level is of particular concern to educators because of poor standardized test performance. This study evaluated change in academic achievement in public middle school students practicing the Transcendental Meditation[R] program compared to controls. A total of 189 students who were below proficiency level at baseline in English…

  8. Effect of Transcendental Meditation on Employee Stress, Depression, and Burnout: A Randomized Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Elder, Charles; Nidich, Sanford; Moriarty, Francis; Nidich, Randi

    2014-01-01

    Context: Workplace stress and burnout are pervasive problems, affecting employee performance and personal health. Objective: To evaluate the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on psychological distress and burnout among staff at a residential therapeutic school for students with severe behavioral problems. Design: A total of 40 secondary schoolteachers and support staff at the Bennington School in Vermont, a therapeutic school for children with behavioral problems, were randomly assigned to either practice of the Transcendental Meditation program or a wait-list control group. The Transcendental Meditation course was provided by certified instructors. Main Outcome Measures: Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and at four months, and included perceived stress, depression, and burnout. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to determine overall effects. Results: Analysis of the 4-month intervention data indicated a significant improvement in the main outcomes of the study resulting from practice of the Transcendental Meditation program compared with controls (Wilks Λ [3,28] = 0.695; p = 0.019). Results of univariate F tests indicated a significant reduction of all main outcome measures: perceived stress (F[1,32] = 13.42; p = < 0.001); depression (F[1,32] = 6.92; p = 0.013); and overall teacher burnout (F[1,32] = 6.18; p = 0.018). Effect sizes ranged from 0.40 to 0.94. Conclusions: The Transcendental Meditation program was effective in reducing psychological distress in teachers and support staff working in a therapeutic school for students with behavioral problems. These findings have important implications for employees’ job performance as well as their mental and physical health. PMID:24626068

  9. Effect of transcendental meditation on employee stress, depression, and burnout: a randomized controlled study.

    PubMed

    Elder, Charles; Nidich, Sanford; Moriarty, Francis; Nidich, Randi

    2014-01-01

    Workplace stress and burnout are pervasive problems, affecting employee performance and personal health. To evaluate the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on psychological distress and burnout among staff at a residential therapeutic school for students with severe behavioral problems. A total of 40 secondary schoolteachers and support staff at the Bennington School in Vermont, a therapeutic school for children with behavioral problems, were randomly assigned to either practice of the Transcendental Meditation program or a wait-list control group. The Transcendental Meditation course was provided by certified instructors. Outcome measures were assessed at baseline and four months, and included perceived stress, depression, and burnout. A multivariate analysis of covariance was used to determine overall effects. Analysis of the 4-month intervention data indicated a significant improvement in the main outcomes of the study resulting from practice of the Transcendental Meditation program compared with controls (Wilks Λ [3,28] = 0.695; p = 0.019). Results of univariate F tests indicated a significant reduction of all main outcome measures: perceived stress (F[1,32] = 13.42; p = < 0.001); depression (F[1,32] = 6.92; p = 0.013); and overall teacher burnout (F[1,32] = 6.18; p = 0.018). Effect sizes ranged from 0.40 to 0.94. The Transcendental Meditation program was effective in reducing psychological distress in teachers and support staff working in a therapeutic school for students with behavioral problems. These findings have important implications for employees’ job performance as well as their mental and physical health.

  10. Review of controlled research on the transcendental meditation program and cardiovascular disease. Risk factors, morbidity, and mortality.

    PubMed

    Walton, Kenneth G; Schneider, Robert H; Nidich, Sanford

    2004-01-01

    Because of growing evidence for stress as a major factor contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD), techniques of meditation are being increasingly used. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique is distinct from other techniques of meditation not only in its origin and procedure, but also in the amount and breadth of research testing it. Evidence for its ability to reduce traditional and novel risk factors for CVD includes: 1) decreases in blood pressure, 2) reduced use of tobacco and alcohol, 3) lowering of high cholesterol and lipid oxidation, and 4) decreased psychosocial stress. Changes expected to result from reducing these risk factors, namely, reversal of atherosclerosis, reduction of myocardial ischemia and left ventricular hypertrophy, reduced health insurance claims for CVD, and reduced mortality, also have been found with TM practice. Research on mechanisms suggests that some of the CVD-related benefits as a result of this technique could arise from normalization of neuroendocrine systems whose function has been distorted by chronic stress. Further randomized clinical trials are in progress with a focus on underserved minority populations.

  11. Electrophysiological correlates of higher states of consciousness during sleep in long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation program.

    PubMed

    Mason, L I; Alexander, C N; Travis, F T; Marsh, G; Orme-Johnson, D W; Gackenbach, J; Mason, D C; Rainforth, M; Walton, K G

    1997-02-01

    Standard ambulatory night sleep electroencephalograph (EEG) of 11 long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program reporting "higher states of consciousness" during sleep (the experimental group) was compared to that of nine short-term practitioners and 11 non-practitioners. EEG tracings during stages 3 and 4 sleep showed the experimental group to have: 1) theta-alpha activity simultaneously with delta activity and 2) decreased chin electromyograph (EMG) during deep sleep (p = 0.002) compared to short-term practitioners. Spectral analysis fast Fourier transform (FFT) data of the first three cycles showed that: 3) the experimental subjects had significantly greater theta 2 (6-8 Hz)-alpha 1 (8-10 Hz) relative power during stages 3 and 4 than the combined control groups [t(30) = 5.5, p = 0.0000008] with no difference in time in delta; 4) there was a graded difference across groups during stages 3 and 4 in theta 2-alpha 1 power, with experimentals having greater power than short-term practitioners, who in turn had greater power than non-practitioners [t(30) = 5.08, p = 0.00002]; and 5) experimentals also had increased rapid eye movement (REM) density during REM periods compared to short-term practitioners (p = 0.04). Previous studies have found increased theta-alpha EEG activity during reported periods of "transcendental consciousness" during the TM technique. In the Vedic tradition, as described by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, transcendental consciousness is the first of a sequence of higher states. The maintenance of transcendental consciousness along with deep sleep is said to be a distinctive criterion of further, stabilized higher states of consciousness. The findings of this study are interpreted as physiological support for this model.

  12. Reduced Trauma Symptoms and Perceived Stress in Male Prison Inmates through the Transcendental Meditation Program: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    PubMed

    Nidich, Sanford; O'connor, Tom; Rutledge, Thomas; Duncan, Jeff; Compton, Blaze; Seng, Angela; Nidich, Randi

    2016-01-01

    Trauma events are four times more prevalent in inmates than in the general public and are associated with increased recidivism and other mental and physical health issues. To evaluate the effects of Transcendental Meditation (TM) on trauma symptoms in male inmates. One hundred eighty-one inmates with a moderate- to high-risk criminal profile were randomly assigned to either the TM program or to a usual care control group. The Trauma Symptom Checklist and the Perceived Stress Scale were administered at baseline and four-month posttest. Significant reductions in total trauma symptoms, anxiety, depression, dissociation, and sleep disturbance subscales, and perceived stress in the TM group were found compared with controls (all p values < 0.001). The high-trauma subgroup analysis further showed a higher magnitude of effects in the TM group compared with controls on all outcomes, with Cohen effect sizes ranging from 0.67 to 0.89. Results are consistent with those of prior studies of the TM program in other populations and its effects on trauma symptoms and perceived stress.

  13. Higher theta and alpha1 coherence when listening to Vedic recitation compared to coherence during Transcendental Meditation practice.

    PubMed

    Travis, Frederick; Parim, Niyazi; Shrivastava, Amrita

    2017-03-01

    This study compared subjective experiences and EEG patterns in 37 subjects when listening to live Vedic recitation and when practicing Transcendental Meditation (TM). Content analysis of experiences when listening to Vedic recitation yielded three higher-order code. Experiences during Vedic recitation were: (1) deeper than during TM practice; (2) experienced as an inner process; and (3) characterized by lively silence. EEG patterns support these higher-order codes. Theta2 and alpha1 frontal, parietal, and frontal-parietal coherence were significantly higher when listening to Vedic recitation, than during TM practice. Theta2 coherence is seen when attending to internal mental processes. Higher theta2 coherence supports subjects' descriptions that the Vedic recitations were "not external sounds but internal vibrations." Alpha1 coherence is reported during pure consciousness experiences during TM practice. Higher alpha1 coherence supports subjects' descriptions that they "experienced a depth of experience, rarely experienced even during deep TM practice." These data support the utility of listening to Vedic recitation to culture deep inner experiences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation(®) Program: A Research Review Update.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Vernon A; Orme-Johnson, David W

    2012-08-01

    The pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases are thought to be exacerbated by stress. Basic research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation(®) technique produces acute and longitudinal reductions in sympathetic tone and stress reactivity. In adolescents at risk for hypertension, the technique has been found to reduce resting and ambulatory blood pressure, left ventricular mass, cardiovascular reactivity, and to improve school behavior. Research on adults with mild or moderate essential hypertension has reported decreased blood pressure and reduced use of anti-hypertensive medication. The technique has also been reported to decrease symptoms of angina pectoris and carotid atherosclerosis, to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, including alcohol and tobacco use, to markedly reduce medical care utilization for cardiovascular diseases, and to significantly decrease cardiovascular and all-cause morbidity and mortality. These findings have important implications for inclusion of the Transcendental Meditation program in efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases and their clinical consequences.(®)Transcendental Meditation and TM are trademarks registered in the US. Patent and Trademark Office, licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used with permission.

  15. Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease in Adolescents and Adults through the Transcendental Meditation® Program: A Research Review Update

    PubMed Central

    Barnes, Vernon A.; Orme-Johnson, David W.

    2012-01-01

    The pathogenesis and progression of cardiovascular diseases are thought to be exacerbated by stress. Basic research indicates that the Transcendental Meditation® technique produces acute and longitudinal reductions in sympathetic tone and stress reactivity. In adolescents at risk for hypertension, the technique has been found to reduce resting and ambulatory blood pressure, left ventricular mass, cardiovascular reactivity, and to improve school behavior. Research on adults with mild or moderate essential hypertension has reported decreased blood pressure and reduced use of anti-hypertensive medication. The technique has also been reported to decrease symptoms of angina pectoris and carotid atherosclerosis, to reduce cardiovascular risk factors, including alcohol and tobacco use, to markedly reduce medical care utilization for cardiovascular diseases, and to significantly decrease cardiovascular and all-cause morbidity and mortality. These findings have important implications for inclusion of the Transcendental Meditation program in efforts to prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases and their clinical consequences. ®Transcendental Meditation and TM are trademarks registered in the US. Patent and Trademark Office, licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used with permission. PMID:23204989

  16. Stress reduction in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: randomized, controlled trial of transcendental meditation and health education in Blacks.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Robert H; Grim, Clarence E; Rainforth, Maxwell V; Kotchen, Theodore; Nidich, Sanford I; Gaylord-King, Carolyn; Salerno, John W; Kotchen, Jane Morley; Alexander, Charles N

    2012-11-01

    Blacks have disproportionately high rates of cardiovascular disease. Psychosocial stress may contribute to this disparity. Previous trials on stress reduction with the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program have reported improvements in cardiovascular disease risk factors, surrogate end points, and mortality in blacks and other populations. This was a randomized, controlled trial of 201 black men and women with coronary heart disease who were randomized to the TM program or health education. The primary end point was the composite of all-cause mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Secondary end points included the composite of cardiovascular mortality, revascularizations, and cardiovascular hospitalizations; blood pressure; psychosocial stress factors; and lifestyle behaviors. During an average follow-up of 5.4 years, there was a 48% risk reduction in the primary end point in the TM group (hazard ratio, 0.52; 95% confidence interval, 0.29-0.92; P=0.025). The TM group also showed a 24% risk reduction in the secondary end point (hazard ratio, 0.76; 95% confidence interval, 0.51-0.1.13; P=0.17). There were reductions of 4.9 mmHg in systolic blood pressure (95% confidence interval -8.3 to -1.5 mmHg; P=0.01) and anger expression (P<0.05 for all scales). Adherence was associated with survival. A selected mind-body intervention, the TM program, significantly reduced risk for mortality, myocardial infarction, and stroke in coronary heart disease patients. These changes were associated with lower blood pressure and psychosocial stress factors. Therefore, this practice may be clinically useful in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: www.clinicaltrials.gov Unique identifier: NCT01299935.

  17. Psychosocial stress and cardiovascular disease. Part 3: Clinical and policy implications of research on the transcendental meditation program.

    PubMed

    Walton, Kenneth G; Schneider, Robert H; Salerno, John W; Nidich, Sanford I

    2005-01-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the leading cause of death in the United States today and a major contributor to total health care costs. Psychosocial stress has been implicated in CVD, and psychosocial approaches to primary and secondary prevention are gaining research support. This third article in the series on psychosocial stress and CVD continues the evaluation of one such approach, the Maharishi Transcendental Meditation program, a psychophysiological approach from the Vedic tradition that is systematically taught by qualified teachers throughout the world. Evidence suggests not only that this program can provide benefits in prevention but also that it may reduce CVD-related and other health care expenses. On the basis of data from the studies available to date, the Transcendental Meditation program may be responsible for reductions of 80% or greater in medical insurance claims and payments to physicians. This article evaluates the implications of research on the Transcendental Meditation program for health care policy and for large-scale clinical implementation of the program. The Transcendental Meditation program can be used by individuals of any ethnic or cultural background, and compliance with the practice regimen is generally high. The main steps necessary for wider adoption appear to be: (1) educating health care providers and patients about the nature and expected benefits of the program, and (2) adjustments in public policies at the state and national levels to allow this program to be included in private and public health insurance plans.

  18. Transcendental Meditation

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2017-12-09

    K.Wallace, qui vient des Etats Unis, parle des effects physiologiques de la méditation transcendantale. Il a fait son bachelor en physique à l'Université de Los Angeles et son doctorat en physiologie aussi à Los Angeles, mais à l'Institut de Recherche sur le cerveau. Il travaille maintenat à Harvard Medical School ou il continue des recherches biochimiques et physiologiques sur l'application médicale de la méditation transcendantale. Il s'occupe principalement des maladies cardiaques et de hypertension artérielle.

  19. Transcendental Meditation

    SciTech Connect

    None

    2005-11-29

    K.Wallace, qui vient des Etats Unis, parle des effects physiologiques de la méditation transcendantale. Il a fait son bachelor en physique à l'Université de Los Angeles et son doctorat en physiologie aussi à Los Angeles, mais à l'Institut de Recherche sur le cerveau. Il travaille maintenat à Harvard Medical School ou il continue des recherches biochimiques et physiologiques sur l'application médicale de la méditation transcendantale. Il s'occupe principalement des maladies cardiaques et de hypertension artérielle.

  20. The Transcendental Meditation Program's Impact on the Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder of Veterans: An Uncontrolled Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Herron, Robert E; Rees, Brian

    2018-01-01

    Current treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are only partially effective. This study evaluated whether an extensively researched stress reduction method, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, can reduce the PTSD symptoms of veterans. Previous research suggested that TM practice can decrease veterans' PTSD symptoms. A one-group pretest-posttest design was used to evaluate the impact of TM practice on reducing PTSD symptoms. A convenience sample of 89 veterans completed PTSD Checklist-Civilian (PCL-5) questionnaires. Among those, 46 scored above 33, the threshold for provisional diagnosis of PTSD, and were included in this evaluation. The PCL-5 measured PTSD symptoms at baseline and 30 and 90 d after intervention. Regularity of TM practice was recorded. Paired sample t-tests were used to assess within-group changes from baseline to post-intervention periods. Analysis of variance was used to compare full-dose (two 20-min TM sessions per day) and half-dose (one 20-min TM session per day) groups. After 1 mo of TM practice, all 46 veterans responded; their PCL-5 average decreased from 51.52 in the pre-intervention period to a post-intervention mean of 23.43, a decline of 28.09 points (-54.5%); standard deviation: 14.57; confidence interval: 23.76-32.41; and effect size: -1.93; p < 0.0001. The median PTSD scores declined from 52.5 to 22.5, a decrease of 30 points (-57%), while 40 veterans (87%) had clinically significant declines (>10 points) in PTSD symptoms, and 37 (80%) dropped below the clinical level (<33). At the 90 d posttest, 31 of the 46 responded and three more dropped below the 33 threshold. Intent-to-treat analyses revealed clinically and statistically significant effects. A dose-response effect suggested a causal relationship. The full-dose group exhibited larger mean declines in PTSD symptoms than the half-dose group. Averages of the 46 veterans' responses to 20 PCL-5 questions exhibited significant (p < 0.0001) declines from the pre

  1. Effects of Transcendental Meditation and Muscle Relaxation on Trait Anxiety, Maladjustment, Locus of Control, and Drug Use.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zuroff, David C.; Schwarz, J. Conrad

    1978-01-01

    Undergraduates received training in transcendental mediations (TM), training in a muscle relaxation technique, or no treatment. Measures of trait anxiety, locus of control, maladjustment, and drug use were collected before and after the treatment period. There were no differences in maladjustment, locus of control, or drug use as functions of…

  2. A randomized controlled trial of the effects of transcendental meditation on quality of life in older breast cancer patients.

    PubMed

    Nidich, Sanford I; Fields, Jeremy Z; Rainforth, Maxwell V; Pomerantz, Rhoda; Cella, David; Kristeller, Jean; Salerno, John W; Schneider, Robert H

    2009-09-01

    This single-blind, randomized controlled trial evaluated the impact of the Transcendental Meditation program plus standard care as compared with standard care alone on the quality of life (QOL) of older women (>or=55 years) with stage II to IV breast cancer. One hundred and thirty women (mean age = 63.8) were randomly assigned to either experimental (n = 64) or control (n = 66) groups. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Breast (FACT-B), Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy- Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-SP), and Short-Form (SF)-36 mental health and vitality scales were administered every 6 months over an average 18-month intervention period. Significant improvements were found in the Transcendental Meditation group compared with controls in overall QOL, measured by the FACT-B total score (P = .037), emotional well-being (P = .046), and social well-being (P = .003) subscales, and SF-36 mental health ( P = .017). It is recommended that this stress reduction program, with its ease of implementation and home practice, be adopted in public health programs.

  3. A Randomized Controlled Trial on Effects of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Blood Pressure, Psychological Distress, and Coping in Young Adults

    PubMed Central

    Nidich, Sanford I.; Rainforth, Maxwell V.; Haaga, David A.F.; Hagelin, John; Salerno, John W.; Travis, Fred; Tanner, Melissa; Gaylord-King, Carolyn; Grosswald, Sarina; Schneider, Robert H.

    2009-01-01

    Background Psychological distress contributes to the development of hypertension in young adults. This trial assessed the effects of a mind–body intervention on blood pressure (BP), psychological distress, and coping in college students. Methods This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 298 university students randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program or wait-list control. At baseline and after 3 months, BP, psychological distress, and coping ability were assessed. A subgroup of 159 subjects at risk for hypertension was analyzed similarly. Results Changes in systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP) for the overall sample were −2.0/−1.2 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +0.4/+0.5 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.15, P = 0.15, respectively). Changes in SBP/DBP for the hypertension risk subgroup were −5.0/−2.8 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +1.3/+1.2 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.014, P = 0.028, respectively). Significant improvements were found in total psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping (P values < 0.05). Changes in psychological distress and coping correlated with changes in SBP (P values < 0.05) and DBP (P values < 0.08). Conclusions This is the first RCT to demonstrate that a selected mind–body intervention, the TM program, decreased BP in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension. This mind–body program may reduce the risk for future development of hypertension in young adults. PMID:19798037

  4. A randomized controlled trial on effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on blood pressure, psychological distress, and coping in young adults.

    PubMed

    Nidich, Sanford I; Rainforth, Maxwell V; Haaga, David A F; Hagelin, John; Salerno, John W; Travis, Fred; Tanner, Melissa; Gaylord-King, Carolyn; Grosswald, Sarina; Schneider, Robert H

    2009-12-01

    Psychological distress contributes to the development of hypertension in young adults. This trial assessed the effects of a mind-body intervention on blood pressure (BP), psychological distress, and coping in college students. This was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 298 university students randomly allocated to either the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program or wait-list control. At baseline and after 3 months, BP, psychological distress, and coping ability were assessed. A subgroup of 159 subjects at risk for hypertension was analyzed similarly. Changes in systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP) for the overall sample were -2.0/-1.2 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +0.4/+0.5 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.15, P = 0.15, respectively). Changes in SBP/DBP for the hypertension risk subgroup were -5.0/-2.8 mm Hg for the TM group compared to +1.3/+1.2 mm Hg for controls (P = 0.014, P = 0.028, respectively). Significant improvements were found in total psychological distress, anxiety, depression, anger/hostility, and coping (P values < 0.05). Changes in psychological distress and coping correlated with changes in SBP (P values < 0.05) and DBP (P values < 0.08). This is the first RCT to demonstrate that a selected mind-body intervention, the TM program, decreased BP in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension. This mind-body program may reduce the risk for future development of hypertension in young adults.

  5. Use of the Transcendental Meditation Technique to Reduce Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) by Reducing Stress and Anxiety: An Exploratory Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grosswald, Sarina J.; Stixrud, William R.; Travis, Fred; Bateh, Mark A.

    2008-01-01

    This exploratory study tested the feasibility of using the Transcendental Meditation[R] technique to reduce stress and anxiety as a means of reducing symptoms of ADHD. Students ages 11-14 were taught the technique, and practiced it twice daily in school. Common ADHD inventories and performance measures of executive function were administered at…

  6. Effect of the Transcendental Meditation Program on Graduation, College Acceptance and Dropout Rates for Students Attending an Urban Public High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colbert, Robert D.

    2013-01-01

    High school graduation rates nationally have declined in recent years, despite public and private efforts. The purpose of the current study was to determine whether practice of the Quiet Time/Transcendental Meditation® program at a medium-size urban school results in higher school graduation rates compared to students who do not receive training…

  7. The Effect of Meditation on Self-Reported Measures of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, and Perfectionism in a College Population

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Jaimie L.; Lee, Randolph M.; Brown, Lauren J.

    2011-01-01

    The effects of meditation, specifically Transcendental Meditation (TM), on college students' experience of stress, anxiety, depression, and perfectionistic thoughts was investigated using 43 undergraduate students. Self-report measures of the variables were completed prior to the start of the study. Student groups were trained in TM and practiced…

  8. Meditation

    MedlinePlus

    ... a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that ... word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. Mindfulness meditation. This type of meditation is based on ...

  9. Personality Correlates of Continuation and Outcome in Meditation and Erect Sitting Control Treatments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Jonathan C.

    1978-01-01

    Anxious college students were assigned to transcendental meditation (TM) and a control treatment. Demographic and pretest personality variables were correlated with continuation in treatment. The TM dropout was more disturbed and less self-critical than the person who continued. Differing treatment rationales rendered the treatments effective for…

  10. Effectiveness of the "Transcendental Medication" Program in Criminal Rehabilitation and Substance Abuse Recovery: A Review of the Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, Mark A.

    2003-01-01

    Reviews research on the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program relevant to the treatment and prevention of criminal behavior and substance abuse. Incarcerated offenders show rapid positive changes in risk factors associated with criminal behavior, including anxiety, aggression, hostility, moral judgment, in-prison rule infractions, and substance…

  11. Meditation

    MedlinePlus

    ... of anxiety in the meditation groups compared to control groups. In a small, NCCIH-funded study, 54 adults ... Practice . 2003;17(6):309–319. Cardoso R, de Souza E, Camano L, et al. Meditation in ...

  12. Methodological concerns for meta-analyses of meditation: Comment on Sedlmeier et al. (2012).

    PubMed

    Orme-Johnson, David W; Dillbeck, Michael C

    2014-03-01

    We commend Sedlmeier et al. (2012) for their significant undertaking of meta-analysis of all meditation types on all psychological variables, but additional analyses may modify some of their conclusions. Whereas they suggest from visual inspection of funnel diagrams that there may be publication bias of underreporting low-effect studies on the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, quantitative tests do not indicate the presence of bias for any type of meditation. We additionally found that there was no significant difference in effect sizes between studies originating from researchers affiliated with a TM organization and studies from other universities. We found that comparison of different types of meditation on their global index was confounded because their global index aggregated different sets of variables for the different groups. That is, using composite indices that only aggregated variables for which each group had at least 3 studies confirmed the authors' conclusion that effect sizes for different research designs were not different, but found that effect sizes for the TM technique were significantly larger than effect sizes for mindfulness meditation or other meditations. We also located 35 studies on the TM technique that appear to meet the authors' inclusion criteria that were missed by their meta-analysis, and several others on important psychosocial behavioral variables, such as job performance, substance abuse, and prison recidivism that were not reviewed. In addition, we suggest that future meta-analyses on psychological variables include cross-validating physiological studies.

  13. The physiology of meditation: a review. A wakeful hypometabolic integrated response.

    PubMed

    Jevning, R; Wallace, R K; Beidebach, M

    1992-01-01

    While for centuries a wakeful and tranquil state or experience variously called "samadhi," "pure awareness," or "enlightenment" had been said to be a normal experience and the goal of meditation in Vedic, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions, there was little known about this behavior until recently, when the practice of "transcendental meditation" (TM) became available for study in Western scientific laboratories. Derived from the Vedic tradition, TM is unique because it requires no special circumstances or effort for practice. Based upon a wide spectrum of physiological data on TM, we hypothesize that meditation is an integrated response with peripheral circulatory and metabolic changes subserving increased central nervous activity. Consistent with the subjective description of meditation as a very relaxed but, at the same time, a very alert state, it is likely that such findings during meditation as increased cardiac output, probable increased cerebral blood flow, and findings reminiscent of the "extraordinary" character of classical reports: apparent cessation of CO2 generation by muscle, fivefold plasma AVP elevation, and EEG synchrony play critical roles in this putative response.

  14. Meditation and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Shi, Lu; Zhang, Donglan; Wang, Liang; Zhuang, Junyang; Cook, Rebecca; Chen, Liwei

    2017-04-01

    We meta-analyzed the effect of meditation on blood pressure (BP), including both transcendental meditation and non-transcendental meditation interventions. We identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that examined the BP responses to meditation interventions through a systematic literature search of the PubMed, ABI/INFORM, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases (from January 1980 to October 2015). We meta-analyzed the change in SBP and DBP, stratified by type of meditation (transcendental meditation vs. non-transcendental meditation intervention) and by type of BP measurement [ambulatory BP monitoring (ABPM) vs. non-ABPM measurement]. Nineteen studies met the eligibility criteria. Among the studies using the ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate was -2.49 mmHg [95% confidence interval (CI): -7.51, 2.53] for transcendental meditation intervention (statistically insignificant) and -3.77 mmHg (95% CI: -5.33, -2.21) for non-transcendental meditation interventions, whereas the pooled DBP effect estimate was -4.26 mmHg (95% CI: -6.21, -2.31) for transcendental meditation interventions and -2.18 mmHg (95% CI: -4.28, -0.09) for non-transcendental meditation interventions. Among the studies using the non-ABPM measurement, the pooled SBP effect estimate from transcendental meditation interventions was -5.57 mmHg (95% CI: -7.41, -3.73) and was -5.09 mmHg with non-transcendental meditation intervention (95% CI: -6.34, -3.85), whereas the pooled effect size in DBP change for transcendental meditation interventions was -2.86 mmHg (95% CI: -4.27, -1.44) and was -2.57 mmHg (95% CI: -3.36, -1.79) for non-transcendental meditation interventions. Non-transcendental meditation may serve as a promising alternative approach for lowering both SBP and DBP. More ABPM-measured transcendental meditation interventions might be needed to examine the benefit of transcendental meditation intervention on SBP reduction.

  15. TM and Rehabilitation: Another View.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahav, Giora

    1980-01-01

    In a secondary analysis of the Abrams and Siegel evaluation of the Transcendental Meditation program at Folsom prison, experimental groups fared better than control groups, although the treatment explains only a small proportion of the variance. (Author)

  16. Meditation and mindfulness in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Simkin, Deborah R; Black, Nancy B

    2014-07-01

    This article describes the various forms of meditation and provides an overview of research using these techniques for children, adolescents, and their families. The most researched techniques in children and adolescents are mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, yoga meditation, transcendental meditation, mind-body techniques (meditation, relaxation), and body-mind techniques (yoga poses, tai chi movements). Current data are suggestive of a possible value of meditation and mindfulness techniques for treating symptomatic anxiety, depression, and pain in youth. Clinicians must be properly trained before using these techniques. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Effect of meditation on psychological distress and brain functioning: A randomized controlled study.

    PubMed

    Travis, Fred; Valosek, Laurent; Konrad, Arthur; Link, Janice; Salerno, John; Scheller, Ray; Nidich, Sanford

    2018-06-21

    Psychological stability and brain integration are important factors related to physical and mental health and organization effectiveness. This study tested whether a mind-body technique, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program could increase EEG brain integration and positive affect, and decrease psychological distress in government employees. Ninety-six central office administrators and staff at the San Francisco Unified School District were randomly assigned to either immediate start of the TM program or to a wait-list control group. At baseline and four-month posttest, participants completed an online version of the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS). In addition, a subset of this population (N = 79) had their EEG recorded at baseline and at four-month posttest to calculate Brain Integration Scale (BIS) scores. At posttest, TM participants significantly decreased on the POMS Total Mood Disturbance and anxiety, anger, depression, fatigue, and confusion subscales, and significantly increased in the POMS vigor subscale. TM participants in the EEG-subgroup also significantly increased in BIS scores. Compliance with meditation practice was high (93%). Findings indicate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing the TM program to improve brain integration and positive affect and reduce psychological distress in government administrators and staff. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Meditation therapy for anxiety disorders.

    PubMed

    Krisanaprakornkit, T; Krisanaprakornkit, W; Piyavhatkul, N; Laopaiboon, M

    2006-01-25

    transcendental meditation showed a reduction in anxiety symptoms and electromyography score comparable with electromyography-biofeedback and relaxation therapy. Another study compared Kundalini Yoga (KY), with Relaxation/Mindfulness Meditation. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale showed no statistically significant difference between groups. The overall dropout rate in both studies was high (33-44%). Neither study reported on adverse effects of meditation. The small number of studies included in this review do not permit any conclusions to be drawn on the effectiveness of meditation therapy for anxiety disorders. Transcendental meditation is comparable with other kinds of relaxation therapies in reducing anxiety, and Kundalini Yoga did not show significant effectiveness in treating obsessive-compulsive disorders compared with Relaxation/Meditation. Drop out rates appear to be high, and adverse effects of meditation have not been reported. More trials are needed.

  19. Effects of Maharishi Yoga Asanas on Mood States, Happiness, and Experiences during Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Gobec, Sonja; Travis, Frederick

    2018-01-01

    Context/Background: Many studies showed positive effects of Yoga Asanas. There is no study on Maharishi Yoga Asanas yet. This research replicated and expanded observed improvements on the profile of mood states (POMS) as a result of 2-week Maharishi Yoga Asanas course. Thirteen college students taking part in a 4-week course on Maharishi Yoga Asanas were matched with 13 students taking other courses at the university. Aims and Objective: The main objective of the study was to assess the effects of Maharishi Yoga Asanas on mood states, degree of happiness, and experiences in Transcendental Meditation (TM) practice. Methods: All students were given two psychological tests and additional question before and after their 4-week course: POMS, Meditation Depth Questionnaire, and question about the degree of happiness. Results: Repeated measure MANOVA showed the 4-week Maharishi Yoga Asanas course resulted in significant increase in happiness during the day and significant improvements in (1) sense of personal self, (2) transpersonal qualities, and (3) transpersonal self during their TM practice. Conclusion: This research shows that Maharishi Yoga Asanas affect more than body and mind. Rather they influence much deeper levels of one's subjectivity including one's transpersonal self. PMID:29343933

  20. The Emerging Role of Meditation in Addressing Psychiatric Illness, with a Focus on Substance Use Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dakwar, Elias; Levin, Frances R.

    2011-01-01

    Over the past 30 years the practice of meditation has become increasingly popular in clinical settings. In addition to evidence-based medical uses, meditation may have psychiatric benefits. In this review, the literature on the role of meditation in addressing psychiatric issues, and specifically substance use disorders, is discussed. Each of the three meditation modalities that have been most widely studied—transcendental meditation, Buddhist meditation, and mindfulness-based meditation—is critically examined in terms of its background, techniques, mechanisms of action, and evidence-based clinical applications, with special attention given to its emerging role in the treatment of substance use disorders. The unique methodological difficulties that beset the study of meditation are also considered. A brief discussion then integrates the research that has been completed thus far, elucidates the specific ways that meditation may be helpful for substance use disorders, and suggests new avenues for research. PMID:19637074

  1. The solution of transcendental equations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agrawal, K. M.; Outlaw, R.

    1973-01-01

    Some of the existing methods to globally approximate the roots of transcendental equations namely, Graeffe's method, are studied. Summation of the reciprocated roots, Whittaker-Bernoulli method, and the extension of Bernoulli's method via Koenig's theorem are presented. The Aitken's delta squared process is used to accelerate the convergence. Finally, the suitability of these methods is discussed in various cases.

  2. MEDITATIVE PSYCHOANALYSIS.

    PubMed

    Rubin, Jeffrey B

    2016-03-01

    Psychoanalysis and meditation not only compensate for the other's blind spots, but also, when practiced together, can provide a richer experience than either discipline pursued alone. After considering the way meditation cultivates heightened attentiveness, refines sensory clarity, lessens self-criticism, and increases affect tolerance, thereby deepening psychoanalytic listening, I'll examine how psychoanalytic perspectives on unconscious communication and meaning illuminate and transform the nearsightedness of meditation, aiding therapists and clients in understanding troubling thoughts, feelings, and behavior. This helps therapists deepen their capacity to help those people with whom they work. The paper also attempts to illuminate how the therapeutic relationship, conceived of in a freer and more empathic way--as the vehicle for both validating a person's experience and providing opportunities for new forms of relatedness and self-transformation--provides a crucible in which old and dysfunctional ways of caring for oneself and relating to other people emerge and new patterns of self-care and intimacy can be established. In the concluding section, I will delineate meditative psychoanalysis, my own integration of meditation and psychoanalysis. Clinical material will illustrate my theoretical reflections.

  3. Integrable mappings with transcendental invariants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grammaticos, B.; Ramani, A.

    2007-06-01

    We examine a family of integrable mappings which possess rational invariants involving polynomials of arbitrarily high degree. Next we extend these mappings to the case where their parameters are functions of the independent variable. The resulting mappings do not preserve any invariant but are solvable by linearisation. Using this result we then proceed to construct the solution of the initial autonomous mappings and use it to explicitly construct the invariant, which turns out to be transcendental in the generic case.

  4. The embodied transcendental: a Kantian perspective on neurophenomenology.

    PubMed

    Khachouf, Omar T; Poletti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    Neurophenomenology is a research programme aimed at bridging the explanatory gap between first-person subjective experience and neurophysiological third-person data, through an embodied and enactive approach to the biology of consciousness. The present proposal attempts to further characterize the bodily basis of the mind by adopting a naturalistic view of the phenomenological concept of intentionality as the a priori invariant character of any lived experience. Building on the Kantian definition of transcendentality as "what concerns the a priori formal structures of the subject's mind" and as a precondition for the very possibility of human knowledge, we will suggest that this transcendental core may in fact be rooted in biology and can be examined within an extension of the theory of autopoiesis. The argument will be first clarified by examining its application to previously proposed elementary autopoietic models, to the bacterium, and to the immune system; it will be then further substantiated and illustrated by examining the mirror-neuron system and the default mode network as biological instances exemplifying the enactive nature of knowledge, and by discussing the phenomenological aspects of selected neurological conditions (neglect, schizophrenia). In this context, the free-energy principle proposed recently by Karl Friston will be briefly introduced as a rigorous, neurally-plausible framework that seems to accomodate optimally these ideas. While our approach is biologically-inspired, we will maintain that lived first-person experience is still critical for a better understanding of brain function, based on our argument that the former and the latter share the same transcendental structure. Finally, the role that disciplined contemplative practices can play to this aim, and an interpretation of the cognitive processes taking place during meditation under this perspective, will be also discussed.

  5. The embodied transcendental: a Kantian perspective on neurophenomenology

    PubMed Central

    Khachouf, Omar T.; Poletti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    Neurophenomenology is a research programme aimed at bridging the explanatory gap between first-person subjective experience and neurophysiological third-person data, through an embodied and enactive approach to the biology of consciousness. The present proposal attempts to further characterize the bodily basis of the mind by adopting a naturalistic view of the phenomenological concept of intentionality as the a priori invariant character of any lived experience. Building on the Kantian definition of transcendentality as “what concerns the a priori formal structures of the subject's mind” and as a precondition for the very possibility of human knowledge, we will suggest that this transcendental core may in fact be rooted in biology and can be examined within an extension of the theory of autopoiesis. The argument will be first clarified by examining its application to previously proposed elementary autopoietic models, to the bacterium, and to the immune system; it will be then further substantiated and illustrated by examining the mirror-neuron system and the default mode network as biological instances exemplifying the enactive nature of knowledge, and by discussing the phenomenological aspects of selected neurological conditions (neglect, schizophrenia). In this context, the free-energy principle proposed recently by Karl Friston will be briefly introduced as a rigorous, neurally-plausible framework that seems to accomodate optimally these ideas. While our approach is biologically-inspired, we will maintain that lived first-person experience is still critical for a better understanding of brain function, based on our argument that the former and the latter share the same transcendental structure. Finally, the role that disciplined contemplative practices can play to this aim, and an interpretation of the cognitive processes taking place during meditation under this perspective, will be also discussed. PMID:24137116

  6. Transcendentalism and the Promise of Educational Reform.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pemberton, Janette E.

    The philosophy of Transcendentalism developed in the early nineteenth century among such thinkers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Theodore Parker, George Ripley, Bronson Alcott, and Caleb Sprague Henry. Transcendentalism emphasized the need for social reform that would lead the individual to self-reliance, and education…

  7. Sitting-Meditation Interventions Among Youth: A Review of Treatment Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Black, David S.; Milam, Joel; Sussman, Steve

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Although the efficacy of meditation interventions has been examined among adult samples, meditation treatment effects among youth are relatively unknown. We systematically reviewed empirical studies for the health-related effects of sitting-meditative practices implemented among youth aged 6 to 18 years in school, clinic, and community settings. METHODS A systematic review of electronic databases (PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Reviews Database, Google Scholar) was conducted from 1982 to 2008, obtaining a sample of 16 empirical studies related to sitting-meditation interventions among youth. RESULTS Meditation modalities included mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. Study samples primarily consisted of youth with preexisting conditions such as high-normal blood pressure, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities. Studies that examined physiologic outcomes were composed almost entirely of African American/black participants. Median effect sizes were slightly smaller than those obtained from adult samples and ranged from 0.16 to 0.29 for physiologic outcomes and 0.27 to 0.70 for psychosocial/behavioral outcomes. CONCLUSIONS Sitting meditation seems to be an effective intervention in the treatment of physiologic, psychosocial, and behavioral conditions among youth. Because of current limitations, carefully constructed research is needed to advance our understanding of sitting meditation and its future use as an effective treatment modality among younger populations. PMID:19706568

  8. Meditation: Process and effects.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Hari

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has become popular in many Western nations, especially the USA. An increasing body of research shows various health benefits associated with meditation and these findings have sparked interest in the field of medicine. The practice of meditation originated in the ancient Vedic times of India and is described in the ancient Vedic texts. Meditation is one of the modalities used in Ayurveda (Science of Life), the comprehensive, natural health care system that originated in the ancient Vedic times of India. The term "meditation" is now loosely used to refer to a large number of diverse techniques. According to Vedic science, the true purpose of meditation is to connect oneself to one's deep inner Self. Techniques which achieve that goal serve the true purpose of meditation. Neurological and physiological correlates of meditation have been investigated previously. This article describes the process of meditation at a more fundamental level and aims to shed light on the deeper underlying mechanism of the beneficial effects associated with meditation. Research on the effects of meditation is summarized.

  9. Meditation: Process and effects

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Hari

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has become popular in many Western nations, especially the USA. An increasing body of research shows various health benefits associated with meditation and these findings have sparked interest in the field of medicine. The practice of meditation originated in the ancient Vedic times of India and is described in the ancient Vedic texts. Meditation is one of the modalities used in Ayurveda (Science of Life), the comprehensive, natural health care system that originated in the ancient Vedic times of India. The term “meditation” is now loosely used to refer to a large number of diverse techniques. According to Vedic science, the true purpose of meditation is to connect oneself to one's deep inner Self. Techniques which achieve that goal serve the true purpose of meditation. Neurological and physiological correlates of meditation have been investigated previously. This article describes the process of meditation at a more fundamental level and aims to shed light on the deeper underlying mechanism of the beneficial effects associated with meditation. Research on the effects of meditation is summarized. PMID:27313408

  10. Psychobehavioral Effects of Meditation.

    PubMed

    Pokorski, Mieczyslaw; Suchorzynska, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Meditation is an increasingly popular psychobehavioral therapy. Various meditation techniques in use make it hard to objectively scrutinize the psychological benefits. Therefore, in this study we set out to examine the effects of two fundamentally different meditative techniques, Zazen, 'seated meditation', in which the body and mind are calmed, and Tai Chi, 'meditation in motion', based on energetic martial art performance. The aim was to compare the effects of both techniques on personality structure, emotional intelligence, mood, and coping with stress. The study was conducted in 48 healthy volunteers, aged 39-50, divided into those practicing Zazen, Tai Chi, and the non-meditating controls, each group consisting of 16 persons. The psychometric tools consisted of Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations (CISS), the University of Wales Institute of Science and Technology Mood Adjective Checklist (UMACL), Emotional Intelligence Inventory (INTE), and the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). We found that both Zazen and Tai Chi meditations significantly enhanced openness to experience, one of the personality dimensions of the Big Five Model. The enhanced openness was associated with improved strategies for coping with stress. The meditators had less avoidance-oriented approaches to perceived stress. They also had improved mood compared with non-meditating controls. The findings suggest that enhanced openness to experience could shape one's desire to hold onto the meditation regimen. We conclude that both, diametrically different types of meditation, are conducive to mental health by improving the general well-being, counteracting stress, and leading to a better vigor of spirit. Meditation may thus be considered a complimentary, albeit rather modestly acting, adjunct to psychotherapy.

  11. Using Meditation in Addiction Counseling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Mark E.; DeLorenzi, Leigh de Armas; Cunningham, Laura

    2011-01-01

    Meditation has been studied as a way of reducing stress in counseling clients since the 1960s. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and new wave behavior therapies incorporate meditation techniques in their programs. This article identifies meditation's curative factors and limitations when using meditation in addiction settings.

  12. A Systematic Review of Transcendent States Across Meditation and Contemplative Traditions.

    PubMed

    Wahbeh, Helané; Sagher, Amira; Back, Wallis; Pundhir, Pooja; Travis, Frederick

    Across cultures and throughout history, transcendent states achieved through meditative practices have been reported. The practices to attain transcendent states vary from transcendental meditation to yoga to contemplative prayer, to other various forms of sitting meditation. While these transcendent states are ascribed many different terms, those who experience them describe a similar unitive, ineffable state of consciousness. Despite the common description, few studies have systematically examined transcendent states during meditation. The objectives of this systematic review were to: 1) characterize studies evaluating transcendent states associated with meditation in any tradition; 2) qualitatively describe physiological and phenomenological outcomes collected during transcendent states and; 3) evaluate the quality of these studies using the Quality Assessment Tool. Medline, PsycINFO, CINAHL, AltHealthWatch, AMED, and the Institute of Noetic Science Meditation Library were searched for relevant papers in any language. Included studies required adult participants and the collection of outcomes before, during, or after a reported transcendent state associated with meditation. Twenty-five studies with a total of 672 combined participants were included in the final review. Participants were mostly male (61%; average age 39 ± 11 years) with 12.7 ± 6.6 (median 12.6; range 2-40) average years of meditation practice. A variety of meditation traditions were represented: (Buddhist; Christian; Mixed (practitioners from multiple traditions); Vedic: Transcendental Meditation and Yoga). The mean quality score was 67 ± 13 (100 highest score possible). Subjective phenomenology and the objective outcomes of electroencephalography (EEG), electrocardiography, electromyography, electrooculogram, event-related potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, respiration, and skin conductance and response were measured. Transcendent states were most

  13. Positive Emotion Correlates of Meditation Practice: A Comparison of Mindfulness Meditation and Loving-kindness Meditation.

    PubMed

    Fredrickson, Barbara L; Boulton, Aaron J; Firestine, Ann M; Van Cappellen, Patty; Algoe, Sara B; Brantley, Mary M; Kim, Sumi Loundon; Brantley, Jeffrey; Salzberg, Sharon

    2017-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to uncover the day-to-day emotional profiles and dose-response relations, both within-persons and between-persons, associated with initiating one of two meditation practices, either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation. Data were pooled across two studies of midlife adults ( N = 339) who were randomized to learn either mindfulness meditation or loving-kindness meditation in a six-week workshop. The duration and frequency of meditation practice was measured daily for nine weeks, commencing with the first workshop session. Likewise, positive and negative emotions were also measured daily, using the modified Differential Emotions Scale (Fredrickson, 2013). Analysis of daily emotion reports over the targeted nine-week period showed significant gains in positive emotions and no change in negative emotions, regardless of meditation type. Multilevel models also revealed significant dose-response relations between duration of meditation practice and positive emotions, both within-persons and between-persons. Moreover, the within-person dose-response relation was stronger for loving-kindness meditation than for mindfulness meditation. Similar dose-response relations were observed for the frequency of meditation practice. In the context of prior research on the mental and physical health benefits produced by subtle increases in day-to-day experiences of positive emotions, the present research points to evidence-based practices - both mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation - that can improve emotional wellbeing.

  14. Reduced Psychological Distress in Racial and Ethnic Minority Students Practicing the Transcendental Meditation Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elder, Charles; Nidich, Sanford; Colbert, Robert; Hagelin, John; Grayshield, Lisa; Oviedo-Lim, Dynah; Nidich, Randi; Rainforth, Maxwell; Jones, Chris; Gerace, Denise

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing literature describing the stressful nature of students' school experience. Previous research has found that racial and ethnic minority groups are particularly subject to high levels of stress due to exposure to violence, pressures due to acculturation, and the schooling process. This is the first study to evaluate effects of the…

  15. Sexual Functioning in Experienced Meditators.

    PubMed

    Dascalu, Iulia; Brotto, Lori A

    2017-11-21

    Given evidence of the benefits of mindfulness for women's sexual difficulties, we investigated the relationship between meditation experience and women's sexual function. Women (N = 450) answered online survey questions about meditation experience, sexual function and desire, interoceptive awareness, health and mood. Women who meditated scored higher than nonmeditators on measures of sexual function and desire, however there was no significant correlation between frequency/length of meditation experience and either of these domains. Global mental health was a significant predictor of both increased sexual function and desire in women who meditate. These findings suggest that, compared to women with no meditation experience, women who meditate to any extent have, on average, improved sexual function associated with better overall mental health.

  16. Neuroscience of Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Deshmukh, Vinod D.

    2006-01-01

    Dhyana-Yoga is a Sanskrit word for the ancient discipline of meditation, as a means to Samadhi or enlightenment. Samadhi is a self-absorptive, adaptive state with realization of ones being in harmony with reality. It is unitive, undifferentiated, reality-consciousness, an essential being, which can only be experienced by spontaneous intuition and self-understanding. Modern neuroscience can help us to better understand Dhyana-Yoga. This article discusses topics including brain-mind-reality, consciousness, attention, emotional intelligence, sense of self, meditative mind, and meditative brain. A new hypothesis is proposed for a better understanding of the meditative mind. Meditation is an art of being serene and alert in the present moment, instead of constantly struggling to change or to become. It is an art of efficient management of attentional energy with total engagement (poornata, presence, mindfulness) or disengagement (shunyata, silence, emptiness). In both states, there is an experience of spontaneous unity with no sense of situational interactive self or personal time. It is a simultaneous, participatory consciousness rather than a dualistic, sequential attentiveness. There is a natural sense of well being with self-understanding, spontaneous joy, serenity, freedom, and self-fulfillment. It is where the ultimate pursuit of happiness and the search for meaning of life resolve. One realizes the truth of ones harmonious being in nature and nature in oneself. It is being alive at its fullest, when each conscious moment becomes a dynamic process of discovery and continuous learning of the ever-new unfolding reality. PMID:17370019

  17. Interoceptive awareness in experienced meditators.

    PubMed

    Khalsa, Sahib S; Rudrauf, David; Damasio, Antonio R; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine; Tranel, Daniel

    2008-07-01

    Attention to internal body sensations is practiced in most meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest.

  18. Interoceptive awareness in experienced meditators

    PubMed Central

    KHALSA, SAHIB S.; RUDRAUF, DAVID; DAMASIO, ANTONIO R.; DAVIDSON, RICHARD J.; LUTZ, ANTOINE; TRANEL, DANIEL

    2009-01-01

    Attention to internal body sensations is practiced inmost meditation traditions. Many traditions state that this practice results in increased awareness of internal body sensations, but scientific studies evaluating this claim are lacking. We predicted that experienced meditators would display performance superior to that of nonmeditators on heartbeat detection, a standard noninvasive measure of resting interoceptive awareness. We compared two groups of meditators (Tibetan Buddhist and Kundalini) to an age- and body mass index-matched group of nonmeditators. Contrary to our prediction, we found no evidence that meditators were superior to nonmeditators in the heartbeat detection task, across several sessions and respiratory modulation conditions. Compared to nonmeditators, however, meditators consistently rated their interoceptive performance as superior and the difficulty of the task as easier. These results provide evidence against the notion that practicing attention to internal body sensations, a core feature of meditation, enhances the ability to sense the heartbeat at rest. PMID:18503485

  19. Actuality of transcendental æsthetics for modern physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petitot, Jean

    1. The more mathematics and physics unify themselves in the physico-mathematical modern theories, the more an objective epistemology becomes necessary. Only such a transcendental epistemology is able to thematize correctly the status of the mathematical determination of physical reality. 2. There exists a transcendental history of the synthetic a priori and of the construction of physical categories. 3. The transcendental approach allows to supersed Wittgenstein's and Carnap's antiplatonist thesis according to which pure mathematics are physically applicable only if they lack any descriptive, cognitive or objective, content and reduce to mere prescriptive and normative devices. In fact, pure mathematics are prescriptive-normative in physics because: (i) the categories of physical objectivity are prescriptive-normative, and (ii) their categorial content is mathematically “constructed” through a Transcendental Aesthetics. Only a transcendental approach make compatible, in the one hand, a grammatical conventionalism of Wittgensteinian or Carnapian type and, on the other hand, a platonist realism of Gödelian type. Mathematics are not a grammar of the world but a mathematical hermeneutics of the intuitive forms and of the categorial grammar of the world.

  20. Relational and Transcendental Humanism: Exploring the Consequences of a Thoroughly Pragmatic Humanism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hansen, James T.

    2007-01-01

    The relational and transcendental elements of humanism are considered. Although the relational component of humanism is extraordinarily valuable, the author argues that the transcendental portion of humanism should be abandoned. The implications of a thoroughly pragmatic humanism are explored.

  1. Prenatal meditation influences infant behaviors.

    PubMed

    Chan, Ka Po

    2014-11-01

    Meditation is important in facilitating health. Pregnancy health has been shown to have significant consequences for infant behaviors. In view of limited studies on meditation and infant temperament, this study aims to explore the effects of prenatal meditation on these aspects. The conceptual framework was based on the postulation of positive relationships between prenatal meditation and infant health. A randomized control quantitative study was carried out at Obstetric Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong. 64 pregnant Chinese women were recruited for intervention and 59 were for control. Outcome measures were cord blood cortisol, infant salivary cortisol, and Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire. Cord blood cortisol level of babies was higher in the intervention group (p<0.01) indicates positive health status of the newborns verifies that prenatal meditation can influence fetal health. Carey Infant Temperament Questionnaire showed that the infants of intervention group have better temperament (p<0.05) at fifth month reflects the importance of prenatal meditation in relation to child health. Present study concludes the positive effects of prenatal meditation on infant behaviors and recommends that pregnancy care providers should provide prenatal meditation to pregnant women. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Oversoul of Reform: Horace Greeley and New England Transcendentalism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitby, Gary

    Entries in the New York "Tribune" suggest that editor Horace Greeley and his writing were part of New England transcendentalism. This was manifested in Greeley's interest in poetry, newspaper publishing, reform, and an overall practical social idealism. He was long associated with both literary figures and reform movements, and as a…

  3. Is There a Need for Transcendental Arguments in Discourse Ethics?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, James Scott

    2016-01-01

    In this essay, James Scott Johnston examines Jürgen Habermas's transcendental justification of his discourse theory of morality. According to Johnston, the application of Habermas's theory to educational issues often assumes that this justification is a cogent one. However, if the theory is to provide reasoned and appropriate guidance for…

  4. Inquiry-Based Learning of Transcendental Functions in Calculus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ekici, Celil; Gard, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    In a series of group activities supplemented with independent explorations and assignments, calculus students investigate functions similar to their own derivatives. Graphical, numerical, and algebraic perspectives are suggested, leading students to develop deep intuition into elementary transcendental functions even as they lay the foundation for…

  5. Just a minute meditation: Rapid voluntary conscious state shifts in long term meditators.

    PubMed

    Nair, Ajay Kumar; Sasidharan, Arun; John, John P; Mehrotra, Seema; Kutty, Bindu M

    2017-08-01

    Meditation induces a modified state of consciousness that remains under voluntary control. Can meditators rapidly and reversibly bring about mental state changes on demand? To check, we carried out 128 channel EEG recordings on Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga meditators (36 long term: median 14240h meditation; 25 short term: 1095h) and controls (25) while they tried to switch every minute between rest and meditation states in different conditions (eyes open and closed; before and after an engaging task). Long term meditators robustly shifted states with enhanced theta power (4-8Hz) during meditation. Short term meditators had limited ability to shift between states and showed increased lower alpha power (8-10Hz) during eyes closed meditation only when pre and post task data were combined. Controls could not shift states. Thus trained beginners can reliably meditate but it takes long term practice to exercise more refined control over meditative states. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Studies of Advanced Stages of Meditation in the Tibetan Buddhist and Vedic Traditions. I: A Comparison of General Changes

    PubMed Central

    Hankey, Alex

    2006-01-01

    This article is the first of two comparing findings of studies of advanced practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in remote regions of the Himalayas, with established results on long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation programs. Many parallel levels of improvement were found, in sensory acuity, perceptual style and cognitive function, indicating stabilization of aspects of attentional awareness. Together with observed increases in EEG coherence and aspects of brain function, such changes are consistent with growth towards a state of total brain functioning, i.e. development of full mental potential. They are usually accompanied by improved health parameters. How they may be seen to be consistent with growth of enlightenment will be the subject of a second article. PMID:17173116

  7. Studies of advanced stages of meditation in the tibetan buddhist and vedic traditions. I: a comparison of general changes.

    PubMed

    Hankey, Alex

    2006-12-01

    This article is the first of two comparing findings of studies of advanced practitioners of Tibetan Buddhist meditation in remote regions of the Himalayas, with established results on long-term practitioners of the Transcendental Meditation programs. Many parallel levels of improvement were found, in sensory acuity, perceptual style and cognitive function, indicating stabilization of aspects of attentional awareness. Together with observed increases in EEG coherence and aspects of brain function, such changes are consistent with growth towards a state of total brain functioning, i.e. development of full mental potential. They are usually accompanied by improved health parameters. How they may be seen to be consistent with growth of enlightenment will be the subject of a second article.

  8. Meditation: Rationales, Experimental Effects, and Methodological Issues

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-04-01

    psychotherapeutic communities . Such an expansion of the term highlights the growing Western view of meditation as a physiological, as well a a psychological...and other meditations are currently holding the attention of the Western psychiatric community . Together with Yogic techniques. Buddhist meditations...are increasingly contributing to Western psychological doctrine and therapeutic practice. This reception by the clinical community in particular is

  9. Change in physiological signals during mindfulness meditation

    PubMed Central

    Ahani, Asieh; Wahbeh, Helane; Miller, Meghan; Nezamfar, Hooman; Erdogmus, Deniz; Oken, Barry

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation (MM) is an inward mental practice, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. MM intervention was performed for a population of older people with high stress levels. This study assessed signal processing methodologies of electroencephalographic (EEG) and respiration signals during meditation and control condition to aid in quantification of the meditative state. EEG and respiration data were collected and analyzed on 34 novice meditators after a 6-week meditation intervention. Collected data were analyzed with spectral analysis and support vector machine classification to evaluate an objective marker for meditation. We observed meditation and control condition differences in the alpha, beta and theta frequency bands. Furthermore, we established a classifier using EEG and respiration signals with a higher accuracy at discriminating between meditation and control conditions than one using the EEG signal only. EEG and respiration based classifier is a viable objective marker for meditation ability. Future studies should quantify different levels of meditation depth and meditation experience using this classifier. Development of an objective physiological meditation marker will allow the mind-body medicine field to advance by strengthening rigor of methods. PMID:24748422

  10. Meditation as an Intervention in Stress Reactivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goleman, Daniel J.; Schwartz, Gary E.

    1976-01-01

    Meditation and relaxation were compared for ability to reduce stress reactions in a laboratory threat situation. Meditation can produce a psychophysiological configuration in stress situations opposite to that seen in stress-related syndromes. Research is indicated on clinical applications and on the process whereby meditation state effects may…

  11. MEDITATION FROM A MENTAL HEALTH PROSPECTIVE

    PubMed Central

    Bhaskaran, K.

    1991-01-01

    SUMMARY The term “Meditation” is defined and the aims of meditation-practice are outlined. The physiological and psychological correlates of meditation, as found in different studies, are described. The need for an integrated approach to the study of consciousness is emphasized. The clinical applications of meditation practice are spelt out. Areas of further research are indicated. PMID:21897462

  12. Electroencephalographic correlates of states of concentrative meditation.

    PubMed

    DeLosAngeles, Dylan; Williams, Graham; Burston, John; Fitzgibbon, Sean P; Lewis, Trent W; Grummett, Tyler S; Clark, C Richard; Pope, Kenneth J; Willoughby, John O

    2016-12-01

    Meditative techniques aim for and meditators report states of mental alertness and focus, concurrent with physical and emotional calm. We aimed to determine the electroencephalographic (EEG) correlates of five states of Buddhist concentrative meditation, particularly addressing a correlation with meditative level. We studied 12 meditators and 12 pair-matched meditation-naïve participants using high-resolution scalp-recorded EEG. To maximise reduction of EMG, data were pre-processed using independent component analysis and surface Laplacian transformed data. Two non-meditative and five meditative states were used: resting baseline, mind-wandering, absorptions 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (corresponding to four levels of absorption and an absorption with a different object of focus, otherwise equivalent to level 4; these five meditative states produce repeatable, distinctly different experiences for experienced meditators). The experimental protocol required participants to experience the states in the order listed above, followed immediately by the reverse. We then calculated EEG power in standard frequency bands from 1 to 80Hz. We observed decreases of central scalp beta (13-25Hz), and central low gamma (25-48Hz) power in meditators during deeper absorptions. In contrast, we identified increases in frontal midline and temporo-parietal theta power in meditators, again, during deeper absorptions. Alpha activity was increased over all meditative states, not depth-related. This study demonstrates that the subjective experiences of deepening meditation partially correspond to measures of EEG. Our results are in accord with prior studies on non-graded meditative states. These results are also consistent with increased theta correlating with tightness of focus, and reduced beta/gamma with the desynchronization associated with enhanced alertness. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. The neuroscience of mindfulness meditation.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Hölzel, Britta K; Posner, Michael I

    2015-04-01

    Research over the past two decades broadly supports the claim that mindfulness meditation - practiced widely for the reduction of stress and promotion of health - exerts beneficial effects on physical and mental health, and cognitive performance. Recent neuroimaging studies have begun to uncover the brain areas and networks that mediate these positive effects. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear, and it is apparent that more methodologically rigorous studies are required if we are to gain a full understanding of the neuronal and molecular bases of the changes in the brain that accompany mindfulness meditation.

  14. Mindfulness Meditation in Clinical Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salmon, Paul; Sephton, Sandra; Weissbecker, Inka; Hoover, Katherine; Ulmer, Christi; Studts, Jamie L.

    2004-01-01

    The practice of mindfulness is increasingly being integrated into contemporary clinical psychology. Based in Buddhist philosophy and subsequently integrated into Western health care in the contexts of psychotherapy and stress management, mindfulness meditation is evolving as a systematic clinical intervention. This article describes…

  15. Using Meditation in the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Michael C.

    1992-01-01

    One teacher's use of a form of meditation accompanied by music in a beginning Spanish class is reported. The approach taken was inspired by the theoretical foundation of Lozanov's Suggestopedia along with a simple exercise called "holding post" adapted from Tai Chi Chuan, an ancient Chinese martial art. (two references) (LB)

  16. Transcendental Learning: The Educational Legacy of Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, John P.

    2011-01-01

    Transcendental Learning discusses the work of five figures associated with transcendentalism concerning their views on education. Alcott, Emerson, Fuller, Peabody and Thoreau all taught at one time and held definite views about education. The book explores these conceptions with chapters on each of the five individuals and then focuses the main…

  17. OncoLogicTM

    EPA Science Inventory

    OncoLogicTM - A Computer System to Evaluate the Carcinogenic Potential of Chemicals
    OncoLogicTM is a software program that evaluates the likelihood that a chemical may cause cancer. OncoLogicTM has been peer reviewed and is being rele...

  18. Cardiovascular disease prevention and health promotion with the transcendental meditation program and Maharishi consciousness-based health care.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Robert H; Walton, Kenneth G; Salerno, John W; Nidich, Sanford I

    2006-01-01

    This article summarizes the background, rationale, and clinical research on a traditional system of natural health care that may be useful in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and promotion of health. Results recently reported include reductions in blood pressure, psychosocial stress, surrogate markers for atherosclerotic CVD, and mortality. The randomized clinical trials conducted so far have involved applications to both primary and secondary prevention as well as to health promotion more generally. The results support the applicability of this approach for reducing ethnic health disparities associated with environmental and psychosocial stress. Proposed mechanisms for the effects of this traditional system include enhanced resistance to physiological and psychological stress and improvements in homeostatic and self-repair processes. This system may offer clinical and cost effectiveness advantages for health care, particularly in preventive cardiology.

  19. Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Health Promotion with the Transcendental Meditation Program and Maharishi Consciousness-Based Health Care

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Robert H.; Walton, Kenneth G.; Salerno, John W.; Nidich, Sanford I.

    2008-01-01

    This article summarizes the background, rationale, and clinical research on a traditional system of natural health care that may be useful in the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and promotion of health. Results recently reported indude reductions in blood pressure, psychosocial stress, surrogate markers for atherosclerotic CVD, and mortality. The randomized clinical trials conducted so far have involved applications to both primary and secondary prevention as well as to health promotion more generally. The results support the applicability of this approach for reducing ethnic health disparities associated with environmental and psychosocial stress. Proposed mechanisms for the effects of this traditional system include enhanced resistance to physiological and psychological stress and improvements in homeostatic and self-repair processes. This system may offer clinical and cost effectiveness advantages for health care, particularly in preventive cardiology. PMID:16938913

  20. Love and compassion meditation: a nondual perspective.

    PubMed

    Josipovic, Zoran

    2016-06-01

    This paper discusses meditation from the unique perspective of the nondual approach and explores the possible relevance of this approach to applications of love and compassion meditation in clinical settings. It contrasts the nondual approach with the better known gradual or goal-oriented, dualistic view of meditation. This paper also introduces one of the central ideas of the nondual approach-that love and compassion, like other positive qualities that are ordinarily considered as goals of meditation practice, can be found to be already present within oneself as innate dimensions of one's authentic being. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. Meditation, Social Change, and Undergraduate Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rockefeller, Steven C.

    2006-01-01

    This article argues that meditation guided by a competent teacher can be a positive influence in contemporary American society and even a force for progressive social change. A number of critical issues requiring further study are identified, including the need for a better understanding of meditation from the perspective of developmental…

  2. Mindfulness Meditation Modulates Pain Through Endogenous Opioids.

    PubMed

    Sharon, Haggai; Maron-Katz, Adi; Ben Simon, Eti; Flusser, Yuval; Hendler, Talma; Tarrasch, Ricardo; Brill, Silviu

    2016-07-01

    Recent evidence supports the beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation on pain. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this effect remain poorly understood. We used an opioid blocker to examine whether mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia involves endogenous opioids. Fifteen healthy experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants rated the pain and unpleasantness of a cold stimulus prior to and after a mindfulness meditation session. Participants were then randomized to receive either intravenous naloxone or saline, after which they meditated again, and rated the same stimulus. A (3) × (2) repeated-measurements analysis of variance revealed a significant time effect for pain and unpleasantness scores (both P <.001) as well as a significant condition effect for pain and unpleasantness (both P <.2). Post hoc comparisons revealed that pain and unpleasantness scores were significantly reduced after natural mindfulness meditation and after placebo, but not after naloxone. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between the pain scores following naloxone vs placebo and participants' mindfulness meditation experience. These findings show, for the first time, that meditation involves endogenous opioid pathways, mediating its analgesic effect and growing resilient with increasing practice to external suggestion. This finding could hold promising therapeutic implications and further elucidate the fine mechanisms involved in human pain modulation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. EEG-guided meditation: A personalized approach.

    PubMed

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Kallio-Tamminen, Tarja

    2015-12-01

    The therapeutic potential of meditation for physical and mental well-being is well documented, however the possibility of adverse effects warrants further discussion of the suitability of any particular meditation practice for every given participant. This concern highlights the need for a personalized approach in the meditation practice adjusted for a concrete individual. This can be done by using an objective screening procedure that detects the weak and strong cognitive skills in brain function, thus helping design a tailored meditation training protocol. Quantitative electroencephalogram (qEEG) is a suitable tool that allows identification of individual neurophysiological types. Using qEEG screening can aid developing a meditation training program that maximizes results and minimizes risk of potential negative effects. This brief theoretical-conceptual review provides a discussion of the problem and presents some illustrative results on the usage of qEEG screening for the guidance of mediation personalization. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Still Thinking: The Case for Meditation with Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Robert

    2006-01-01

    This paper argues the case for meditation with children. It seeks to define what meditation is, why it is important and how it can be practised with children. Meditation provides a good starting point for learning and creativity. It builds upon a long tradition of meditative practice in religious and humanistic settings and research gives evidence…

  5. Multifractal analysis of heartbeat dynamics during meditation training

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Renliang; Bian, Chunhua; Ma, Qianli D. Y.

    2013-04-01

    We investigate the multifractality of heartbeat dynamics during Chinese CHI meditation in healthy young adults. The results show that the range of multifractal singularity spectrum of heartbeat interval time series during meditation is significantly narrower than those in the pre-meditation state of the same subject, which indicates that during meditation the heartbeat becomes regular and the degree of multifractality decreases.

  6. No meditation-related changes in the auditory N1 during first-time meditation.

    PubMed

    Barnes, L J; McArthur, G M; Biedermann, B A; de Lissa, P; Polito, V; Badcock, N A

    2018-05-01

    Recent studies link meditation expertise with enhanced low-level attention, measured through auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). In this study, we tested the reliability and validity of a recent finding that the N1 ERP in first-time meditators is smaller during meditation than non-meditation - an effect not present in long-term meditators. In the first experiment, we replicated the finding in first-time meditators. In two subsequent experiments, we discovered that this finding was not due to stimulus-related instructions, but was explained by an effect of the order of conditions. Extended exposure to the same tones has been linked with N1 decrement in other studies, and may explain N1 decrement across our two conditions. We give examples of existing meditation and ERP studies that may include similar condition order effects. The role of condition order among first-time meditators in this study indicates the importance of counterbalancing meditation and non-mediation conditions in meditation studies that use event-related potentials. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Comparison of higher order spectra in heart rate signals during two techniques of meditation: Chi and Kundalini meditation.

    PubMed

    Goshvarpour, Ateke; Goshvarpour, Atefeh

    2013-02-01

    The human heartbeat is one of the important examples of complex physiologic fluctuations. For the first time in this study higher order spectra of heart rate signals during meditation have explored. Specifically, the aim of this study was to analysis and compares the contribution of quadratic phase coupling of human heart rate variability during two forms of meditation: (1) Chinese Chi (or Qigong) meditation and (2) Kundalini Yoga meditation. For this purpose, Bispectrum was estimated by using biased, parametric and the direct (FFT) method. The results show that the mean Bispectrum magnitude of heart rate signals increased during Kundalini Yoga meditation, but it decreased significantly during Chi meditation. However, in both meditation techniques phase-coupled harmonics are shifted to the higher frequencies during meditation. In addition, it has shown that not only there are significant differences between rest and meditation states, but also heart rate patterns appear to be influenced by different types of meditation.

  8. A single session of meditation reduces of physiological indices of anger in both experienced and novice meditators.

    PubMed

    Fennell, Alexander B; Benau, Erik M; Atchley, Ruth Ann

    2016-02-01

    The goal of the present study was to explore how anger reduction via a single session of meditation might be measured using psychophysiological methodologies. To achieve this, 15 novice meditators (Experiment 1) and 12 practiced meditators (Experiment 2) completed autobiographical anger inductions prior to, and following, meditation training while respiration rate, heart rate, and blood pressure were measured. Participants also reported subjective anger via a visual analog scale. At both stages, the experienced meditators' physiological reaction to the anger induction reflected that of relaxation: slowed breathing and heart rate and decreased blood pressure. Naïve meditators exhibited physiological reactions that were consistent with anger during the pre-meditation stage, while after meditation training and a second anger induction they elicited physiological evidence of relaxation. The current results examining meditation training show that the naïve group's physiological measures mimicked those of the experienced group following a single session of meditation training. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. The effect of meditation on regulation of internal body states

    PubMed Central

    Khalsa, Sahib S.; Rudrauf, David; Davidson, Richard J.; Tranel, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Meditation is commonly thought to induce physiologically quiescent states, as evidenced by decreased autonomic parameters during the meditation practice including reduced heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, skin conductance, and increased alpha activity in the electroencephalogram. Preliminary empirical support for this idea was provided in a case report by Dimsdale and Mills (2002), where it was found that meditation seemed to regulate increased levels of cardiovascular arousal induced by bolus isoproterenol infusions. In that study, while meditating, a self-taught meditator exhibited unexpected decreases in heart rate while receiving moderate intravenous doses of the beta adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. This effect was no longer observed when the individual received isoproterenol infusions while not meditating. The current study was designed to explore this phenomenon empirically in a group of formally trained meditators. A total of 15 meditators and 15 non-meditators individually matched on age, sex, and body mass index were recruited. Participants received four series of infusions in a pseudorandomized order: isoproterenol while meditating (or during a relaxation condition for the non-meditators), isoproterenol while resting, saline while meditating (or during a relaxation condition for the non-meditators), and saline while resting. Heart rate was continuously measured throughout all infusions, and several measures of heart rate were derived from the instantaneous cardiac waveform. There was no evidence at the group or individual level suggesting that meditation reduced the cardiovascular response to isoproterenol, across all measures. These results suggest that meditation is not associated with increased regulation of elevated cardiac adrenergic tone. PMID:26217263

  10. Increased heart rate variability during nondirective meditation.

    PubMed

    Nesvold, Anders; Fagerland, Morten W; Davanger, Svend; Ellingsen, Øyvind; Solberg, Erik E; Holen, Are; Sevre, Knut; Atar, Dan

    2012-08-01

    Meditation practices are in use for relaxation and stress reduction. Some studies indicate beneficial cardiovascular health effects of meditation. The effects on the autonomous nervous system seem to vary among techniques. The purpose of the present study was to identify autonomic nerve activity changes during nondirective meditation. Heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure variability (BPV), and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) were monitored in 27 middle-aged healthy participants of both genders, first during 20 min regular rest with eyes closed, thereafter practising Acem meditation for 20 min. Haemodynamic and autonomic data were collected continuously (beat-to-beat) and non-invasively. HRV and BPV parameters were estimated by power spectral analyses, computed by an autoregressive model. Spontaneous activity of baroreceptors were determined by the sequence method. Primary outcomes were changes in HRV, BPV, and BRS between rest and meditation. HRV increased in the low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands during meditation, compared with rest (p = 0.014, 0.013, respectively). Power spectral density of the RR-intervals increased as well (p = 0.012). LF/HF ratio decreased non-significantly, and a reduction of LF-BPV power was observed during meditation (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in BRS. Respiration and heart rates remained unchanged. Blood pressure increased slightly during meditation. There is an increased parasympathetic and reduced sympathetic nerve activity and increased overall HRV, while practising the technique. Hence, nondirective meditation by the middle aged may contribute towards a reduction of cardiovascular risk.

  11. - XSUMMER- Transcendental functions and symbolic summation in FORM

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moch, S.; Uwer, P.

    2006-05-01

    Harmonic sums and their generalizations are extremely useful in the evaluation of higher-order perturbative corrections in quantum field theory. Of particular interest have been the so-called nested sums, where the harmonic sums and their generalizations appear as building blocks, originating for example, from the expansion of generalized hypergeometric functions around integer values of the parameters. In this paper we discuss the implementation of several algorithms to solve these sums by algebraic means, using the computer algebra system FORM. Program summaryTitle of program:XSUMMER Catalogue identifier:ADXQ_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/ADXQ_v1_0 Program obtainable from:CPC Program Library, Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland License:GNU Public License and FORM License Computers:all Operating system:all Program language:FORM Memory required to execute:Depending on the complexity of the problem, recommended at least 64 MB RAM No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.:9854 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.:126 551 Distribution format:tar.gz Other programs called:none External files needed:none Nature of the physical problem:Systematic expansion of higher transcendental functions in a small parameter. The expansions arise in the calculation of loop integrals in perturbative quantum field theory. Method of solution:Algebraic manipulations of nested sums. Restrictions on complexity of the problem:Usually limited only by the available disk space. Typical running time:Dependent on the complexity of the problem.

  12. Investigation of mindfulness meditation practitioners with voxel-based morphometry

    PubMed Central

    Hölzel, Britta K.; Ott, Ulrich; Gard, Tim; Hempel, Hannes; Weygandt, Martin; Morgen, Katrin; Vaitl, Dieter

    2008-01-01

    Mindfulness meditators practice the non-judgmental observation of the ongoing stream of internal experiences as they arise. Using voxel-based morphometry, this study investigated MRI brain images of 20 mindfulness (Vipassana) meditators (mean practice 8.6 years; 2 h daily) and compared the regional gray matter concentration to that of non-meditators matched for sex, age, education and handedness. Meditators were predicted to show greater gray matter concentration in regions that are typically activated during meditation. Results confirmed greater gray matter concentration for meditators in the right anterior insula, which is involved in interoceptive awareness. This group difference presumably reflects the training of bodily awareness during mindfulness meditation. Furthermore, meditators had greater gray matter concentration in the left inferior temporal gyrus and right hippocampus. Both regions have previously been found to be involved in meditation. The mean value of gray matter concentration in the left inferior temporal gyrus was predictable by the amount of meditation training, corroborating the assumption of a causal impact of meditation training on gray matter concentration in this region. Results suggest that meditation practice is associated with structural differences in regions that are typically activated during meditation and in regions that are relevant for the task of meditation. PMID:19015095

  13. Prison Meditation Movements and Mass Incarceration1

    PubMed Central

    Lyons, Thomas; Cantrell, Wm. Dustin

    2015-01-01

    By some estimates more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on one such approach - mindfulness meditation as a treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the research on mindfulness in incarcerated settings. We argue that in order to make a substantial impact on recidivism, such programs must mirror volunteer programs which emphasize interdependency and non-duality between the “helper” and the “helped,” and the building of meditation communities both inside and outside of prison. PMID:25941214

  14. Mindfulness and Loving-Kindness Meditation.

    PubMed

    Aspy, Denholm J; Proeve, Michael

    2017-02-01

    An experiment involving 115 undergraduate students (74.8% females; mean age = 20.5 years, SD = 4.3) was conducted to explore effects of meditation on social connectedness, nature connectedness, and affect. Participants listened to one of three brief guided meditation Mp3 recordings via the internet, which involved mindfulness meditation (MM), loving-kindness meditation (LKM), or progressive muscle relaxation (active control group). Participants in the MM and LKM groups reported greater social and nature connectedness at post-test than those in the control group. There were no significant differences in connectedness between the MM and LKM groups, suggesting they are both effective for enhancing connectedness. There were no significant changes in negative or positive affect at post-test due to the interventions. Recommendations for future research are provided.

  15. Prison Meditation Movements and Mass Incarceration.

    PubMed

    Lyons, Thomas; Cantrell, W Dustin

    2016-09-01

    By some estimates, more than half of inmates held in jails and prisons in the United States have a substance use disorder. Treatments involving the teaching of meditation and other contemplative practices have been developed for a variety of physical and mental disorders, including drug and alcohol addiction. At the same time, an expanding volunteer movement across the country has been bringing meditation and yoga into jails and prisons. This review first examines the experimental research on one such approach-mindfulness meditation as a treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the research on mindfulness in incarcerated settings. We argue that to make a substantial impact on recidivism, such programs must mirror volunteer programs which emphasize interdependency and non-duality between the "helper" and the "helped," and the building of meditation communities both inside and outside of prison. © The Author(s) 2015.

  16. A Methodological Review of Meditation Research

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, John W.; Cohen, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Despite over 50 years of research into the states of consciousness induced by various meditation practices, no clear neurophysiological signatures of these states have been found. Much of this failure can be attributed to the narrow range of variables examined in most meditation studies, with the focus being restricted to a search for correlations between neurophysiological measures and particular practices, without documenting the content and context of these practices. We contend that more meaningful results can be obtained by expanding the methodological paradigm to include multiple domains including: the cultural setting (“the place”), the life situation of the meditator (“the person”), details of the particular meditation practice (‘the practice’), and the state of consciousness of the meditator (“the phenomenology”). Inclusion of variables from all these domains will improve the ability to predict the psychophysiological variables (“the psychophysiology”) associated with specific meditation states and thus explore the mysteries of human consciousness. PMID:25071607

  17. Effect of Dynamic Meditation on Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Iqbal, Naved; Singh, Archana; Aleem, Sheema

    2016-02-01

    Although traditional meditation has been found to be effective in improving physical and mental health of subjects, there was a paucity of research of the effect of active or dynamic meditation on these variables. Therefore, the present study was aimed at studying the effect of dynamic meditation on mental health of the subjects. Total sample of the present study comprised 60 subjects, 30 each in experimental and control group. Subjects in experimental group were given 21-day training in dynamic meditation. Mental health of the experimental and control group subjects was measured in pre- and post-condition with the help of Mental Health Inventory developed by Jagadish and Srivastava (Mental Health inventory, Manovaigyanik Parikshan Sansthan, Varanasi, 1983). Obtained data were analyzed with the help of ANCOVA. In post-condition, experimental group scored better than control group on integration of personality, autonomy and environmental mastery. Effect sizes of dynamic meditation on these dimensions of mental health were large. However, experimental group and control group did not differ significantly on positive self-evaluation, perception of reality and group-oriented attitude dimensions of mental health in post-condition. Overall, dynamic meditation training was effective in improving mental health of the subjects.

  18. A study of structure of phenomenology of consciousness in meditative and non-meditative states.

    PubMed

    Venkatesh, S; Raju, T R; Shivani, Y; Tompkins, G; Meti, B L

    1997-04-01

    Twelve senior Kundalini (Chakra) meditators were assessed during meditation session and non-meditation or control session using Phenomenology of Consciousness Inventory. The data has been analyzed using structural analysis to measure the altered state of consciousness and the identity state by comparing meditative state with non-meditative state. The structural analysis of pattern of consciousness during the meditative state revealed altered experience in perception (percentile rank PR = 90), meaning (PR = 82) and time sense (PR = 87), while positive affect dimension showed increased joy (PR = 73) and love (PR = 67). The imagery vividness (PR = 72), self-awareness (PR = 77), rationality (PR = 73) and arousal (PR = 69) were found to be structurally different from the ordinary state. With regards to identity state meditative experience was found to produce statistically significant changes in terms of intensity in meaning (P < 0.05), time sense (P < 0.05), joy (P < 0.05), love (P < 0.05) and state of awareness (P < 0.01). Our results indicate that long term practice of meditation appears to produce structural as well as intensity changes in phenomenological experiences of consciousness.

  19. Meditation acutely improves psychomotor vigilance, and may decrease sleep need

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background A number of benefits from meditation have been claimed by those who practice various traditions, but few have been well tested in scientifically controlled studies. Among these claims are improved performance and decreased sleep need. Therefore, in these studies we assess whether meditation leads to an immediate performance improvement on a well validated psychomotor vigilance task (PVT), and second, whether longer bouts of meditation may alter sleep need. Methods The primary study assessed PVT reaction times before and after 40 minute periods of mediation, nap, or a control activity using a within subject cross-over design. This study utilized novice meditators who were current university students (n = 10). Novice meditators completed 40 minutes of meditation, nap, or control activities on six different days (two separate days for each condition), plus one night of total sleep deprivation on a different night, followed by 40 minutes of meditation. A second study examined sleep times in long term experienced meditators (n = 7) vs. non-meditators (n = 23). Experienced meditators and controls were age and sex matched and living in the Delhi region of India at the time of the study. Both groups continued their normal activities while monitoring their sleep and meditation times. Results Novice meditators were tested on the PVT before each activity, 10 minutes after each activity and one hour later. All ten novice meditators improved their PVT reaction times immediately following periods of meditation, and all but one got worse immediately following naps. Sleep deprivation produced a slower baseline reaction time (RT) on the PVT that still improved significantly following a period of meditation. In experiments with long-term experienced meditators, sleep duration was measured using both sleep journals and actigraphy. Sleep duration in these subjects was lower than control non-meditators and general population norms, with no apparent decrements in PVT scores

  20. The effect of meditation on shooting performance.

    PubMed Central

    Solberg, E E; Berglund, K A; Engen, O; Ekeberg, O; Loeb, M

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To study effects of meditation on the shooting performance. METHODS: 25 elite shooters were investigated in an independent groups design. The results in standardised test shootings indoors and in ordinary competitions outdoors were assessed before and after regular meditation training for the experimental group. The experience of tension during the test shootings was self recorded on a visual analogue scale (VAS). RESULTS: The competition results in the outdoor season (1993), just after the meditation training period, compared with the results the previous season (1992), were better in the meditation group (P < 0.05). No significant difference between the groups was observed in the test shootings before and after the relaxation intervention. A significant association was shown between low tension and the results in the test shootings (correlation r = 0.42, P < 0.0001; Wilcoxon rank sum test, z = -3.36, P < 0.001); 18% (= r2) of the variance in performance was explained by tension. CONCLUSIONS: Meditation may enhance competitive shooting performance. PMID:9015599

  1. EEG source imaging during two Qigong meditations.

    PubMed

    Faber, Pascal L; Lehmann, Dietrich; Tei, Shisei; Tsujiuchi, Takuya; Kumano, Hiroaki; Pascual-Marqui, Roberto D; Kochi, Kieko

    2012-08-01

    Experienced Qigong meditators who regularly perform the exercises "Thinking of Nothing" and "Qigong" were studied with multichannel EEG source imaging during their meditations. The intracerebral localization of brain electric activity during the two meditation conditions was compared using sLORETA functional EEG tomography. Differences between conditions were assessed using t statistics (corrected for multiple testing) on the normalized and log-transformed current density values of the sLORETA images. In the EEG alpha-2 frequency, 125 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Qigong" than "Thinking of Nothing," forming a single cluster in parietal Brodmann areas 5, 7, 31, and 40, all in the right hemisphere. In the EEG beta-1 frequency, 37 voxels differed significantly; all were more active during "Thinking of Nothing" than "Qigong," forming a single cluster in prefrontal Brodmann areas 6, 8, and 9, all in the left hemisphere. Compared to combined initial-final no-task resting, "Qigong" showed activation in posterior areas whereas "Thinking of Nothing" showed activation in anterior areas. The stronger activity of posterior (right) parietal areas during "Qigong" and anterior (left) prefrontal areas during "Thinking of Nothing" may reflect a predominance of self-reference, attention and input-centered processing in the "Qigong" meditation, and of control-centered processing in the "Thinking of Nothing" meditation.

  2. Effects of Zen Meditation on Anxiety Reduction and Perceptual Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldman, Barbara L.; And Others

    1979-01-01

    Subjects were assigned to Zen meditation, antimeditation (control), or no-treatment (control) groups. Measures of anxiety showed a decrease after meditation, but no more than the control groups. State anxiety after stress showed no effect of meditation. Measures of perceptual functioning showed no differential improvement. (Author)

  3. Assessing effect of meditation on cognitive workload using EEG signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jadhav, Narendra; Manthalkar, Ramchandra; Joshi, Yashwant

    2017-06-01

    Recent research suggests that meditation affects the structure and function of the brain. Cognitive load can be handled in effective way by the meditators. EEG signals are used to quantify cognitive load. The research of investigating effect of meditation on cognitive workload using EEG signals in pre and post-meditation is an open problem. The subjects for this study are young healthy 11 engineering students from our institute. The focused attention meditation practice is used for this study. EEG signals are recorded at the beginning of meditation and after four weeks of regular meditation using EMOTIV device. The subjects practiced meditation daily 20 minutes for 4 weeks. The 7 level arithmetic additions of single digit (low level) to three digits with carry (high level) are presented as cognitive load. The cognitive load indices such as arousal index, performance enhancement, neural activity, load index, engagement, and alertness are evaluated in pre and post meditation. The cognitive indices are improved in post meditation data. Power Spectral Density (PSD) feature is compared between pre and post-meditation across all subjects. The result hints that the subjects were handling cognitive load without stress (ease of cognitive functioning increased for the same load) after 4 weeks of meditation.

  4. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Martucci, Katherine T; Kraft, Robert A; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2014-06-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief

    PubMed Central

    Martucci, Katherine T.; Kraft, Robert A.; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes. PMID:23615765

  6. Integrating Mindfulness Meditation within a University Counseling Center Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kurash, Cheryl; Schaul, Jonathan

    2006-01-01

    This paper documents the development of a mindfulness meditation component within a University Counseling Center setting. The specific focus is upon the inclusion of meditation as it pertains to both organizational structure and psychotherapy training. The integration of a meditation practice into any organization is a slow process that poses…

  7. The Psychological Effects of Meditation: A Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sedlmeier, Peter; Eberth, Juliane; Schwarz, Marcus; Zimmermann, Doreen; Haarig, Frederik; Jaeger, Sonia; Kunze, Sonja

    2012-01-01

    In this meta-analysis, we give a comprehensive overview of the effects of meditation on psychological variables that can be extracted from empirical studies, concentrating on the effects of meditation on nonclinical groups of adult meditators. Mostly because of methodological problems, almost 3/4 of an initially identified 595 studies had to be…

  8. Meditation States and Traits: EEG, ERP, and Neuroimaging Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cahn, B. Rael; Polich, John

    2006-01-01

    Neuroelectric and imaging studies of meditation are reviewed. Electroencephalographic measures indicate an overall slowing subsequent to meditation, with theta and alpha activation related to proficiency of practice. Sensory evoked potential assessment of concentrative meditation yields amplitude and latency changes for some components and…

  9. A Comparison of Meditation with Other Relaxation Techniques.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fling, Sheila

    This paper critiques a negative 1984 review, "Meditation and Somatic Arousal Reduction" (Holmes), on the absolute effectiveness of meditation in reducing somatic arousal and reviews research on the relative effectiveness of meditation compared to techniques such as biofeedback, hypnosis, progressive muscle relaxation, and autogenics in…

  10. Distinct Neural Activity Associated with Focused-Attention Meditation and Loving-Kindness Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Tatia M. C.; Leung, Mei-Kei; Hou, Wai-Kai; Tang, Joey C. Y.; Yin, Jing; So, Kwok-Fai; Lee, Chack-Fan; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the dissociable neural effects of ānāpānasati (focused-attention meditation, FAM) and mettā (loving-kindness meditation, LKM) on BOLD signals during cognitive (continuous performance test, CPT) and affective (emotion-processing task, EPT, in which participants viewed affective pictures) processing. Twenty-two male Chinese expert meditators (11 FAM experts, 11 LKM experts) and 22 male Chinese novice meditators (11 FAM novices, 11 LKM novices) had their brain activity monitored by a 3T MRI scanner while performing the cognitive and affective tasks in both meditation and baseline states. We examined the interaction between state (meditation vs. baseline) and expertise (expert vs. novice) separately during LKM and FAM, using a conjunction approach to reveal common regions sensitive to the expert meditative state. Additionally, exclusive masking techniques revealed distinct interactions between state and group during LKM and FAM. Specifically, we demonstrated that the practice of FAM was associated with expertise-related behavioral improvements and neural activation differences in attention task performance. However, the effect of state LKM meditation did not carry over to attention task performance. On the other hand, both FAM and LKM practice appeared to affect the neural responses to affective pictures. For viewing sad faces, the regions activated for FAM practitioners were consistent with attention-related processing; whereas responses of LKM experts to sad pictures were more in line with differentiating emotional contagion from compassion/emotional regulation processes. Our findings provide the first report of distinct neural activity associated with forms of meditation during sustained attention and emotion processing. PMID:22905090

  11. A Quasi-Transcendental Approach for Removing Hierarchical Teacher-Student Relation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yusofi, Mahdy; Zarghami-Hamrah, Saeid; Ghaedy, Yahya; Mahmudnia, Alireza

    2018-01-01

    In the present study, we adopt a quasi-transcendental approach in order to deconstruct the teacher-student relationship. According to the results of this study, teacher is the dominant pole and student is the passive one. This relation should be redefined in order to transfer students to the dominant pole. In this improvement process the…

  12. Reclaiming the Power of Subversive Language in Romantic and Transcendental Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nugent, Kelly Ann

    2004-01-01

    A high school teacher tries to eliminate the obstacles to subversive teaching in public schools by asking them to design schools that embodied the principles of learning suggested by the romantic and transcendental writers like Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman. It helps the students…

  13. A Comparative Study of Taoism and American Transcendentalism: A Humanities Teaching Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Womack, Nancy

    This teaching unit, designed for advanced high school students and average junior college students in a humanities oriented literature course, has one primary objective: to correlate similar thinking in two different time periods and locales. The philosophy of Taoism in ancient China and the philosophy of transcendentalism in nineteenth century…

  14. Empowered Intersectionality among Black Female K-12 Leaders: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McNeal, Carla

    2017-01-01

    Black female school leaders remain underrepresented as educational leaders in the K-12 context as marginalizing factors persist in the field. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of Black female school leaders through the lens of intersectionality. For this research study, intersectionality…

  15. GEOMAG[TM] Paradoxes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Defrancesco, Silvia; Logiurato, Fabrizio; Karwasz, Grzegorz

    2007-01-01

    As often happens, a lot of physics can come out of a toy. What we found interesting is the observation of the magnetic field produced by different configurations built with GEOMAG[TM]. This toy provides small magnetic bars and steel spheres to play with. Amusing 3-D structures can be built; nevertheless, this possibility is not so obvious. Indeed,…

  16. Meditation for adults with haematological malignancies.

    PubMed

    Salhofer, Ines; Will, Andrea; Monsef, Ina; Skoetz, Nicole

    2016-02-03

    Malignant neoplasms of the lymphoid or myeloid cell lines including lymphoma, leukaemia and myeloma are referred to as haematological malignancies. Complementary and alternative treatment options such as meditation practice or yoga are becoming popular by treating all aspects of the disease including physical and psychological symptoms. However, there is still unclear evidence about meditation's effectiveness, and how its practice affects the lives of haematologically-diseased patients. This review aims to assess the benefits and harms of meditation practice as an additional treatment to standard care for adults with haematological malignancies. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, Issue 8, 2015), MEDLINE (1950 to August 2015), databases of ongoing trials, the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (http://www.controlled-trials.com/mrct/), conference proceedings of annual meetings of: the American Society of Hematology; American Society of Clinical Oncology; European Hematology Association; European Congress for Integrative Medicine; and Global Advances in Health and Medicine (2010 to 2015). We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) using meditation practice for adult patients with haematological malignancies. Two review authors independently extracted data from eligible studies and assessed the risk of bias according to predefined criteria. We evaluated quality of life and depression. The other outcomes of overall survival, anxiety, fatigue, quality of sleep and adverse events could not be evaluated, because they were not assessed in the included trial. We included only one small trial published as an abstract article. The included study investigated the effects of meditation practice on patients newly hospitalised with acute leukaemia. Ninety-one participants enrolled in the study, but only 42 participants remained in the trial throughout the six-month follow-up period and were eligible for analysis. There was no

  17. A quantitative electroencephalographic study of meditation and binaural beat entrainment.

    PubMed

    Lavallee, Christina F; Koren, Stanley A; Persinger, Michael A

    2011-04-01

    The study objective was to determine the quantitative electroencephalographic correlates of meditation, as well as the effects of hindering (15 Hz) and facilitative (7 Hz) binaural beats on the meditative process. The study was a mixed design, with experience of the subject as the primary between-subject measure and power of the six classic frequency bands (δ, θ, low α, high α, β, γ), neocortical lobe (frontal, temporal, parietal, occipital), hemisphere (left, right), and condition (meditation only, meditation with 7-Hz beats, meditation with 15-Hz beats) as the within-subject measures. The study was conducted at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The subjects comprised novice (mean of 8 months experience) and experienced (mean of 18 years experience) meditators recruited from local meditation groups. Experimental manipulation included application of hindering and facilitative binaural beats to the meditative process. Experienced meditators displayed increased left temporal lobe δ power when the facilitative binaural beats were applied, whereas the effect was not observed for the novice subjects in this condition. When the hindering binaural beats were introduced, the novice subjects consistently displayed more γ power than the experienced subjects over the course of their meditation, relative to baseline. Based on the results of this study, novice meditators were not able to maintain certain levels of θ power in the occipital regions when hindering binaural beats were presented, whereas when the facilitative binaural beats were presented, the experienced meditators displayed increased θ power in the left temporal lobe. These results suggest that the experienced meditators have developed techniques over the course of their meditation practice to counter hindering environmental stimuli, whereas the novice meditators have not yet developed those techniques.

  18. Meditation is associated with increased brain network integration.

    PubMed

    van Lutterveld, Remko; van Dellen, Edwin; Pal, Prasanta; Yang, Hua; Stam, Cornelis Jan; Brewer, Judson

    2017-09-01

    This study aims to identify novel quantitative EEG measures associated with mindfulness meditation. As there is some evidence that meditation is associated with higher integration of brain networks, we focused on EEG measures of network integration. Sixteen novice meditators and sixteen experienced meditators participated in the study. Novice meditators performed a basic meditation practice that supported effortless awareness, which is an important quality of experience related to mindfulness practices, while their EEG was recorded. Experienced meditators performed a self-selected meditation practice that supported effortless awareness. Network integration was analyzed with maximum betweenness centrality and leaf fraction (which both correlate positively with network integration) as well as with diameter and average eccentricity (which both correlate negatively with network integration), based on a phase-lag index (PLI) and minimum spanning tree (MST) approach. Differences between groups were assessed using repeated-measures ANOVA for the theta (4-8 Hz), alpha (8-13 Hz) and lower beta (13-20 Hz) frequency bands. Maximum betweenness centrality was significantly higher in experienced meditators than in novices (P = 0.012) in the alpha band. In the same frequency band, leaf fraction showed a trend toward being significantly higher in experienced meditators than in novices (P = 0.056), while diameter and average eccentricity were significantly lower in experienced meditators than in novices (P = 0.016 and P = 0.028 respectively). No significant differences between groups were observed for the theta and beta frequency bands. These results show that alpha band functional network topology is better integrated in experienced meditators than in novice meditators during meditation. This novel finding provides the rationale to investigate the temporal relation between measures of functional connectivity network integration and meditation quality, for example using

  19. Characteristics of Adults Who Used Mindfulness Meditation: United States, 2012.

    PubMed

    Morone, Natalia E; Moore, Charity G; Greco, Carol M

    2017-07-01

    To describe estimates of the number and characteristics of persons who had used mindfulness meditation in the U.S. Data from 108,131 adults from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey were weighted to produce national estimates representative of the U.S. Persons who used mindfulness meditation were identified by their response to the question "During the past 12 months, did you use mindfulness meditation?" An estimated 2,029,720 adults had used mindfulness meditation. Compared with those who did not meditate, more meditators endorsed moderate exercise (79.6% vs. 54.8%; p < 0.0001). More meditators had low-back and neck pain and headache (36.7% vs. 28.9 [p = 0.0002]; 26.4% vs. 14.7% [p<0.0001]; 19.1% vs. 12.1% [p<0.0001], respectively). More meditators reported being nervous or feeling sad at least a little of the time (60.4% vs. 37.8% and 34% vs. 23.5%, respectively; p<0.0001) and being frequently stressed (56.4% vs. 29.0%; p<0.0001). Mindfulness meditation was used by an estimated 2,029,720 adults in the United States in 2012. More meditators than nonmeditators reported more pain and reported feeling nervous or sad and being stressed, suggesting a reason for using mindfulness meditation.

  20. The enhancement of visuospatial processing efficiency through Buddhist Deity meditation.

    PubMed

    Kozhevnikov, Maria; Louchakova, Olga; Josipovic, Zoran; Motes, Michael A

    2009-05-01

    This study examined the effects of meditation on mental imagery, evaluating Buddhist monks' reports concerning their extraordinary imagery skills. Practitioners of Buddhist meditation were divided into two groups according to their preferred meditation style: Deity Yoga (focused attention on an internal visual image) or Open Presence (evenly distributed attention, not directed to any particular object). Both groups of meditators completed computerized mental-imagery tasks before and after meditation. Their performance was compared with that of control groups, who either rested or performed other visuospatial tasks between testing sessions. The results indicate that all the groups performed at the same baseline level, but after meditation, Deity Yoga practitioners demonstrated a dramatic increase in performance on imagery tasks compared with the other groups. The results suggest that Deity meditation specifically trains one's capacity to access heightened visuospatial processing resources, rather than generally improving visuospatial imagery abilities.

  1. EEG Derived Neuronal Dynamics during Meditation: Progress and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Chamandeep; Singh, Preeti

    2015-01-01

    Meditation advances positivity but how these behavioral and psychological changes are brought can be explained by understanding neurophysiological effects of meditation. In this paper, a broad spectrum of neural mechanics under a variety of meditation styles has been reviewed. The overall aim of this study is to review existing scientific studies and future challenges on meditation effects based on changing EEG brainwave patterns. Albeit the existing researches evidenced the hold for efficacy of meditation in relieving anxiety and depression and producing psychological well-being, more rigorous studies are required with better design, considering client variables like personality characteristics to avoid negative effects, randomized controlled trials, and large sample sizes. A bigger number of clinical trials that concentrate on the use of meditation are required. Also, the controversial subject of epileptiform EEG changes and other adverse effects during meditation has been raised. PMID:26770834

  2. Meditation Breath Attention Scores (MBAS): Development and investigation of an internet-based assessment of focused attention during meditation practice.

    PubMed

    Frewen, Paul; Hargraves, Heather; DePierro, Jonathan; D'Andrea, Wendy; Flodrowski, Les

    2016-07-01

    Meditation Breath Attention Scores (MBAS) represent a self-report, state measure of focused attention (FA) during the practice of meditation. The MBAS assessment procedure involves sounding a bell at periodic intervals during meditation practice, at which times participants indicate if they were attending toward breathing (scored 1) or if instead they had become distracted (e.g., by mind wandering; scored 0); scores are then tallied to yield participants' MBAS for that meditation. The current study developed and evaluated a fully automated and Internet-based version of MBAS in 1,101 volunteers. Results suggested that: (a) MBAS are internally consistent across bell rings; (b) MBAS total scores exhibit a non-normal distribution identifying subgroups of participants with particularly poor or robust FA during meditation; (c) MBAS decrease linearly with the duration of meditation practices, indicating that participants tend to experience less FA later as opposed to earlier in the meditation; (d) in the case of eyes-open meditation, MBAS are higher when the amount of time between bells is shorter; (e) MBAS correlate with various self-reported subjective experiences occurring during meditation; and (f) MBAS are weakly associated with higher trait mindful "acting with awareness," lesser ADHD-related symptoms of inattentiveness, and estimated minutes of meditation practiced in the past month. In sum, results provide further support for the construct validity of MBAS and serve to further characterize the dynamics of individual differences in FA during meditation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. The Role of Meditation in Addiction Recovery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pruett, James M.; Nishimura, Nancy J.; Priest, Ronnie

    2007-01-01

    The authors examined the role of meditation as an important component in addiction recovery. Successful addiction recovery is often related to an individual's ability to develop and use a repertoire of coping behaviors, including the ability to maintain an ongoing awareness of one's vulnerability. These learned behaviors serve as reliable…

  4. [Mindfulness meditation, a source of professional wellbeing].

    PubMed

    Blot, Nathalie

    2016-10-01

    Mindfulness meditation, by focusing attention on what we are experiencing, improves personal wellbeing which is then expressed in caregivers' professional practices. Nurses who practise mindfulness will be better positioned to help their patients. Copyright © 2016. Publié par Elsevier Masson SAS.

  5. Embodied Wisdom: Meditations on Memoir and Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pryer, Alison

    2010-01-01

    "Embodied Wisdom: Meditations on Memoir and Education" by Alison Pryer, Ph.D. explores the interconnectedness of body, mind and spirit within diverse educational contexts. Evocative, sensual prose carries the reader on a journey through the personal and the remembered in a layered series of autobiographical essays, each one affording deeper…

  6. The Benefits of Meditation for Outdoor Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ettenger, Jim

    Outdoor education is not merely about learning outdoor skills; it should also involve self-reflective activities. Meditation is a technique used for self-reflection, has many proven psychological and physiological benefits, and would be a good addition to any wilderness program. Research has shown that the psychological benefits of meditation…

  7. Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia

    PubMed Central

    Emerson, Nichole M.; Farris, Suzan R.; Ray, Jenna N.; Jung, Youngkyoo; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation reduces pain in experimental and clinical settings. However, it remains unknown whether mindfulness meditation engages pain-relieving mechanisms other than those associated with the placebo effect (e.g., conditioning, psychosocial context, beliefs). To determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of mindfulness meditation are different from placebo, we randomly assigned 75 healthy, human volunteers to 4 d of the following: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo conditioning, (3) sham mindfulness meditation, or (4) book-listening control intervention. We assessed intervention efficacy using psychophysical evaluation of experimental pain and functional neuroimaging. Importantly, all cognitive manipulations (i.e., mindfulness meditation, placebo conditioning, sham mindfulness meditation) significantly attenuated pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to rest and the control condition (p < 0.05). Mindfulness meditation reduced pain intensity (p = 0.032) and pain unpleasantness (p < 0.001) ratings more than placebo analgesia. Mindfulness meditation also reduced pain intensity (p = 0.030) and pain unpleasantness (p = 0.043) ratings more than sham mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-meditation-related pain relief was associated with greater activation in brain regions associated with the cognitive modulation of pain, including the orbitofrontal, subgenual anterior cingulate, and anterior insular cortex. In contrast, placebo analgesia was associated with activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation of sensory processing regions (secondary somatosensory cortex). Sham mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was not correlated with significant neural activity, but rather by greater reductions in respiration rate. This study is the first to demonstrate that mindfulness-related pain relief is mechanistically distinct from placebo analgesia. The elucidation of this distinction confirms the existence of multiple

  8. Mindfulness Meditation-Based Pain Relief Employs Different Neural Mechanisms Than Placebo and Sham Mindfulness Meditation-Induced Analgesia.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Emerson, Nichole M; Farris, Suzan R; Ray, Jenna N; Jung, Youngkyoo; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2015-11-18

    Mindfulness meditation reduces pain in experimental and clinical settings. However, it remains unknown whether mindfulness meditation engages pain-relieving mechanisms other than those associated with the placebo effect (e.g., conditioning, psychosocial context, beliefs). To determine whether the analgesic mechanisms of mindfulness meditation are different from placebo, we randomly assigned 75 healthy, human volunteers to 4 d of the following: (1) mindfulness meditation, (2) placebo conditioning, (3) sham mindfulness meditation, or (4) book-listening control intervention. We assessed intervention efficacy using psychophysical evaluation of experimental pain and functional neuroimaging. Importantly, all cognitive manipulations (i.e., mindfulness meditation, placebo conditioning, sham mindfulness meditation) significantly attenuated pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to rest and the control condition (p < 0.05). Mindfulness meditation reduced pain intensity (p = 0.032) and pain unpleasantness (p < 0.001) ratings more than placebo analgesia. Mindfulness meditation also reduced pain intensity (p = 0.030) and pain unpleasantness (p = 0.043) ratings more than sham mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness-meditation-related pain relief was associated with greater activation in brain regions associated with the cognitive modulation of pain, including the orbitofrontal, subgenual anterior cingulate, and anterior insular cortex. In contrast, placebo analgesia was associated with activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and deactivation of sensory processing regions (secondary somatosensory cortex). Sham mindfulness meditation-induced analgesia was not correlated with significant neural activity, but rather by greater reductions in respiration rate. This study is the first to demonstrate that mindfulness-related pain relief is mechanistically distinct from placebo analgesia. The elucidation of this distinction confirms the existence of multiple

  9. Neural mechanisms of hypnosis and meditation.

    PubMed

    De Benedittis, Giuseppe

    2015-12-01

    Hypnosis has been an elusive concept for science for a long time. However, the explosive advances in neuroscience in the last few decades have provided a "bridge of understanding" between classical neurophysiological studies and psychophysiological studies. These studies have shed new light on the neural basis of the hypnotic experience. Furthermore, an ambitious new area of research is focusing on mapping the core processes of psychotherapy and the neurobiology/underlying them. Hypnosis research offers powerful techniques to isolate psychological processes in ways that allow their neural bases to be mapped. The Hypnotic Brain can serve as a way to tap neurocognitive questions and our cognitive assays can in turn shed new light on the neural bases of hypnosis. This cross-talk should enhance research and clinical applications. An increasing body of evidence provides insight in the neural mechanisms of the Meditative Brain. Discrete meditative styles are likely to target different neurodynamic patterns. Recent findings emphasize increased attentional resources activating the attentional and salience networks with coherent perception. Cognitive and emotional equanimity gives rise to an eudaimonic state, made of calm, resilience and stability, readiness to express compassion and empathy, a main goal of Buddhist practices. Structural changes in gray matter of key areas of the brain involved in learning processes suggest that these skills can be learned through practice. Hypnosis and Meditation represent two important, historical and influential landmarks of Western and Eastern civilization and culture respectively. Neuroscience has beginning to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms of both Hypnotic and Meditative Brain, outlining similarities but also differences between the two states and processes. It is important not to view either the Eastern or the Western system as superior to the other. Cross-fertilization of the ancient Eastern meditation techniques

  10. Quantitative change of EEG and respiration signals during mindfulness meditation.

    PubMed

    Ahani, Asieh; Wahbeh, Helane; Nezamfar, Hooman; Miller, Meghan; Erdogmus, Deniz; Oken, Barry

    2014-05-14

    This study investigates measures of mindfulness meditation (MM) as a mental practice, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. A population of older people with high stress level participated in this study, while electroencephalographic (EEG) and respiration signals were recorded during a MM intervention. The physiological signals during meditation and control conditions were analyzed with signal processing. EEG and respiration data were collected and analyzed on 34 novice meditators after a 6-week meditation intervention. Collected data were analyzed with spectral analysis, phase analysis and classification to evaluate an objective marker for meditation. Different frequency bands showed differences in meditation and control conditions. Furthermore, we established a classifier using EEG and respiration signals with a higher accuracy (85%) at discriminating between meditation and control conditions than a classifier using the EEG signal only (78%). Support vector machine (SVM) classifier with EEG and respiration feature vector is a viable objective marker for meditation ability. This classifier should be able to quantify different levels of meditation depth and meditation experience in future studies.

  11. Shifting brain asymmetry: the link between meditation and structural lateralization

    PubMed Central

    Kurth, Florian; MacKenzie-Graham, Allan; Toga, Arthur W.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed an increased fractional anisotropy and greater thickness in the anterior parts of the corpus callosum in meditation practitioners compared with control subjects. Altered callosal features may be associated with an altered inter-hemispheric integration and the degree of brain asymmetry may also be shifted in meditation practitioners. Therefore, we investigated differences in gray matter asymmetry as well as correlations between gray matter asymmetry and years of meditation practice in 50 long-term meditators and 50 controls. We detected a decreased rightward asymmetry in the precuneus in meditators compared with controls. In addition, we observed that a stronger leftward asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus was positively associated with the number of meditation practice years. In a further exploratory analysis, we observed that a stronger rightward asymmetry in the pregenual cingulate cortex was negatively associated with the number of practice years. The group difference within the precuneus, as well as the positive correlations with meditation years in the pregenual cingulate cortex, suggests an adaptation of the default mode network in meditators. The positive correlation between meditation practice years and asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus may suggest that meditation is accompanied by changes in attention processing. PMID:24643652

  12. Shifting brain asymmetry: the link between meditation and structural lateralization.

    PubMed

    Kurth, Florian; MacKenzie-Graham, Allan; Toga, Arthur W; Luders, Eileen

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have revealed an increased fractional anisotropy and greater thickness in the anterior parts of the corpus callosum in meditation practitioners compared with control subjects. Altered callosal features may be associated with an altered inter-hemispheric integration and the degree of brain asymmetry may also be shifted in meditation practitioners. Therefore, we investigated differences in gray matter asymmetry as well as correlations between gray matter asymmetry and years of meditation practice in 50 long-term meditators and 50 controls. We detected a decreased rightward asymmetry in the precuneus in meditators compared with controls. In addition, we observed that a stronger leftward asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus was positively associated with the number of meditation practice years. In a further exploratory analysis, we observed that a stronger rightward asymmetry in the pregenual cingulate cortex was negatively associated with the number of practice years. The group difference within the precuneus, as well as the positive correlations with meditation years in the pregenual cingulate cortex, suggests an adaptation of the default mode network in meditators. The positive correlation between meditation practice years and asymmetry near the posterior intraparietal sulcus may suggest that meditation is accompanied by changes in attention processing. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Quantitative change of EEG and respiration signals during mindfulness meditation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background This study investigates measures of mindfulness meditation (MM) as a mental practice, in which a resting but alert state of mind is maintained. A population of older people with high stress level participated in this study, while electroencephalographic (EEG) and respiration signals were recorded during a MM intervention. The physiological signals during meditation and control conditions were analyzed with signal processing. Methods EEG and respiration data were collected and analyzed on 34 novice meditators after a 6-week meditation intervention. Collected data were analyzed with spectral analysis, phase analysis and classification to evaluate an objective marker for meditation. Results Different frequency bands showed differences in meditation and control conditions. Furthermore, we established a classifier using EEG and respiration signals with a higher accuracy (85%) at discriminating between meditation and control conditions than a classifier using the EEG signal only (78%). Conclusion Support vector machine (SVM) classifier with EEG and respiration feature vector is a viable objective marker for meditation ability. This classifier should be able to quantify different levels of meditation depth and meditation experience in future studies. PMID:24939519

  14. Effects of meditation practice on spontaneous eyeblink rate.

    PubMed

    Kruis, Ayla; Slagter, Heleen A; Bachhuber, David R W; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine

    2016-05-01

    A rapidly growing body of research suggests that meditation can change brain and cognitive functioning. Yet little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms underlying meditation-related changes in cognition. Here, we investigated the effects of meditation on spontaneous eyeblink rates (sEBR), a noninvasive peripheral correlate of striatal dopamine activity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between sEBR and cognitive functions such as mind wandering, cognitive flexibility, and attention-functions that are also affected by meditation. We therefore expected that long-term meditation practice would alter eyeblink activity. To test this, we recorded baseline sEBR and intereyeblink intervals (IEBI) in long-term meditators (LTM) and meditation-naive participants (MNP). We found that LTM not only blinked less frequently, but also showed a different eyeblink pattern than MNP. This pattern had good to high degree of consistency over three time points. Moreover, we examined the effects of an 8-week course of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sEBR and IEBI, compared to an active control group and a waitlist control group. No effect of short-term meditation practice was found. Finally, we investigated whether different types of meditation differentially alter eyeblink activity by measuring sEBR and IEBI after a full day of two kinds of meditation practices in the LTM. No effect of meditation type was found. Taken together, these findings may suggest either that individual difference in dopaminergic neurotransmission is a self-selection factor for meditation practice, or that long-term, but not short-term meditation practice induces stable changes in baseline striatal dopaminergic functioning. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  15. Effects of Meditation Practice on Spontaneous Eye Blink Rate

    PubMed Central

    Kruis, Ayla; Slagter, Heleen A.; Bachhuber, David R.W.; Davidson, Richard J.; Lutz, Antoine

    2016-01-01

    A rapidly growing body of research suggests that meditation can change brain and cognitive functioning. Yet little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms underlying meditation-related changes in cognition. Here we investigated the effects of meditation on spontaneous Eye Blink Rates (sEBR), a non-invasive peripheral correlate of striatal dopamine activity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between sEBR and cognitive functions such as mind-wandering, cognitive flexibility, and attention–functions that are also affected by meditation. We therefore expected that long-term meditation practice would alter eye-blink activity. To test this, we recorded baseline sEBR and Inter Eye-Blink Intervals (IEBI) in long-term meditators (LTM) and meditation naive participants (MNP). We found that LTM not only blinked less frequently, but also showed a different eye-blink pattern than MNP. This pattern had good to high degree of consistency over three time points. Moreover, we examined the effects of an 8 week-course of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on sEBR and IEBI, compared to an active control group and a waitlist-control group. No effect of short-term meditation practice was found. Finally, we investigated whether different types of meditation differentially alter eye blink activity by measuring sEBR and IEBI after a full day of two kinds of meditation practices in the LTM. No effect of meditation type was found. Taken together, these findings may suggest either that individual difference in dopaminergic neurotransmission is a self-selection factor for meditation practice, or that long-term, but not short-term meditation practice induces stable changes in baseline striatal dopaminergic functioning. PMID:26871460

  16. Exaggerated heart rate oscillations during two meditation techniques.

    PubMed

    Peng, C K; Mietus, J E; Liu, Y; Khalsa, G; Douglas, P S; Benson, H; Goldberger, A L

    1999-07-31

    We report extremely prominent heart rate oscillations associated with slow breathing during specific traditional forms of Chinese Chi and Kundalini Yoga meditation techniques in healthy young adults. We applied both spectral analysis and a novel analytic technique based on the Hilbert transform to quantify these heart rate dynamics. The amplitude of these oscillations during meditation was significantly greater than in the pre-meditation control state and also in three non-meditation control groups: i) elite athletes during sleep, ii) healthy young adults during metronomic breathing, and iii) healthy young adults during spontaneous nocturnal breathing. This finding, along with the marked variability of the beat-to-beat heart rate dynamics during such profound meditative states, challenges the notion of meditation as only an autonomically quiescent state.

  17. Mindfulness meditation and relaxation training increases time sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Droit-Volet, S; Fanget, M; Dambrun, M

    2015-01-01

    Two experiments examined the effect of mindfulness meditation and relaxation on time perception using a temporal bisection task. In Experiment 1, the participants performed a temporal task before and after exercises of mindfulness meditation or relaxation. In Experiment 2, the procedure was similar than that used in Experiment 1, except that the participants were trained to mediate or relax every day over a period of several weeks. The results showed that mindfulness meditation exercises increased sensitivity to time and lengthened perceived time. However, this temporal improvement with meditation exercises was primarily observed in the experienced meditators. Our results also showed the experienced meditators were less anxious than the novice participants, and that the sensitivity to time increased when the level of anxiety decreased. Our results were explained by the practice of mindfulness technique that had developed individuals' abilities in devoting more attention resources to temporal information processing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Effect of mindfulness meditation on brain-computer interface performance.

    PubMed

    Tan, Lee-Fan; Dienes, Zoltan; Jansari, Ashok; Goh, Sing-Yau

    2014-01-01

    Electroencephalogram based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) enable stroke and motor neuron disease patients to communicate and control devices. Mindfulness meditation has been claimed to enhance metacognitive regulation. The current study explores whether mindfulness meditation training can thus improve the performance of BCI users. To eliminate the possibility of expectation of improvement influencing the results, we introduced a music training condition. A norming study found that both meditation and music interventions elicited clear expectations for improvement on the BCI task, with the strength of expectation being closely matched. In the main 12 week intervention study, seventy-six healthy volunteers were randomly assigned to three groups: a meditation training group; a music training group; and a no treatment control group. The mindfulness meditation training group obtained a significantly higher BCI accuracy compared to both the music training and no-treatment control groups after the intervention, indicating effects of meditation above and beyond expectancy effects. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Meditation-induced states predict attentional control over time.

    PubMed

    Colzato, Lorenza S; Sellaro, Roberta; Samara, Iliana; Baas, Matthijs; Hommel, Bernhard

    2015-12-01

    Meditation is becoming an increasingly popular topic for scientific research and various effects of extensive meditation practice (ranging from weeks to several years) on cognitive processes have been demonstrated. Here we show that extensive practice may not be necessary to achieve those effects. Healthy adult non-meditators underwent a brief single session of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing an Attentional Blink (AB) task - which assesses the efficiency of allocating attention over time. The size of the AB was considerably smaller after OMM than after FAM, which suggests that engaging in meditation immediately creates a cognitive-control state that has a specific impact on how people allocate their attention over time. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Visibility graph analysis on heartbeat dynamics of meditation training

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Sen; Bian, Chunhua; Ning, Xinbao; Ma, Qianli D. Y.

    2013-06-01

    We apply the visibility graph analysis to human heartbeat dynamics by constructing the complex networks of heartbeat interval time series and investigating the statistical properties of the network before and during chi and yoga meditation. The experiment results show that visibility graph analysis can reveal the dynamical changes caused by meditation training manifested as regular heartbeat, which is closely related to the adjustment of autonomous neural system, and visibility graph analysis is effective to evaluate the effect of meditation.

  1. Meditation and the Startle Response: A Case Study

    PubMed Central

    Levenson, Robert W.; Ekman, Paul; Ricard, Matthieu

    2013-01-01

    The effects of two kinds of meditation (open presence and focused) on the facial and physiological aspects of the defensive response to an aversive startle stimulus were studied in a Buddhist monk with approximately 40 years of meditation experience. The participant was exposed to a 115 db, 100 ms acoustic startle stimulus under the two meditation conditions, a distraction condition (to control for cognitive and attentional load) and an unanticipated condition (startle presented without warning or instruction). A completely counterbalanced 24-trial single-subject design was used, with each condition repeated six times. Most aspects of the participant’s responses in the unanticipated condition did not differ from those of a comparison group of 12 age-matched male controls. Both kinds of meditation produced physiological and facial responses to the startle that were smaller than in the distraction condition. Within meditation conditions, open presence meditation produced smaller physiological and facial responses than focused meditation. These results from a single highly expert meditator indicate that these two kinds of meditation can differentially alter the magnitude of a primitive defensive response. PMID:22506498

  2. Dynamical complexity changes during two forms of meditation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Jin; Hu, Jing; Zhang, Yinhong; Zhang, Xiaofeng

    2011-06-01

    Detection of dynamical complexity changes in natural and man-made systems has deep scientific and practical meaning. We use the base-scale entropy method to analyze dynamical complexity changes for heart rate variability (HRV) series during specific traditional forms of Chinese Chi and Kundalini Yoga meditation techniques in healthy young adults. The results show that dynamical complexity decreases in meditation states for two forms of meditation. Meanwhile, we detected changes in probability distribution of m-words during meditation and explained this changes using probability distribution of sine function. The base-scale entropy method may be used on a wider range of physiologic signals.

  3. Effect of Different Meditation Types on Migraine Headache Medication Use.

    PubMed

    Wachholtz, Amy B; Malone, Christopher D; Pargament, Kenneth I

    2017-01-01

    Spiritual meditation has been found to reduce the frequency of migraines and physiological reactivity to stress. However, little is known about how introducing a spirituality component into a meditation intervention impacts analgesic medication usage. In this study, 92 meditation-naïve participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (1) Spiritual Meditation, (n = 25), (2) Internally Focused Secular Meditation (n = 23), (3) Externally Focused Secular Meditation (n = 22), or (4) Progressive Muscle Relaxation (n = 22); and practiced their technique for 20 min/day over 30 days while completing daily diaries. Headache frequency, headache severity, and pain medication use were assessed. Migraine frequency decreased in the Spiritual Meditation group compared to other groups (p < 0.05). Headache severity ratings did not differ across groups (p = ns). After adjusting for headache frequency, migraine medication usage decreased in the Spiritual Meditation group compared to other groups (p < 0.05). Spiritual Meditation was found to not affect pain sensitivity, but it does improve pain tolerance with reduced headache related analgesic medication usage.

  4. Psychological effects of meditation at a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar.

    PubMed

    Kasai, Yuichi; Sakakibara, Toshihiko; Kyaw, Thein Aung; Soe, Zaw Wai; Han, Zaw Min; Htwe, Maung Mg

    2017-02-01

    Meditation is widely used as a therapeutic measure because it can effectively reduce stress, pain, and improve the mental health, but there are many unclear points about the psychological effects of meditation. The purpose of this study is to verify the psychological effects of meditation. The short version of Profile of Mood States (POMS-SF) and the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire-II (AAQ-II) were conducted to compare 97 Myanmar people practicing Vipassana contemplation training with 81 Myanmar nurses who did not have any experience with meditation. The results of our study revealed that meditation mitigated depressive mood, anger, hostility, and fatigue and increased vigor. The enhancement of psychological flexibility occurred only after practicing meditation for more than a year. It can be considered that meditation mitigates anger, hostility and fatigue and increases vigor at a relatively early stage after starting meditation practice, and if meditation practice is continued for more than a year, enhancement of psychological flexibility can also be expected.

  5. Dynamic correlations between heart and brain rhythm during Autogenic meditation

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dae-Keun; Lee, Kyung-Mi; Kim, Jongwha; Whang, Min-Cheol; Kang, Seung Wan

    2013-01-01

    This study is aimed to determine significant physiological parameters of brain and heart under meditative state, both in each activities and their dynamic correlations. Electrophysiological changes in response to meditation were explored in 12 healthy volunteers who completed 8 weeks of a basic training course in autogenic meditation. Heart coherence, representing the degree of ordering in oscillation of heart rhythm intervals, increased significantly during meditation. Relative EEG alpha power and alpha lagged coherence also increased. A significant slowing of parietal peak alpha frequency was observed. Parietal peak alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but no such relationship was observed during baseline. Average alpha lagged coherence also increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but weak opposite relationship was observed at baseline. Relative alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during both meditation and baseline periods. Heart coherence can be a cardiac marker for the meditative state and also may be a general marker for the meditative state since heart coherence is strongly correlated with EEG alpha activities. It is expected that increasing heart coherence and the accompanying EEG alpha activations, heart brain synchronicity, would help recover physiological synchrony following a period of homeostatic depletion. PMID:23914165

  6. Dynamic correlations between heart and brain rhythm during Autogenic meditation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dae-Keun; Lee, Kyung-Mi; Kim, Jongwha; Whang, Min-Cheol; Kang, Seung Wan

    2013-01-01

    This study is aimed to determine significant physiological parameters of brain and heart under meditative state, both in each activities and their dynamic correlations. Electrophysiological changes in response to meditation were explored in 12 healthy volunteers who completed 8 weeks of a basic training course in autogenic meditation. Heart coherence, representing the degree of ordering in oscillation of heart rhythm intervals, increased significantly during meditation. Relative EEG alpha power and alpha lagged coherence also increased. A significant slowing of parietal peak alpha frequency was observed. Parietal peak alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but no such relationship was observed during baseline. Average alpha lagged coherence also increased with increasing heart coherence during meditation, but weak opposite relationship was observed at baseline. Relative alpha power increased with increasing heart coherence during both meditation and baseline periods. Heart coherence can be a cardiac marker for the meditative state and also may be a general marker for the meditative state since heart coherence is strongly correlated with EEG alpha activities. It is expected that increasing heart coherence and the accompanying EEG alpha activations, heart brain synchronicity, would help recover physiological synchrony following a period of homeostatic depletion.

  7. TM-30 Guidance

    SciTech Connect

    Royer, Michael P.

    Minimum color quality standards are necessary, because the light sources most efficient at producing lumens are impractical for use in architectural lighting due to poor color rendition. Thus, accurate measures of color rendition and accompanying performance criteria are essential for helping technology developers and users balance tradeoffs between energy efficiency and lighting quality. Setting higher color-rendition criteria while maintaining use of CRI (e.g., CRI ≥ 90) may filter out some unacceptable light sources, but also filters out many highly desirable light sources and requires a greater tradeoff with energy efficiency. In contrast, specifying color rendition using TM-30 Rf, Rg, andmore » Rcs,h1 has been shown to be effective for differentiating desirable sources while maintaining flexibility for technology development and energy efficiency.« less

  8. Reduced mind wandering in experienced meditators and associated EEG correlates.

    PubMed

    Brandmeyer, Tracy; Delorme, Arnaud

    2016-11-04

    One outstanding question in the contemplative science literature relates to the direct impact of meditation experience on the monitoring of internal states and its respective correspondence with neural activity. In particular, to what extent does meditation influence the awareness, duration and frequency of the tendency of the mind to wander. To assess the relation between mind wandering and meditation, we tested 2 groups of meditators, one with a moderate level of experience (non-expert) and those who are well advanced in their practice (expert). We designed a novel paradigm using self-reports of internal mental states based on an experiential sampling probe paradigm presented during ~1 h of seated concentration meditation to gain insight into the dynamic measures of electroencephalography (EEG) during absorption in meditation as compared to reported mind wandering episodes. Our results show that expert meditation practitioners report a greater depth and frequency of sustained meditation, whereas non-expert practitioners report a greater depth and frequency of mind wandering episodes. This is one of the first direct behavioral indices of meditation expertise and its associated impact on the reduced frequency of mind wandering, with corresponding EEG activations showing increased frontal midline theta and somatosensory alpha rhythms during meditation as compared to mind wandering in expert practitioners. Frontal midline theta and somatosensory alpha rhythms are often observed during executive functioning, cognitive control and the active monitoring of sensory information. Our study thus provides additional new evidence to support the hypothesis that the maintenance of both internal and external orientations of attention may be maintained by similar neural mechanisms and that these mechanisms may be modulated by meditation training.

  9. Is meditation always relaxing? Investigating heart rate, heart rate variability, experienced effort and likeability during training of three types of meditation.

    PubMed

    Lumma, Anna-Lena; Kok, Bethany E; Singer, Tania

    2015-07-01

    Meditation is often associated with a relaxed state of the body. However, meditation can also be regarded as a type of mental task and training, associated with mental effort and physiological arousal. The cardiovascular effects of meditation may vary depending on the type of meditation, degree of mental effort, and amount of training. In the current study we assessed heart rate (HR), high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) and subjective ratings of effort and likeability during three types of meditation varying in their cognitive and attentional requirements, namely breathing meditation, loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation. In the context of the ReSource project, a one-year longitudinal mental training study, participants practiced each meditation exercise on a daily basis for 3 months. As expected HR and effort were higher during loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation compared to breathing meditation. With training over time HR and likeability increased, while HF-HRV and the subjective experience of effort decreased. The increase in HR and decrease in HF-HRV over training was higher for loving-kindness meditation and observing-thoughts meditation compared to breathing meditation. In contrast to implicit beliefs that meditation is always relaxing and associated with low arousal, the current results show that core meditations aiming at improving compassion and meta-cognitive skills require effort and are associated with physiological arousal compared to breathing meditation. Overall these findings can be useful in making more specific suggestions about which type of meditation is most adaptive for a given context and population. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. The tmRNA website

    SciTech Connect

    Hudson, Corey M.; Williams, Kelly P.

    We report that the transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) and its partner protein SmpB act together in resolving problems arising when translating bacterial ribosomes reach the end of mRNA with no stop codon. Their genes have been found in nearly all bacterial genomes and in some organelles. The tmRNA Website serves tmRNA sequences, alignments and feature annotations, and has recently moved to http: //bioinformatics.sandia.gov/tmrna/. New features include software used to find the sequences, an update raising the number of unique tmRNA sequences from 492 to 1716, and a database of SmpB sequences which are served along with the tmRNA sequence from themore » same organism.« less

  11. The tmRNA website

    DOE PAGES

    Hudson, Corey M.; Williams, Kelly P.

    2014-11-05

    We report that the transfer-messenger RNA (tmRNA) and its partner protein SmpB act together in resolving problems arising when translating bacterial ribosomes reach the end of mRNA with no stop codon. Their genes have been found in nearly all bacterial genomes and in some organelles. The tmRNA Website serves tmRNA sequences, alignments and feature annotations, and has recently moved to http: //bioinformatics.sandia.gov/tmrna/. New features include software used to find the sequences, an update raising the number of unique tmRNA sequences from 492 to 1716, and a database of SmpB sequences which are served along with the tmRNA sequence from themore » same organism.« less

  12. Effects of Meditation on Anxiety and Chemical Dependency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wong, Martin R.; And Others

    1981-01-01

    Studied a non-self-selected sample of chemically dependent people instructed in meditation techniques. Differences established upon training termination were no longer evident in the instructed group after six months. Subjects who reported continuing at least minimal meditative practices, however, showed differences in social adjustment, work…

  13. Meditation, Twilight Imagery, and Individuation in Creative Writing.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Richard D.

    A study explored the relationship between meditation, meditative journal writing, and the Jungian-archetypal notions of creative formulation and individuation or self-integration in student and non-student writing. A case study method was used to examine data from four subjects: an undergraduate, a social services worker, a doctoral student, and a…

  14. The effect of mindfulness meditation on time perception.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Robin S S; Weger, Ulrich W; Sharma, Dinkar

    2013-09-01

    Research has increasingly focussed on the benefits of meditation in everyday life and performance. Mindfulness in particular improves attention, working memory capacity, and reading comprehension. Given its emphasis on moment-to-moment awareness, we hypothesised that mindfulness meditation would alter time perception. Using a within-subjects design, participants carried out a temporal bisection task, where several probe durations are compared to "short" and "long" standards. Following this, participants either listened to an audiobook or a meditation that focussed on the movement of breath in the body. Finally, participants completed the temporal bisection task for a second time. The control group showed no change after the listening task. However, meditation led to a relative overestimation of durations. Within an internal clock framework, a change in attentional resources can produce longer perceived durations. This meditative effect has wider implications for the use of mindfulness as an everyday practice and a basis for clinical treatment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The protective effects of brief mindfulness meditation training.

    PubMed

    Banks, Jonathan B; Welhaf, Matthew S; Srour, Alexandra

    2015-05-01

    Mindfulness meditation has gained a great deal of attention in recent years due to the variety of physical and psychological benefits, including improved working memory, decreased mind wandering and reduced impact of stress on working memory. The current study examined a 1-week at home mindfulness meditation intervention compared to an active control intervention. Results suggest that mindfulness meditation does not increase working memory or decrease mind wandering but does prevent stress related working memory impairments. Mindfulness meditation appears to alter the factors that impair working memory such that the negative impact of mind wandering on working memory was only evident at higher levels of negative affect. The use of cognitive mechanism words in narratives of stressful events did not differ by condition but predicted poorer working memory in the control condition. The results support the use of an at home mindfulness meditation intervention for reducing stress-related impairments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Contemplative Meditation and Neuroscience: Prospects for Mental Health.

    PubMed

    Larrivee, Denis; Echarte, Luis

    2018-06-01

    Numerous studies show that personal spirituality developed through prayer positively influences mental health. Phenomenological and neuroscientific studies of mindfulness, an Eastern meditative prayer form, reveal significant health benefits now yielding important insights useful for guiding treatment of psychological disorders. By contrast, and despite its practice for millennia, Christian meditation is largely unrepresented in studies of clinical efficacy. Resemblances between mindfulness and disciplinary acts in Christian meditation taken from the ancient Greek practice of askesis suggest that Christian meditation will prove similarly beneficial; furthermore, psychological and neuroscientific studies suggest that its retention of a dialogical and transcendent praxis will additionally benefit social and existential psychotherapy. This paper thus argues that study of contemplative meditation for its therapeutic potential is warranted.

  17. The principle of maximal transcendentality and the four-loop collinear anomalous dimension

    SciTech Connect

    Dixon, Lance J.

    Here, we use the principle of maximal transcendentality and the universal nature of subleading infrared poles to extract the analytic value of the four-loop collinear anomalous dimension in planar N = 4 super-Yang-Mills theory from recent QCD results, obtainingmore » $$\\hat{g}$$$(4)\\atop{0}$$ =$-$300ζ 7$-$256ζ 2ζ 5$-$384ζ 3ζ 4. This value agrees with a previous numerical result to within 0.2%. It also provides the Regge trajectory, threshold soft anomalous dimension and rapidity anomalous dimension through four loops.« less

  18. The principle of maximal transcendentality and the four-loop collinear anomalous dimension

    DOE PAGES

    Dixon, Lance J.

    2018-01-16

    Here, we use the principle of maximal transcendentality and the universal nature of subleading infrared poles to extract the analytic value of the four-loop collinear anomalous dimension in planar N = 4 super-Yang-Mills theory from recent QCD results, obtainingmore » $$\\hat{g}$$$(4)\\atop{0}$$ =$-$300ζ 7$-$256ζ 2ζ 5$-$384ζ 3ζ 4. This value agrees with a previous numerical result to within 0.2%. It also provides the Regge trajectory, threshold soft anomalous dimension and rapidity anomalous dimension through four loops.« less

  19. Siewert solutions of transcendental equations, generalized Lambert functions and physical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barsan, Victor

    2018-05-01

    Several classes of transcendental equations, mainly eigenvalue equations associated to non-relativistic quantum mechanical problems, are analyzed. Siewert's systematic approach of such equations is discussed from the perspective of the new results recently obtained in the theory of generalized Lambert functions and of algebraic approximations of various special or elementary functions. Combining exact and approximate analytical methods, quite precise analytical outputs are obtained for apparently untractable problems. The results can be applied in quantum and classical mechanics, magnetism, elasticity, solar energy conversion, etc.

  20. Event-related potential correlates of mindfulness meditation competence

    PubMed Central

    Atchley, Rachel; Klee, Dan; Memmott, Tabatha; Goodrich, Elena; Wahbeh, Helané; Oken, Barry

    2016-01-01

    Objective This cross-sectional study evaluated event-related potentials (ERPs) across three groups: naïve, novice, and experienced meditators as potential physiological markers of mindfulness meditation competence. Methods Electroencephalographic (EEG) data was collected during a target tone detection task and a Breath Counting task. The Breath Counting task served as the mindfulness meditation condition for the novice and experienced meditator groups. Participants were instructed to respond to target tones with a button press in the first task (Tones), and then ignore the primed tones while breath counting. The primary outcomes were ERP responses to target tones, namely the N2 and P3, as markers of stimulus discrimination and attention, respectively. Results As expected, P3 amplitudes elicited by target tones were attenuated within groups during the Breath Counting task in comparison to the Tones task (p < .001). There was a task by group interaction for P3 (p = .039). Both meditator groups displayed greater change in peak-to-trough P3 amplitudes, with higher amplitudes during the Tones condition and more pronounced reductions in P3 amplitudes during the Breath Counting meditation task in comparison to the naïve group. Conclusions Meditators had stronger P3 amplitude responses to target tones when instructed to attend to the tones, and a greater attenuation of P3 amplitudes when instructed to ignore the same tones during the Breath Counting task. This study introduces the idea of identifying ERP markers as a means of measuring mindfulness meditation competence, and results suggest this may be a valid approach. This information has the potential to improve mindfulness meditation interventions by allowing objective assessment of mindfulness meditation quality. PMID:26850995

  1. Brain Mechanisms Supporting Modulation of Pain by Mindfulness Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Zeidan, F.; Martucci, K.T.; Kraft, R.A.; Gordon, N.S.; McHaffie, J.G.; Coghill, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    The subjective experience of one’s environment is constructed by interactions among sensory, cognitive, and affective processes. For centuries, meditation has been thought to influence such processes by enabling a non-evaluative representation of sensory events. To better understand how meditation influences the sensory experience, we employed arterial spin labeling (ASL) functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural mechanisms by which mindfulness meditation influences pain in healthy human participants. After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest. A two factor repeated measures analysis of variance was used to identify interactions between meditation and pain-related brain activation. Meditation reduced pain-related activation of the contra lateral primary somatosensory cortex. Multiple regression analysis was used to identify brain regions associated with individual differences in the magnitude of meditation-related pain reductions. Meditation-induced reductions in pain intensity ratings were associated with increased activity in the anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula, areas involved in the cognitive regulation of nociceptive processing. Reductions in pain unpleasantness ratings were associated with orbitofrontal cortex activation, an area implicated in reframing the contextual evaluation of sensory events. Moreover, reductions in pain unpleasantness also were associated with thalamic deactivation, which may reflect a limbic gating mechanism involved in modifying interactions between afferent in put and executive-order brain areas. Taken together, these data indicate that meditation engages multiple brain mechanisms that alter the construction of the subjectively available pain experience from afferent information. PMID:21471390

  2. Event-related potential correlates of mindfulness meditation competence.

    PubMed

    Atchley, R; Klee, D; Memmott, T; Goodrich, E; Wahbeh, H; Oken, B

    2016-04-21

    This cross-sectional study evaluated event-related potentials (ERPs) across three groups: naïve, novice, and experienced meditators as potential physiological markers of mindfulness meditation competence. Electroencephalographic (EEG) data were collected during a target tone detection task and a Breath Counting task. The Breath Counting task served as the mindfulness meditation condition for the novice and experienced meditator groups. Participants were instructed to respond to target tones with a button press in the first task (Tones), and then ignore the primed tones while Breath Counting. The primary outcomes were ERP responses to target tones, namely the N2 and P3, as markers of stimulus discrimination and attention, respectively. As expected, P3 amplitudes elicited by target tones were attenuated within groups during the Breath Counting task in comparison to the Tones task (p<.001). There was a task by group interaction for P3 (p=.039). Both meditator groups displayed greater change in peak-to-trough P3 amplitudes, with higher amplitudes during the Tones condition and more pronounced reductions in P3 amplitudes during the Breath Counting meditation task in comparison to the naïve group. Meditators had stronger P3 amplitude responses to target tones when instructed to attend to the tones, and a greater attenuation of P3 amplitudes when instructed to ignore the same tones during the Breath Counting task. This study introduces the idea of identifying ERP markers as a means of measuring mindfulness meditation competence, and results suggest this may be a valid approach. This information has the potential to improve mindfulness meditation interventions by allowing objective assessment of mindfulness meditation quality. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Duality and nonduality in meditation research.

    PubMed

    Josipovic, Zoran

    2010-12-01

    The great variety of meditation techniques found in different contemplative traditions presents a challenge when attempting to create taxonomies based on the constructs of contemporary cognitive sciences. In the current issue of Consciousness and Cognition, Travis and Shear add 'automatic self-transcending' to the previously proposed categories of 'focused attention' and 'open monitoring', and suggest characteristic EEG bands as the defining criteria for each of the three categories. Accuracy of current taxonomies and potential limitations of EEG measurements as classifying criteria are discussed. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Hermann von Helmholtz's empirico-transcendentalism reconsidered: construction and constitution in Helmholtz's psychology of the object.

    PubMed

    De Kock, Liesbet

    2014-12-01

    This paper aims at contributing to the ongoing efforts to get a firmer grasp of the systematic significance of the entanglement of idealism and empiricism in Helmholtz's work. Contrary to existing analyses, however, the focal point of the present exposition is Helmholtz's attempt to articulate a psychological account of objectification. Helmholtz's motive, as well as his solution to the problem of the object are outlined, and interpreted against the background of his scientific practice on the one hand, and that of empiricist and (transcendental) idealist analyses of experience on the other. The specifically psychological angle taken, not only prompts us to consider figures who have hitherto been treated as having only minor import for Helmholtz interpretation (most importantly J.S. Mill and J.G. Fichte), it furthermore sheds new light on some central tenets of the latter's psychological stance that have hitherto remained underappreciated. For one thing, this analysis reveals an explicit voluntarist tendency in Helmholtz's psychological theory. In conclusion, it is argued that the systematic significance of Helmholtz's empirico-transcendentalism with respect to questions of the mind is best understood as an attempt to found his empirical theory of perception in a second order, normative account of epistemic subjectivity.

  5. Electrophysiological Correlates of Long-Term Soto Zen Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Pasquini, Henrique Adam; Tanaka, Guaraci Ken; Basile, Luis Fernando Hindi; Velasques, Bruna; Lozano, Mirna Delposo

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to verify the electrophysiological correlates of the changes in long-term regular meditators. We use modern techniques of high-resolution electroencephalography applied to slow potentials, power spectra, and potencies related to the events. To obtain encephalographic records, we use an assembly of 128 channels in 31 subjects (17 Soto Zen Buddhist meditators). The motivation of this study was to determine whether the induced beta power would present an increase in meditators as well as a decrease in induced theta/beta ratio in absolute and relative values. However, opposite to what we expected, no significant change was found in the beta frequency. In contrast, the main findings of the study were correlations between the frequency of weekly meditation practice and the increased theta induced relative power, increase of induced power ratio (ratio theta/beta), and increase of the ratio of induced relative powers (theta/beta ratio) during our task that featured an “adapted meditation,” suggesting that the meditative state of “mindfulness” is much more related to the permittivity of “distractions” by the meditators, with a deliberate reduction of attention. PMID:25632397

  6. Meditation Interventions for Chronic Disease Populations: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Larson, Janet L

    2015-12-01

    The rapidly growing body of research regarding the use of meditation interventions in chronic disease presents an opportunity to compare outcomes based on intervention content. For this review, meditation interventions were described as those interventions delivered to persons with chronic disease where sitting meditation was the main or only content of the intervention with or without the addition of mindful movement. This systematic review identified 45 individual research studies that examined meditations effect on levels of anxiety, depression, and chronic disease symptoms in persons with chronic disease. Individual studies were assessed based on interventional content, the consistency with which interventions were applied, and the research quality. This study identified seven categories of meditation interventions based on the meditation skills and mindful movement practices that were included in the intervention. Overall, half of the interventions had clearly defined and specific meditation interventions (25/45) and half of the studies were conducted using randomized control trials (24/45). © The Author(s) 2015.

  7. BOLD signal and functional connectivity associated with loving kindness meditation

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2014-01-01

    Loving kindness is a form of meditation involving directed well-wishing, typically supported by the silent repetition of phrases such as “may all beings be happy,” to foster a feeling of selfless love. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to assess the neural substrate of loving kindness meditation in experienced meditators and novices. We first assessed group differences in blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal during loving kindness meditation. We next used a relatively novel approach, the intrinsic connectivity distribution of functional connectivity, to identify regions that differ in intrinsic connectivity between groups, and then used a data-driven approach to seed-based connectivity analysis to identify which connections differ between groups. Our findings suggest group differences in brain regions involved in self-related processing and mind wandering, emotional processing, inner speech, and memory. Meditators showed overall reduced BOLD signal and intrinsic connectivity during loving kindness as compared to novices, more specifically in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCu), a finding that is consistent with our prior work and other recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. Furthermore, meditators showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and the left inferior frontal gyrus, whereas novices showed greater functional connectivity during loving kindness between the PCC/PCu and other cortical midline regions of the default mode network, the bilateral posterior insula lobe, and the bilateral parahippocampus/hippocampus. These novel findings suggest that loving kindness meditation involves a present-centered, selfless focus for meditators as compared to novices. PMID:24944863

  8. Feasibility of central meditation and imagery therapy for dementia caregivers.

    PubMed

    Jain, Felipe A; Nazarian, Nora; Lavretsky, Helen

    2014-08-01

    Family dementia caregivers are at high risk of depression and burnout. We assessed the feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers (CMIT-C), a novel 8-week group meditation and guided imagery group therapy program, for dementia caregivers reporting stress because of caregiving responsibilities. Twelve family dementia caregivers enrolled in CMIT-C. Primary outcomes included depression and anxiety, and secondary outcomes included insomnia, quality of life, and mindfulness. Changes over the study and 3 month follow-up were analyzed with non-parametric related samples tests. Correlations of feeling state changes from meditation diaries at 1 week were made with symptom changes post meditation training. Ten participants completed the study. Completers came to an average of 7 ± 1 sessions out of a possible 8 sessions, and turned in home practice logs of 90 ± 10% of the time. Anxiety, depression, and insomnia symptoms decreased, and mindfulness ratings improved with large effects (all p < 0.05 and Cohen's d ≥ 0.7). Gains were stable at 3 months. Early response during the first week of meditation practice was associated with subsequent home meditation practice, anxiety change at 8 weeks, and endpoint satisfaction with CMIT-C. Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers is a feasible intervention for dementia caregivers. Results suggest that this therapeutic technique can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and increase levels of mindfulness. Early response to meditation practice predicted those with the greatest short-term benefits, and this may inform future studies of meditation. Larger controlled efficacy studies of CMIT-C for dementia caregivers are warranted. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Large-Scale Functional Brain Network Reorganization During Taoist Meditation.

    PubMed

    Jao, Tun; Li, Chia-Wei; Vértes, Petra E; Wu, Changwei Wesley; Achard, Sophie; Hsieh, Chao-Hsien; Liou, Chien-Hui; Chen, Jyh-Horng; Bullmore, Edward T

    2016-02-01

    Meditation induces a distinct and reversible mental state that provides insights into brain correlates of consciousness. We explored brain network changes related to meditation by graph theoretical analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Eighteen Taoist meditators with varying levels of expertise were scanned using a within-subjects counterbalanced design during resting and meditation states. State-related differences in network topology were measured globally and at the level of individual nodes and edges. Although measures of global network topology, such as small-worldness, were unchanged, meditation was characterized by an extensive and expertise-dependent reorganization of the hubs (highly connected nodes) and edges (functional connections). Areas of sensory cortex, especially the bilateral primary visual and auditory cortices, and the bilateral temporopolar areas, which had the highest degree (or connectivity) during the resting state, showed the biggest decrease during meditation. Conversely, bilateral thalamus and components of the default mode network, mainly the bilateral precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, had low degree in the resting state but increased degree during meditation. Additionally, these changes in nodal degree were accompanied by reorganization of anatomical orientation of the edges. During meditation, long-distance longitudinal (antero-posterior) edges increased proportionally, whereas orthogonal long-distance transverse (right-left) edges connecting bilaterally homologous cortices decreased. Our findings suggest that transient changes in consciousness associated with meditation introduce convergent changes in the topological and spatial properties of brain functional networks, and the anatomical pattern of integration might be as important as the global level of integration when considering the network basis for human consciousness.

  10. A Systematic Review of Associations between Amount of Meditation Practice and Outcomes in Interventions Using the Four Immeasurables Meditations.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xianglong; Chio, Floria H N; Oei, Tian P S; Leung, Freedom Y K; Liu, Xiangping

    2017-01-01

    Interventions using the "Four Immeasurables Meditations" (FIM) are effective for various outcomes; however, whether increased meditation practice in these interventions leads to better results has not been well investigated. This systematic review included 22 FIM interventions that reported associations between the amount of meditation practice and its outcomes. Despite the heterogeneity in intervention components and outcome variables, there were generally few significant associations between amount of meditation practice and its outcomes. Specifically, only five studies reported that more than half of the calculated results were significant. In comparison with correlations between total amount of practice and overall outcomes, the short-term influence of meditation practice was evaluated in fewer studies; however, it had a better association with outcomes. More studies are required that address the underlying mechanisms that elucidate how meditation practice leads to outcome changes in daily life. In this study, two promising mechanisms with initial evidence were discussed. This review also summarized common methodological issues including a lack of experimental manipulation and inaccurate measuring of meditation practice.

  11. Self-reported measures of mindfulness in meditators and non-meditators: A cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    Vinchurkar, Suhas Ashok; Singh, Deepeshwar; Visweswaraiah, Naveen Kalkuni

    2014-01-01

    Context: Mindfulness forms an important component of meditation practice and has been increasingly popular around the world. There has been growing interest in studying the mindful component of various meditation techniques. One of the various forms of mindfulness is the practice of a unique technique called cyclic mediation (CM). We aimed at ascertaining the level of mindfulness in experienced practitioners of CM using a Mindfulness Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Materials and Methods: MAAS was administered anonymously in a classroom setup and two of the project coordinators were present to supervise the administration and to assist the participants where necessary. We executed a cross sectional design. One hundred and thirty-three (n = 133) healthy male volunteers (66 meditators and 67 non-meditators) with ages ranging from 25 to 35 years participated in the study. Meditators had a minimum 3 years experience of meditation. Results: Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS 20. The data were checked for normality and an independent samples t-test was employed to compare the means of both the groups. MAAS scores were significantly higher in meditators as compared with the non-meditators (P < 0.001). We found a positive correlation (r = 0.620) between the years of meditation practice and the levels of trait mindfulness. Conclusions: CM can lead to development of higher levels of mindfulness and may have the ability to positively impact mental states and attention, thereby offering the potential for prevention of clinical levels of psychopathology and improving overall psychological well-being in healthy individuals. PMID:25035625

  12. Maharishi International University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goldberg, Phil

    1975-01-01

    The director of curriculum development at Maharishi International University describes background and design of the program based on the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) as a unifying theoretical structure and on transcendental meditation (TM) for expanding awareness and utilizing videotape technology in its core curriculum courses. (JT)

  13. Meditation and successful aging: can meditative practices counteract age-related cognitive decline?

    PubMed

    Sperduti, Marco; Makowski, Dominique; Blondé, Philippe; Piolino, Pascale

    2017-06-01

    Life expectancy is constantly increasing in the developed countries due to medical, hygiene and socio-economic advances. Unfortunately, a longer life not always corresponds to a healthier life. Indeed, aging is associated with growing risk factors for illness associated with societal conditions (isolation, maltreatment), and neurodegenerative diseases. Even normal aging is associated with a cognitive decline that can hinder independence and quality of life of elderly. Thus, one major societal challenge is to build policies that support people of all ages to maintain a maximum health and functional capacity throughout their lives. Meditation could be a promising intervention in contrasting the negative effects of aging. Indeed, it has been shown to enhance cognitive efficiency in several domains, such as attention and executive functions in young adults. Nevertheless, whether these effects extend to old participants is still a matter of debate. Few studies have directly investigated this issue, reporting encouraging results in a large panel of cognitive functions, such as: attention, executive functions and memory. However, a final conclusion about the causal role of meditation and the generalization of these results is made difficult due to several methodological limitations. We propose a roadmap for future studies to pass these limitations with the hope that the present work would contribute to the development of the young research field of meditation in gerontology.

  14. Can One Take the Logarithm or the Sine of a Dimensioned Quantity or a Unit? Dimensional Analysis Involving Transcendental Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matta, Cherif F.; Massa, Lou; Gubskaya, Anna V.; Knoll, Eva

    2011-01-01

    The fate of dimensions of dimensioned quantities that are inserted into the argument of transcendental functions such as logarithms, exponentiation, trigonometric, and hyperbolic functions is discussed. Emphasis is placed on common misconceptions that are not often systematically examined in undergraduate courses of physical sciences. The argument…

  15. Put Me in Coach: A Transcendental Phenomenological Study Examining School Wide Positive Behavior Support Coaches' Experience with Program Implementation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rieffannacht, Kimberlie Beth

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe lived experience during School Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) implementation for School Wide Positive Behavior coaches in Pennsylvania public schools. Participants, identified as co-researchers throughout this study, included 11 SWPBS coaches selected from seven…

  16. Tai chi and meditation: A conceptual (re)synthesis?

    PubMed

    Posadzki, Paul; Jacques, Samantha

    2009-06-01

    The aim of this article is to review the literature on Tai Chi and meditation. A coherent construct is developed that includes a comparative analysis and conceptual synthesis of existing theories. The authors discuss a set of assumptions that justify this synthesis; they also argue that this construct would facilitate greater understanding of Tai Chi from the perspective of meditation. Such synthesis may bring "additional" benefits to Tai Chi practitioners as they could recognize that this mind-body technique holds the essence of meditation. Within the scope of this article, the evidence shows a majority of common features when concerning Tai Chi and meditation. These mutual similarities should be taken into account when performing this type of mind-body medicine by patients and/or therapists. Finally, the authors suggest that this inspiring compilation of movements and mindfulness can be used for practical purposes.

  17. Meditation or Exercise May Help Acute Respiratory Infections

    MedlinePlus

    ... group, an exercise group, or a wait-list control group. Participants in the meditation group received training in ... significant. They also found that compared to the control group, there were 48 percent fewer days of work ...

  18. A Pilot Study of Mindfulness Meditation for Pediatric Chronic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Waelde, Lynn C.; Feinstein, Amanda B.; Bhandari, Rashmi; Griffin, Anya; Yoon, Isabel A.; Golianu, Brenda

    2017-01-01

    Despite advances in psychological interventions for pediatric chronic pain, there has been little research examining mindfulness meditation for these conditions. This study presents data from a pilot clinical trial of a six-week manualized mindfulness meditation intervention offered to 20 adolescents aged 13–17 years. Measures of pain intensity, functional disability, depression and parent worry about their child’s pain were obtained at baseline and post-treatment. Results indicated no significant changes in pain or depression, however functional disability and frequency of pain functioning complaints improved with small effect sizes. Parents’ worry about child’s pain significantly decreased with a large effect size. Participants rated intervention components positively and most teens suggested that the number of sessions be increased. Three case examples illustrate mindfulness meditation effects and precautions. Mindfulness meditation shows promise as a feasible and acceptable intervention for youth with chronic pain. Future research should optimize intervention components and determine treatment efficacy. PMID:28445406

  19. Meditation, Health and Scientific Investigations: Review of the Literature.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, Cynthia Vieira Sanches; Lima, Manuela Garcia; Ladeia, Ana Marice

    2017-04-01

    A growing number of people are seeking health recovery treatments with a holistic approach to the human being. Meditation is a mental training capable of producing connection between the mind, body and spirit. Its practice helps people to achieve balance, relaxation and self-control, in addition to the development of consciousness. At present, meditation is classified as a complementary and integrative technique in the area of health. The purpose of this review of the literature was to describe what meditation is, its practices and effects on health, demonstrated by consistent scientific investigations. Recently, the advances in researches with meditation, the discovery of its potential as an instrument of self-regulation of the human body and its benefits to health have shown that it is a consistent alternative therapy when associated with conventional medical treatments.

  20. Neural correlates of nondual awareness in meditation.

    PubMed

    Josipovic, Zoran

    2014-01-01

    Dualities such as self versus other, good versus bad, and in-group versus out-group are pervasive features of human experience, structuring the majority of cognitive and affective processes. Yet, an entirely different way of experiencing, one in which such dualities are relaxed rather than fortified, is also available. It depends on recognizing, within the stream of our consciousness, the nondual awareness (NDA)--a background awareness that precedes conceptualization and intention and that can contextualize various perceptual, affective, or cognitive contents without fragmenting the field of experience into habitual dualities. This paper introduces NDA as experienced in Tibetan Buddhist meditation and reviews the results of our study on the influence of NDA on anticorrelated intrinsic and extrinsic networks in the brain. Also discussed are preliminary data from a current study of NDA with minimized phenomenal content that points to involvement of a precuneus network in NDA. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  1. Feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Dementia Caregivers

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Felipe A.; Nazarian, Nora; Lavretsky, Helen

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Family dementia caregivers are at high risk of depression and burnout. We aimed to assess the feasibility of Central Meditation and Imagery Therapy for Caregivers (CMIT-C), a novel 8-week group meditation and guided imagery group therapy program, for dementia caregivers reporting stress due to caregiving responsibilities. Methods 12 family dementia caregivers enrolled in CMIT-C. Primary outcomes included depression and anxiety, and secondary included insomnia, quality of life, and mindfulness. Changes over the study and three month follow-up were analyzed with non-parametric related samples tests. Correlations of feeling state changes from meditation diaries at 1 week were made with symptom changes post meditation training. Results 10 participants completed the study. Completers came to an average of 7 ± 1 sessions out of a possible 8, and turned in home practice logs 90 ± 10% of the time. Anxiety, depression and insomnia symptoms decreased, and mindfulness ratings improved with large effects (all p < 0.05 and Cohen's d ≥ 0.7). Gains were stable at 3 months. Early response during the first week of meditation practice was associated with subsequent home meditation practice, anxiety change at eight weeks, and endpoint satisfaction with CMIT-C. Conclusions CMIT-C is a feasible intervention for dementia caregivers. Results suggest that this therapeutic technique can reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, and increase levels of mindfulness. Early response to meditation practice predicted those with the greatest short-term benefits, and this may inform future studies of meditation. Larger, controlled efficacy studies of CMIT-C for dementia caregivers are warranted. PMID:24477920

  2. Effects of mindfulness meditation on three individuals with aphasia.

    PubMed

    Orenstein, Ellen; Basilakos, Alexandra; Marshall, Rebecca Shisler

    2012-01-01

    There is evidence to suggest that people with aphasia (PWA) may have deficits in attention stemming from the inefficient allocation of resources. The inaccurate perception of task demand, or sense of effort, may underlie the misallocation of the available attention resources. Given the lack of treatment options for improving attention in aphasia, Mindfulness Meditation, shown to improve attention in neurologically intact individuals, may prove effective in increasing attention in PWA. The purpose of the present study was to determine if Mindfulness Meditation improves divided attention or language in PWA and if it affects the overall sense of effort. A multiple baseline single-subject design was used to determine the effects of Mindfulness Meditation on divided attention for three PWA. Divided attention was measured using a non-linguistic divided attention task. Visual inspection of the data was used to determine changes in performance (sense of effort, reaction time and accuracy, language) over time. High performance observed on the attention measures suggests that PWA have varying degrees of attentional impairment that may surface when certain demands are presented. There were no observable changes in the performance on the sense of effort or language measures; however, measures of reaction time may indicate Mindfulness Meditation improved efficiency of task completion. All three participants reported that Mindfulness Meditation was easy to learn and carry out on a daily basis, and reported feeling more 'relaxed' and 'peaceful' after Mindfulness Meditation training than before. With the knowledge that PWA can learn meditative practices, and with such successful findings in neurologically intact individuals, it is important to continue evaluating the benefits of Mindfulness Meditation in PWA. © 2012 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  3. Retrogressive development: transcendental anatomy and teratology in nineteenth-century Britain.

    PubMed

    Bates, Alan W H

    2014-01-01

    In 1855 the leading British transcendental anatomist Robert Knox proposed a theory of retrogressive development according to which the human embryo could give rise to ancestral types or races and the animal embryo to other species within the same family. Unlike monsters attributed to the older theory of arrested development, new forms produced by retrogression were neither imperfect nor equivalent to a stage in the embryo's development. Instead, Knox postulated that embryos contained all possible specific forms in potentia. Retrogressive development could account for examples of atavism or racial throwbacks, and formed part of Knox's theory of rapid (saltatory) species change. Knox's evolutionary theorizing was soon eclipsed by the better presented and more socially acceptable Darwinian gradualism, but the concept of retrogressive development remained influential in anthropology and the social sciences, and Knox's work can be seen as the scientific basis for theories of physical, mental and cultural degeneracy.

  4. Meditation as an Adjunct to the Management of Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Levin, Adam B.; Hadgkiss, Emily J.; Weiland, Tracey J.; Jelinek, George A.

    2014-01-01

    Background. Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease course is known to be adversely affected by several factors including stress. A proposed mechanism for decreasing stress and therefore decreasing MS morbidity and improving quality of life is meditation. This review aims to critically analyse the current literature regarding meditation and MS. Methods. Four major databases were used to search for English language papers published before March 2014 with the terms MS, multiple sclerosis, meditation, and mindfulness. Results. 12 pieces of primary literature fitting the selection criteria were selected: two were randomised controlled studies, four were cohort studies, and six were surveys. The current literature varies in quality; however common positive effects of meditation include improved quality of life (QOL) and improved coping skills. Conclusion. All studies suggest possible benefit to the use of meditation as an adjunct to the management of multiple sclerosis. Additional rigorous clinical trials are required to validate the existing findings and determine if meditation has an impact on disease course over time. PMID:25105026

  5. Enhanced Brain Connectivity in Long-term Meditation Practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Luders, Eileen; Clark, Kristi; Narr, Katherine L.; Toga, Arthur W.

    2011-01-01

    Very little is currently known about the cerebral characteristics that underlie the complex processes of meditation as only a limited number of studies have addressed this topic. Research exploring structural connectivity in meditation practitioners is particularly rare. We thus acquired diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data of high angular and spatial resolution and used atlas-based tract mapping methods to investigate white matter fiber characteristics in a well-matched sample of long-term meditators and controls (n=54). A broad field mapping approach estimated the fractional anisotropy (FA) for twenty different fiber tracts (i.e., nine tracts in each hemisphere and two inter-hemispheric tracts) that were subsequently used as dependent measures. Results showed pronounced structural connectivity in meditators compared to controls throughout the entire brain within major projection pathways, commissural pathways, and association pathways. The largest group differences were observed within the corticospinal tract, the temporal component of the superior longitudinal fasciculus, and the uncinate fasciculus. While cross-sectional studies represent a good starting point for elucidating possible links between meditation and white matter fiber characteristics, longitudinal studies will be necessary to determine the relative contribution of nature and nurture to enhanced structural connectivity in long-term meditators. PMID:21664467

  6. Reorganization of the brain and heart rhythm during autogenic meditation.

    PubMed

    Kim, Dae-Keun; Rhee, Jyoo-Hi; Kang, Seung Wan

    2014-01-13

    The underlying changes in heart coherence that are associated with reported EEG changes in response to meditation have been explored. We measured EEG and heart rate variability (HRV) before and during autogenic meditation. Fourteen subjects participated in the study. Heart coherence scores were significantly increased during meditation compared to the baseline. We found near significant decrease in high beta absolute power, increase in alpha relative power and significant increases in lower (alpha) and higher (above beta) band coherence during 3~min epochs of heart coherent meditation compared to 3~min epochs of heart non-coherence at baseline. The coherence and relative power increase in alpha band and absolute power decrease in high beta band could reflect relaxation state during the heart coherent meditation. The coherence increase in the higher (above beta) band could reflect cortico-cortical local integration and thereby affect cognitive reorganization, simultaneously with relaxation. Further research is still needed for a confirmation of heart coherence as a simple window for the meditative state.

  7. Meditation improves self-regulation over the life span.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Posner, Michael I; Rothbart, Mary K

    2014-01-01

    The use of meditation to improve emotion and attention regulation has a long history in Asia and there are many practitioners in Western countries. Much of the evidence on the effectiveness of meditation is either anecdotal or a comparison of long-term meditators with controls matched in age and health. Recently, it has been possible to establish changes in self-regulation in undergraduate students after only 5 days of meditation practice, allowing randomized trials comparing effects of meditation with other self-control methods such as relaxation training. Early studies took place in Chinese universities; however, similar effects have been obtained with U.S. undergraduates, and with Chinese children aged 4.5 years and older Chinese participants aged 65 years. Studies using neuroimaging techniques have shown that meditation improves activation and connectivity in brain areas related to self-regulation, and these findings may provide an opportunity to examine remediation of mental disorders in a new light. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  8. Measuring a Journey without Goal: Meditation, Spirituality, and Physiology

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The secular practice of meditation is associated with a range of physiological and cognitive effects, including lower blood pressure, lower cortisol, cortical thickening, and activation of areas of the brain associated with attention and emotion regulation. However, in the context of spiritual practice, these benefits are secondary gains, as the primary aim is spiritual transformation. Despite obvious difficulties in trying to measure a journey without goal, spiritual aspects involved in the practice of meditation should also be addressed by experimental study. This review starts by considering meditation in the form of the relaxation response (a counterpart to the stress response), before contrasting mindfulness research that emphasizes the role of attention and alertness in meditation. This contrast demonstrates how reference to traditional spiritual texts (in this case Buddhist) can be used to guide research questions involving meditation. Further considerations are detailed, along with the proposal that research should triangulate spiritual textual sources, first person accounts (i.e., neurophenomenology), and physiological/cognitive measures in order to aid our understanding of meditation, not only in the secular context of health benefits, but also in the context of spiritual practice. PMID:26137495

  9. Reorganization of the brain and heart rhythm during autogenic meditation

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dae-Keun; Rhee, Jyoo-Hi; Kang, Seung Wan

    2014-01-01

    The underlying changes in heart coherence that are associated with reported EEG changes in response to meditation have been explored. We measured EEG and heart rate variability (HRV) before and during autogenic meditation. Fourteen subjects participated in the study. Heart coherence scores were significantly increased during meditation compared to the baseline. We found near significant decrease in high beta absolute power, increase in alpha relative power and significant increases in lower (alpha) and higher (above beta) band coherence during 3~min epochs of heart coherent meditation compared to 3~min epochs of heart non-coherence at baseline. The coherence and relative power increase in alpha band and absolute power decrease in high beta band could reflect relaxation state during the heart coherent meditation. The coherence increase in the higher (above beta) band could reflect cortico-cortical local integration and thereby affect cognitive reorganization, simultaneously with relaxation. Further research is still needed for a confirmation of heart coherence as a simple window for the meditative state. PMID:24454283

  10. Psychological Effects of a 1-Month Meditation Retreat on Experienced Meditators: The Role of Non-attachment

    PubMed Central

    Montero-Marin, Jesus; Puebla-Guedea, Marta; Herrera-Mercadal, Paola; Cebolla, Ausias; Soler, Joaquim; Demarzo, Marcelo; Vazquez, Carmelo; Rodríguez-Bornaetxea, Fernando; García-Campayo, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are few studies devoted to assessing the impact of meditation-intensive retreats on the well-being, positive psychology, and personality of experienced meditators. We aimed to assess whether a 1-month Vipassana retreat: (a) would increase mindfulness and well-being; (b) would increase prosocial personality traits; and (c) whether psychological changes would be mediated and/or moderated by non-attachment. Method: A controlled, non-randomized, pre-post-intervention trial was used. The intervention group was a convenience sample (n = 19) of experienced meditators who participated in a 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat. The control group (n = 19) comprised matched experienced meditators who did not take part in the retreat. During the retreat, the mean duration of daily practice was 8–9 h, the diet was vegetarian and silence was compulsory. The Experiences Questionnaire (EQ), Non-attachment Scale (NAS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Temperament Character Inventory Revised (TCI-R-67), Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Self-Other Four Immeasurables (SOFI) and the MINDSENS Composite Index were administered. ANCOVAs and linear regression models were used to assess pre-post changes and mediation/moderation effects. Results: Compared to controls, retreatants showed increases in non-attachment, observing, MINDSENS, positive-affect, balance-affect, and cooperativeness; and decreases in describing, negative-others, reward-dependence and self-directedness. Non-attachment had a mediating role in decentring, acting aware, non-reactivity, negative-affect, balance-affect and self-directedness; and a moderating role in describing and positive others, with both mediating and moderating effects on satisfaction with life. Conclusions: A 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat seems to yield improvements in mindfulness, well-being, and personality, even in experienced meditators. Non-attachment might

  11. Psychological Effects of a 1-Month Meditation Retreat on Experienced Meditators: The Role of Non-attachment.

    PubMed

    Montero-Marin, Jesus; Puebla-Guedea, Marta; Herrera-Mercadal, Paola; Cebolla, Ausias; Soler, Joaquim; Demarzo, Marcelo; Vazquez, Carmelo; Rodríguez-Bornaetxea, Fernando; García-Campayo, Javier

    2016-01-01

    Background: There are few studies devoted to assessing the impact of meditation-intensive retreats on the well-being, positive psychology, and personality of experienced meditators. We aimed to assess whether a 1-month Vipassana retreat: (a) would increase mindfulness and well-being; (b) would increase prosocial personality traits; and (c) whether psychological changes would be mediated and/or moderated by non-attachment. Method: A controlled, non-randomized, pre-post-intervention trial was used. The intervention group was a convenience sample ( n = 19) of experienced meditators who participated in a 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat. The control group ( n = 19) comprised matched experienced meditators who did not take part in the retreat. During the retreat, the mean duration of daily practice was 8-9 h, the diet was vegetarian and silence was compulsory. The Experiences Questionnaire (EQ), Non-attachment Scale (NAS), Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS), Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS), Temperament Character Inventory Revised (TCI-R-67), Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), Self-Other Four Immeasurables (SOFI) and the MINDSENS Composite Index were administered. ANCOVAs and linear regression models were used to assess pre-post changes and mediation/moderation effects. Results: Compared to controls, retreatants showed increases in non-attachment, observing, MINDSENS, positive-affect, balance-affect, and cooperativeness; and decreases in describing, negative-others, reward-dependence and self-directedness. Non-attachment had a mediating role in decentring, acting aware, non-reactivity, negative-affect, balance-affect and self-directedness; and a moderating role in describing and positive others, with both mediating and moderating effects on satisfaction with life. Conclusions: A 1-month Vipassana meditation retreat seems to yield improvements in mindfulness, well-being, and personality, even in experienced meditators. Non-attachment might

  12. A Systematic Review of Associations between Amount of Meditation Practice and Outcomes in Interventions Using the Four Immeasurables Meditations

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Xianglong; Chio, Floria H. N.; Oei, Tian P. S.; Leung, Freedom Y. K.; Liu, Xiangping

    2017-01-01

    Interventions using the “Four Immeasurables Meditations” (FIM) are effective for various outcomes; however, whether increased meditation practice in these interventions leads to better results has not been well investigated. This systematic review included 22 FIM interventions that reported associations between the amount of meditation practice and its outcomes. Despite the heterogeneity in intervention components and outcome variables, there were generally few significant associations between amount of meditation practice and its outcomes. Specifically, only five studies reported that more than half of the calculated results were significant. In comparison with correlations between total amount of practice and overall outcomes, the short-term influence of meditation practice was evaluated in fewer studies; however, it had a better association with outcomes. More studies are required that address the underlying mechanisms that elucidate how meditation practice leads to outcome changes in daily life. In this study, two promising mechanisms with initial evidence were discussed. This review also summarized common methodological issues including a lack of experimental manipulation and inaccurate measuring of meditation practice. PMID:28220101

  13. Reducing Defensive Responses to Thoughts of Death: Meditation, Mindfulness, and Buddhism.

    PubMed

    Park, Young Chin; Pyszczynski, Tom

    2017-08-24

    Three studies investigated the effects of meditation on responses to reminders of death. Study 1 took a quasi-experimental approach, comparing defensive responses to mortality salience (MS) of South Korean participants with varying levels of experience with Buddhism and meditation. Whereas non-Buddhists without meditation showed the typical increase in worldview defense after mortality salience (MS), this effect was not found among non-Buddhists immediately after an initial meditation experience, nor among lay Buddhists who meditated regularly or Buddhist monks with intensive meditation experience. Study 2, a fully randomized experiment, showed that MS increased worldview defense among South Koreans at a meditation training who were assessed before meditating but not among participants assessed after their first meditation experience. Study 3 showed that whereas American students without prior meditation experience showed increased worldview defense and suppression of death-related thoughts after MS, these effects were eliminated immediately after an initial meditation experience. Death thought accessibility mediated the effect of MS on worldview defense without meditation, but meditation eliminated this mediation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  14. Listening and Legos[TM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morris, Pamela

    2012-01-01

    This simple exercise, performed in teams, gives students practice in listening to instructions, particularly when there are restrictions for the communication. The teams compete in a limited amount of time to build a Lego[TM] structure based on the instructions of one team member. Which team listens the best and is most successful?

  15. Spectral power and functional connectivity changes during mindfulness meditation with eyes open: A magnetoencephalography (MEG) study in long-term meditators.

    PubMed

    Wong, W P; Camfield, D A; Woods, W; Sarris, J; Pipingas, A

    2015-10-01

    Whilst a number of previous studies have been conducted in order to investigate functional brain changes associated with eyes-closed meditation techniques, there is a relative scarcity in the literature with regards to changes occurring during eyes-open meditation. The current project used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate differences in spectral power and functional connectivity between 11 long-term mindfulness meditators (LTMMs) with >5 years of experience and 12 meditation-naïve control participants both during baseline eyes-open rest and eyes-open open-monitoring (OM) mindfulness meditation. During resting with eyes-open, prior to meditating, greater mean alpha power was observed for LTMMs in comparison to controls. However, during the course of OM meditation, a significantly greater increase in theta power was observed over a broad fronto-centro-parietal region for control participants in comparison to LTMMs. In contrast, whole-head mean connectivity was found to be significantly greater for long-term meditators in comparison to controls in the theta band both during rest as well as during meditation. Additionally, mean connectivity was significantly lower for long-term meditators in the low gamma band during rest and significantly lower in both low and high gamma bands during meditation; and the variance of low-gamma connectivity scores for long-term meditators was significantly decreased compared to the control group. The current study provides important new information as to the trait functional changes in brain activity associated with long-term mindfulness meditation, as well as the state changes specifically associated with eyes-open open monitoring meditation techniques. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Effects of mindful-attention and compassion meditation training on amygdala response to emotional stimuli in an ordinary, non-meditative state

    PubMed Central

    Desbordes, Gaëlle; Negi, Lobsang T.; Pace, Thaddeus W. W.; Wallace, B. Alan; Raison, Charles L.; Schwartz, Eric L.

    2012-01-01

    The amygdala has been repeatedly implicated in emotional processing of both positive and negative-valence stimuli. Previous studies suggest that the amygdala response to emotional stimuli is lower when the subject is in a meditative state of mindful-attention, both in beginner meditators after an 8-week meditation intervention and in expert meditators. However, the longitudinal effects of meditation training on amygdala responses have not been reported when participants are in an ordinary, non-meditative state. In this study, we investigated how 8 weeks of training in meditation affects amygdala responses to emotional stimuli in subjects when in a non-meditative state. Healthy adults with no prior meditation experience took part in 8 weeks of either Mindful Attention Training (MAT), Cognitively-Based Compassion Training (CBCT; a program based on Tibetan Buddhist compassion meditation practices), or an active control intervention. Before and after the intervention, participants underwent an fMRI experiment during which they were presented images with positive, negative, and neutral emotional valences from the IAPS database while remaining in an ordinary, non-meditative state. Using a region-of-interest analysis, we found a longitudinal decrease in right amygdala activation in the Mindful Attention group in response to positive images, and in response to images of all valences overall. In the CBCT group, we found a trend increase in right amygdala response to negative images, which was significantly correlated with a decrease in depression score. No effects or trends were observed in the control group. This finding suggests that the effects of meditation training on emotional processing might transfer to non-meditative states. This is consistent with the hypothesis that meditation training may induce learning that is not stimulus- or task-specific, but process-specific, and thereby may result in enduring changes in mental function. PMID:23125828

  17. TM triple-mode microwave filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lai, S.-L.; Lin, W.-G.

    1990-12-01

    A novel realization of triple-mode six-pole microwave filters that use only TM modes is presented. The application involves TM triple degeneracies in cylindrical cavities using triple-mode elliptic function filter synthesis. Experimental results are reported.

  18. Subjective expansion of extended time-spans in experienced meditators.

    PubMed

    Wittmann, Marc; Otten, Simone; Schötz, Eva; Sarikaya, Anna; Lehnen, Hanna; Jo, Han-Gue; Kohls, Niko; Schmidt, Stefan; Meissner, Karin

    2014-01-01

    Experienced meditators typically report that they experience time slowing down in meditation practice as well as in everyday life. Conceptually this phenomenon may be understood through functional states of mindfulness, i.e., by attention regulation, body awareness, emotion regulation, and enhanced memory. However, hardly any systematic empirical work exists regarding the experience of time in meditators. In the current cross-sectional study, we investigated whether 42 experienced mindfulness meditation practitioners (with on average 10 years of experience) showed differences in the experience of time as compared to 42 controls without any meditation experience matched for age, sex, and education. The perception of time was assessed with a battery of psychophysical tasks assessing the accuracy of prospective time judgments in duration discrimination, duration reproduction, and time estimation in the milliseconds to minutes range as well with several psychometric instruments related to subjective time such as the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the Barratt Impulsivity Scale and the Freiburg Mindfulness Inventory. In addition, subjective time judgments on the current passage of time and retrospective time ranges were assessed. While subjective judgements of time were found to be significantly different between the two groups on several scales, no differences in duration estimates in the psychophysical tasks were detected. Regarding subjective time, mindfulness meditators experienced less time pressure, more time dilation, and a general slower passage of time. Moreover, they felt that the last week and the last month passed more slowly. Overall, although no intergroup differences in psychophysical tasks were detected, the reported findings demonstrate a close association between mindfulness meditation and the subjective feeling of the passage of time captured by psychometric instruments.

  19. Schizotypy and mindfulness: Magical thinking without suspiciousness characterizes mindfulness meditators.

    PubMed

    Antonova, Elena; Amaratunga, Kavitha; Wright, Bernice; Ettinger, Ulrich; Kumari, Veena

    2016-09-01

    Despite growing evidence for demonstrated efficacy of mindfulness in various disorders, there is a continuous concern about the relationship between mindfulness practice and psychosis. As schizotypy is part of the psychosis spectrum, we examined the relationship between long-term mindfulness practice and schizotypy in two independent studies. Study 1 included 24 experienced mindfulness practitioners (19 males) from the Buddhist tradition (meditators) and 24 meditation-naïve individuals (all males). Study 2 consisted of 28 meditators and 28 meditation-naïve individuals (all males). All participants completed the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (Raine, 1991), a self-report scale containing 9 subscales (ideas of reference, excessive social anxiety, magical thinking, unusual perceptual experiences, odd/eccentric behavior, no close friends, odd speech, constricted affect, suspiciousness). Participants of study 2 also completed the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire which assesses observing (Observe), describing (Describe), acting with awareness (Awareness), non-judging of (Non-judgment) and non-reactivity to inner experience (Non-reactivity) facets of trait mindfulness. In both studies, meditators scored significantly lower on suspiciousness and higher on magical thinking compared to meditation-naïve individuals and showed a trend towards lower scores on excessive social anxiety. Excessive social anxiety correlated negatively with Awareness and Non-judgment; and suspiciousness with Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity facets across both groups. The two groups did not differ in their total schizotypy score. We conclude that mindfulness practice is not associated with an overall increase in schizotypal traits. Instead, the pattern suggests that mindfulness meditation, particularly with an emphasis on the Awareness, Non-judgment and Non-reactivity aspects, may help to reduce suspiciousness and excessive social anxiety.

  20. Attentional orienting and executive control are affected by different types of meditation practice.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Min-Hui; Chou, Wei-Lun

    2016-11-01

    Several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of meditation on attention. The present study investigated the relationship between focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation skills and the various functions of attention. In Experiment 1, we executed the attention network test and compared the performance of experts on dandao meditation with that of ordinary people on this test. The results indicated that the experts specializing in OM meditation demonstrated greater attentional orienting ability compared with those specializing in FA meditation and the control group. In addition, both expert groups registered improvements in their executive control abilities compared with the control group. In Experiment 2, we trained beginners in FA meditation for 3months. The results showed that the experimental group exhibited significantly enhanced executive control ability. We infer that FA meditation skills promote executive control function and OM meditation skills promote both executive control and attentional orienting functions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Modified LaRC(TM)-IA Polyimides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St. Clair, Terry L.; Chang, Alice C.; Hou, Tan H.; Working, Dennis C.

    1994-01-01

    Modified versions of thermoplastic polyimide LaRC(TM)-IA incorporate various amounts of additional, rigid moieties into backbones of LaRC(TM)-IA molecules. Modified versions more resistant to solvents and exhibit higher glass-transition temperatures, yet retain melt-flow processability of unmodified LaRC(TM)-IA.

  2. Effect of SOHAM meditation on human brain: a voxel-based morphometry study.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Uttam; Guleria, Anupam; Kishan, Sadguru Sri Kunal; Khetrapal, C L

    2014-01-01

    The anatomical correlates of long-term meditators involved in practice of "SOHAM" meditation have been studied using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). The VBM analysis indicates significantly higher gray matter density in brain stem, ventral pallidum, and supplementary motor area in the meditators as compared with age-matched nonmeditators. The observed changes in brain structure are compared with other forms of meditation. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society of Neuroimaging.

  3. Short Meditation Trainings Enhance Non-REM Sleep Low-Frequency Oscillations.

    PubMed

    Dentico, Daniela; Ferrarelli, Fabio; Riedner, Brady A; Smith, Richard; Zennig, Corinna; Lutz, Antoine; Tononi, Giulio; Davidson, Richard J

    2016-01-01

    We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners. We also repeated baseline recordings in a meditation-naive cohort to account for time effects on sleep EEG activity. High-density EEG recordings of human brain activity were acquired over the course of whole sleep nights following intervention. Sound-attenuated sleep research room. Twenty-four long-term meditators and twenty-four meditation-naïve controls. Two 8-h sessions of either a mindfulness-based meditation or a form of meditation designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, hereafter referred to as compassion meditation. We found an increase in EEG low-frequency oscillatory activities (1-12 Hz, centered around 7-8 Hz) over prefrontal and left parietal electrodes across whole night NREM cycles. This power increase peaked early in the night and extended during the third cycle to high-frequencies up to the gamma range (25-40 Hz). There was no difference in sleep EEG activity between meditation styles in long-term meditators nor in the meditation naïve group across different time points. Furthermore, the prefrontal-parietal changes were dependent on meditation life experience. This low-frequency prefrontal-parietal activation likely reflects acute, meditation-related plastic changes occurring during wakefulness, and may underlie a top-down regulation from frontal and anterior parietal areas to the posterior parietal and occipital regions showing chronic, long-lasting plastic changes in long-term meditators.

  4. Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Adler-Neal, Adrienne L; Wells, Rebecca E; Stagnaro, Emily; May, Lisa M; Eisenach, James C; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2016-03-16

    Mindfulness meditation, a cognitive practice premised on sustaining nonjudgmental awareness of arising sensory events, reliably attenuates pain. Mindfulness meditation activates multiple brain regions that contain a high expression of opioid receptors. However, it is unknown whether mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by endogenous opioids. The present double-blind, randomized study examined behavioral pain responses in healthy human volunteers during mindfulness meditation and a nonmanipulation control condition in response to noxious heat and intravenous administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone (0.15 mg/kg bolus + 0.1 mg/kg/h infusion) or saline placebo. Meditation during saline infusion significantly reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to the control + saline group. However, naloxone infusion failed to reverse meditation-induced analgesia. There were no significant differences in pain intensity or pain unpleasantness reductions between the meditation + naloxone and the meditation + saline groups. Furthermore, mindfulness meditation during naloxone produced significantly greater reductions in pain intensity and unpleasantness than the control groups. These findings demonstrate that mindfulness meditation does not rely on endogenous opioidergic mechanisms to reduce pain. Endogenous opioids have been repeatedly shown to be involved in the cognitive inhibition of pain. Mindfulness meditation, a practice premised on directing nonjudgmental attention to arising sensory events, reduces pain by engaging mechanisms supporting the cognitive control of pain. However, it remains unknown if mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by opioids, an important consideration for using meditation to treat chronic pain. To address this question, the present study examined pain reports during meditation in response to noxious heat and administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone and placebo saline. The results

  5. Mindfulness-Meditation-Based Pain Relief Is Not Mediated by Endogenous Opioids

    PubMed Central

    Adler-Neal, Adrienne L.; Wells, Rebecca E.; Stagnaro, Emily; May, Lisa M.; Eisenach, James C.; McHaffie, John G.; Coghill, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation, a cognitive practice premised on sustaining nonjudgmental awareness of arising sensory events, reliably attenuates pain. Mindfulness meditation activates multiple brain regions that contain a high expression of opioid receptors. However, it is unknown whether mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by endogenous opioids. The present double-blind, randomized study examined behavioral pain responses in healthy human volunteers during mindfulness meditation and a nonmanipulation control condition in response to noxious heat and intravenous administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone (0.15 mg/kg bolus + 0.1 mg/kg/h infusion) or saline placebo. Meditation during saline infusion significantly reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness ratings when compared to the control + saline group. However, naloxone infusion failed to reverse meditation-induced analgesia. There were no significant differences in pain intensity or pain unpleasantness reductions between the meditation + naloxone and the meditation + saline groups. Furthermore, mindfulness meditation during naloxone produced significantly greater reductions in pain intensity and unpleasantness than the control groups. These findings demonstrate that mindfulness meditation does not rely on endogenous opioidergic mechanisms to reduce pain. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Endogenous opioids have been repeatedly shown to be involved in the cognitive inhibition of pain. Mindfulness meditation, a practice premised on directing nonjudgmental attention to arising sensory events, reduces pain by engaging mechanisms supporting the cognitive control of pain. However, it remains unknown if mindfulness-meditation-based analgesia is mediated by opioids, an important consideration for using meditation to treat chronic pain. To address this question, the present study examined pain reports during meditation in response to noxious heat and administration of the opioid antagonist naloxone and placebo saline

  6. Mindfulness Meditation for Alcohol Relapse Prevention: A Feasibility Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Zgierska, Aleksandra; Rabago, David; Zuelsdorff, Megan; Coe, Christopher; Miller, Michael; Fleming, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Objectives Meditation is a promising treatment for alcohol dependence. This 16-week prospective case series was designed to gather preliminary data about the efficacy of meditation for relapse prevention and to evaluate study methods feasibility. Methods Nineteen adult alcohol-dependent graduates of an intensive outpatient program were enrolled. Fifteen subjects completed the 8-week meditation course supplemented by at-home meditation and “standard of care” therapy. Outcome measures included surveys and 2 stress-responsive biomarkers. Results Subjects (N = 19, 38.4 standard deviation [SD] = 8.6-year-old) were abstinent for 30.9 (SD = 22.2) days at enrollment. Completers (N = 15) attended 82% of meditation course sessions and meditated on average 4.6 (SD = 1.1) days per week; they were abstinent on 94.5% (SD = 7.4) of study days, with 47% reporting complete abstinence and 47% reporting 1 or more heavy drinking days. Their severity of depression, anxiety, stress (P < 0.05), and craving (P < 0.08), documented relapse triggers, decreased, and the degree of mindfulness increased (P < 0.05). The meditation course was rated as a “very important” (8.7/10, SD = 1.8) and “useful relapse prevention tool” (8.5/10, SD = 2.1); participants reported being “very likely” to continue meditating (9.0/10, SD = 1.5). “Gaining skills to reduce stress,” “coping with craving,” and “good group support” were the most common qualitative comments about the course value. Compared with baseline, at 16 weeks, interleukin-6 levels decreased (N = 12, P = 0.05); cortisol levels (N = 10) were reduced but not significantly. There were no adverse events or side effects. Conclusions Meditation may be an effective adjunctive therapy for relapse prevention in alcohol dependence, worthy of investigation in a larger trial. The study methods are appropriate for such a trial. PMID:21768988

  7. Einstein's ``Spooky Action at a Distance'' in the Light of Kant's Transcendental Doctrine of Space and Time

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hacyan, Shahen

    2006-11-01

    Since the famous Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paper, it is clear that there is a serious incompatibility between local realism and quantum mechanics. Einstein believed that a complete quantum theory should be free of what he once called "spooky actions at distance". However, all experiments in quantum optics and atomic physics performed in the last two decades confirm the existence of quantum correlations that seem to contradict local realism. According to Bohr, the apparent contradictions disclose only the inadequacy of our customary concepts for the description of the quantum world. Are space and time such customary concepts? In this presentation, I argue that the Copenhagen interpretation is compatible with Kant's transcendental idealism and that, in particular, EPR type paradoxes are consistent with Kant's transcendental aesthetics, according to which space and time have no objective reality but are pure forms of sensible intuition.

  8. Mindfulness Meditation for Fibromyalgia: Mechanistic and Clinical Considerations.

    PubMed

    Adler-Neal, Adrienne L; Zeidan, Fadel

    2017-09-01

    Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread pain and a spectrum of psychological comorbidities, rendering treatment difficult and often a financial burden. Fibromyalgia is a complicated chronic pain condition that requires a multimodal therapeutic approach to optimize treatment efficacy. Thus, it has been postulated that mind-body techniques may prove fruitful in treating fibromyalgia. Mindfulness meditation, a behavioral technique premised on non-reactive sensory awareness, attenuates pain and improves mental health outcomes. However, the impact of mindfulness meditation on fibromyalgia-related outcomes has not been comprehensively characterized. The present review delineates the existing evidence supporting the effectiveness and hypothesized mechanisms of mindfulness meditation in treating fibromyalgia-related outcomes. Mindfulness-based interventions premised on cultivating acceptance, non-attachment, and social engagement may be most effective in decreasing fibromyalgia-related pain and psychological symptoms. Mindfulness-based therapies may alleviate fibromyalgia-related outcomes through multiple neural, psychological, and physiological processes. Mindfulness meditation may provide an effective complementary treatment approach for fibromyalgia patients, especially when combined with other reliable techniques (exercise; cognitive behavioral therapy). However, characterizing the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness meditation is a critical step to fostering the clinical validity of this technique. Identification of the specific analgesic mechanisms supporting mindfulness-based pain relief could be utilized to better design behavioral interventions to specifically target fibromyalgia-related outcomes.

  9. Effect of rajyoga meditation on chronic tension headache.

    PubMed

    Kiran; Girgla, Kawalinder K; Chalana, Harsh; Singh, Harjot

    2014-01-01

    Chronic tension-type headache (CTTH) is the most common type of headache with no truly effective treatment. This study was designed to correlate the additive effect of meditation on CTTH patients receiving medical treatment. 50 patients (aged 18-58 years) presenting with a clinical diagnosis of CCTH, were divided in 2 groups. Group 1 (n=30) received 8 lessons and practical demonstration of Brahmakumaris spiritual based meditation known as Rajyoga meditation for relaxation therapy, in addition to routine medical treatment (analgesics and muscle relaxants). Group 2 (n=20) patients received analgesics and muscle relaxants twice a day but no relaxation therapy in the form of meditation. Both groups were followed up for 8 weeks period. The parameters studied were severity, frequency and duration of CCTH, and their headache index calculated. Patients in both groups showed a highly significant reduction in headache variables (P<0.001) after 8 weeks. But the percentage of patients showing highly significant relief in severity of headache, duration & frequency in Group 1 was 94%, 91% and 97% respectively whereas in Group 2 it was 36%, 36% and 49% respectively. Headache relief as calculated by headache index was 99% in Group 1 as compared to 51% in Group 2. Even Short term spiritual based relaxation therapy (Rajyoga meditation) was highly effective in causing earlier relief in chronic tension headache as measured by headache parameter.

  10. The Relationship between Meditation and/or Exercise and Three Measures of Self-Actualization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Lynn L.; Robinson, Sharon E.

    1993-01-01

    Investigated relationship between regular meditation and/or physical exercise and dimensions of self-actualization (inner-directedness, living in present, lowered anxiety) of 103 graduate counseling students. Students who meditated or who meditated and exercised had significantly greater inner-directedness than did those who only exercised or who…

  11. The Meeting of Meditative Disciplines and Western Psychology: A Mutually Enriching Dialogue

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walsh, Roger; Shapiro, Shauna L.

    2006-01-01

    Meditation is now one of the most enduring, widespread, and researched of all psychotherapeutic methods. However, to date the meeting of the meditative disciplines and Western psychology has been marred by significant misunderstandings and by an assimilative integration in which much of the richness and uniqueness of meditation and its…

  12. Can We Reduce Our Implicit Prejudice toward Persons with Disability? The Challenge of Meditation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schimchowitsch, Sarah; Rohmer, Odile

    2016-01-01

    The present research further extends recent data revealing implicit attitude towards persons with disability, with the aim to explore if meditation practice can reduce automatic mental processes initiating prejudice. Forty adult experienced meditators and 34 meditation-naïve individuals performed an evaluative priming task. None of them presented…

  13. Toward the Integration of Meditation into Higher Education: A Review of Research Evidence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shapiro, Shauna L.; Brown, Kirk Warren; Astin, John A.

    2011-01-01

    Context: There is growing interest in the integration of meditation in higher education. Purpose: Here, we review evidence bearing on the utility of meditation to facilitate the achievement of traditional educational goals and to enhance education of the "whole person." Research Design: We examine how meditation practices may help foster important…

  14. Mindfulness meditation in aphasia: A case report.

    PubMed

    Laures-Gore, Jacqueline; Marshall, Rebecca Shisler

    2016-04-06

    Despite the potential behavioral and neurological benefits of Mindfulness Meditation (MM), its use in treating stroke related communication disabilities appears to be underexplored. Specifically, aphasia, a language disorder resulting from stroke, may be amenable to the benefits of MM because of the observed attention problems often underlying the language symptoms. The current paper presents a case report of an adult with aphasia who was trained in MM. An adult with aphasia completed a five-day mindfulness training, and was assessed on measures of language, attention, and physiological measures of cortisol and heart rate variability. She completed four assessments: two baseline measures, immediately post training, and one week post training (maintenance). Overall, changes were observed in both psychophysiological measures (heart rate and heart rate variability) and behavioral measures (word productivity, phrase length, word generation, decreased impulsivity, and increased attention). Given the psychophysiological and behavioral changes observed in this individual, further exploration of the influence of MM in the treatment of post-stroke aphasia is warranted.

  15. Mindfulness meditation, well-being, and heart rate variability: a preliminary investigation into the impact of intensive Vipassana meditation.

    PubMed

    Krygier, Jonathan R; Heathers, James A J; Shahrestani, Sara; Abbott, Maree; Gross, James J; Kemp, Andrew H

    2013-09-01

    Mindfulness meditation has beneficial effects on brain and body, yet the impact of Vipassana, a type of mindfulness meditation, on heart rate variability (HRV) - a psychophysiological marker of mental and physical health - is unknown. We hypothesised increases in measures of well-being and HRV, and decreases in ill-being after training in Vipassana compared to before (time effects), during the meditation task compared to resting baseline (task effects), and a time by task interaction with more pronounced differences between tasks after Vipassana training. HRV (5-minute resting baseline vs. 5-minute meditation) was collected from 36 participants before and after they completed a 10-day intensive Vipassana retreat. Changes in three frequency-domain measures of HRV were analysed using 2 (Time; pre- vs. post-Vipassana)× 2 (Task; resting baseline vs. meditation) within subjects ANOVA. These measures were: normalised high-frequency power (HF n.u.), a widely used biomarker of parasympathetic activity; log-transformed high frequency power (ln HF), a measure of RSA and required to interpret normalised HF; and Traube-Hering-Mayer waves (THM), a component of the low frequency spectrum linked to baroreflex outflow. As expected, participants showed significantly increased well-being, and decreased ill-being. ln HF increased overall during meditation compared to resting baseline, while there was a time∗task interaction for THM. Further testing revealed that pre-Vipassana only ln HF increased during meditation (vs. resting baseline), consistent with a change in respiration. Post-Vipassana, the meditation task increased HF n.u. and decreased THM compared to resting baseline, suggesting post-Vipassana task-related changes are characterised by a decrease in absolute LF power, not parasympathetic-mediated increases in HF power. Such baroreflex changes are classically associated with attentional load, and our results are interpreted in light of the concept of 'flow' - a state of

  16. Neural correlates of mindful self-awareness in mindfulness meditators and meditation-naïve subjects revisited.

    PubMed

    Lutz, J; Brühl, A B; Scheerer, H; Jäncke, L; Herwig, U

    2016-09-01

    Mindful self-awareness is central to mindfulness meditation and plays a key role in its salutary effects. It has been related to decreased activation in cortical midline structures (CMS) and amygdala, and increased activation in somatosensory regions. However, findings in untrained individuals are contradictory, and scarce in experienced meditators. Using fMRI, we investigated experienced mindfulness meditators (LTM, n=21, average 4652 practice-hours) and matched meditation-naïve participants (MNP, n=19) during short periods of mindful self-awareness (FEEL) and self-referential thinking (THINK). We report somatosensory activations and decreases in CMS during FEEL for both groups, but significantly stronger decreases in prefrontal CMS in LTM. LTM further showed decreases in language-related and amygdala regions, but the latter was not significantly different between groups. Overall, higher activations in amygdala and mid-line regions during FEEL were related to levels of depressiveness. Neural patterns of mindful self-awareness emerge already in MNP but more pronounced in LTM. Specifically, meditation training might reduce self-reference and verbalization during mindful awareness. We further corroborate the suggested link between mindfulness and healthy self-related functions on the neural level. Longitudinal studies need to corroborate these findings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Group vs. single mindfulness meditation: exploring avoidance, impulsivity, and weight management in two separate mindfulness meditation settings.

    PubMed

    Mantzios, Michail; Giannou, Kyriaki

    2014-07-01

    Recent research has identified that mindfulness meditation in group settings supports people who are trying to lose weight. The present research investigated mindfulness meditation in group and individual settings, and explored the potential impact on weight loss and other factors (i.e. mindfulness, impulsivity, and avoidance) that may assist or hinder weight loss. Specifically, the hypotheses tested were that the group setting assisted dieters more than the individual setting by reducing weight, cognitive-behavioral avoidance, and impulsivity and by increasing mindfulness. Participants (n = 170) who were trying to lose weight were randomly assigned to practice meditation for 6 weeks within a group or independently. Measurements in mindfulness, cognitive-behavioral avoidance, impulsivity, and weight occurred twice (pre- and post-intervention). Results indicated that participants in the group setting lost weight and lowered their levels of cognitive-behavioral avoidance, while impulsivity and mindfulness remained stable. On the other hand, participants in the individual condition lost less weight, while there was an increase in cognitive-behavioral avoidance and mindfulness scores, but a decrease in impulsivity. Seeing that benefits and limitations observed in group settings are not replicated when people meditate alone, this study concluded that mindfulness meditation in individual settings needs to be used with caution, although there are some potential benefits that could aid future weight loss research. © 2014 The International Association of Applied Psychology.

  18. Reconstructing and deconstructing the self: Cognitive mechanisms in meditation practice

    PubMed Central

    Dahl, Cortland J.; Lutz, Antoine; Davidson, Richard J.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific research highlights the central role of specific psychological processes, in particular those related to the self, in various forms of human suffering and flourishing. This view is shared by Buddhism and other contemplative and humanistic traditions, which have developed meditation practices to regulate these processes. Building on a previous paper in this journal, we propose a novel classification system that categorizes specific styles of meditation into attentional, constructive, and deconstructive families based on their primary cognitive mechanisms. We suggest that meta-awareness, perspective taking and cognitive reappraisal, and self-inquiry may be important mechanisms in specific families of meditation and that alterations in these processes may be used to target states of experiential fusion, maladaptive self-schema, and cognitive reification. PMID:26231761

  19. Mindfulness meditation and consciousness: An integrative neuroscientific perspective.

    PubMed

    Manuello, Jordi; Vercelli, Ugo; Nani, Andrea; Costa, Tommaso; Cauda, Franco

    2016-02-01

    Although mindfulness meditation has been practiced in the East for more than two millennia, Western scientific research and healthcare programs have only recently drawn their attention to it. Basically, the concept of mindfulness hinges on focusing on one's own awareness at the present moment. In this review we analyze different hypotheses about the functioning and the cerebral correlates of mindfulness meditation. Since mindfulness is strictly associated with a particular state of consciousness, we also examine some of the most relevant theories that have been proposed as accounts of consciousness. Finally, we suggest that consciousness and mindfulness meditation can be integrated within a neuroscientific perspective, by identifying the brain areas which seem to play an essential role in both, namely the anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, insula and thalamus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Brief mindfulness meditation improves mental state attribution and empathizing.

    PubMed

    Tan, Lucy B G; Lo, Barbara C Y; Macrae, C Neil

    2014-01-01

    The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind) is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people's mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning.

  1. Meditation and Hypnosis: Two Sides of the Same Coin?

    PubMed

    Facco, Enrico

    2017-01-01

    Hypnosis and meditation, as a whole, form a heterogeneous complex of psychosomatic techniques able to control mind and body regulation. Hypnosis has been pragmatically used for limited therapeutic targets, while Eastern meditation has much wider philosophical and existential implications, aiming for a radical liberation from all illusions, attachments, suffering and pain. The available data on the history, phenomenology, and neuropsychology of hypnosis and meditation show several common features, such as the following: (a) induction based on focused attention; (b) capability to reach an intentional control of both biologic-somatic activities and conscious-unconscious processes; (c) activation/deactivation of several brain areas and circuits (e.g., the default modality network and pain neuromatrix) with a relevant overlapping between the two.

  2. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Improves Mental State Attribution and Empathizing

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Lucy B. G.; Lo, Barbara C. Y.; Macrae, C. Neil

    2014-01-01

    The ability to infer and understand the mental states of others (i.e., Theory of Mind) is a cornerstone of human interaction. While considerable efforts have focused on explicating when, why and for whom this fundamental psychological ability can go awry, considerably less is known about factors that may enhance theory of mind. Accordingly, the current study explored the possibility that mindfulness-based meditation may improve people’s mindreading skills. Following a 5-minute mindfulness induction, participants with no prior meditation experience completed tests that assessed mindreading and empathic understanding. The results revealed that brief mindfulness meditation enhanced both mental state attribution and empathic concern, compared to participants in the control group. These findings suggest that mindfulness may be a powerful technique for facilitating core aspects of social-cognitive functioning. PMID:25329321

  3. [An approach to bacteriological taxonomy by application of Immanuel Kant's transcendental dialectics (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Habs, H

    1981-01-01

    After having altered the name of International Committee for Bacteriological Nomenclature in International Committee on Systematic Bacteriology in 1970, the latter will also have to reflect upon the objects of taxonomy. An approach thereto is recognizable in the revision of the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria in 1975. Considerations are being made whether a classification of bacteria does justice to the laws of homogenicity, specification and continuity as laid down by Kant in his transcendental dialectic. Most important of all are definition and determination of the taxon species. As far as contents go the latter is not possible from the biological point of view but applicable to its range in application of the regulations of the code. Within the priorities of taxa the species adopts a preferential position because conceptions of applied bacteriology are contained therein. The variety of infra-subspecific subdivisions is taken into consideration; as far as the formae speciales are concerned considerations as made with regard to species apply.

  4. Artificial Intelligence and Semantics through the Prism of Structural, Post-Structural and Transcendental Approaches.

    PubMed

    Gasparyan, Diana

    2016-12-01

    There is a problem associated with contemporary studies of philosophy of mind, which focuses on the identification and convergence of human and machine intelligence. This is the problem of machine emulation of sense. In the present study, analysis of this problem is carried out based on concepts from structural and post-structural approaches that have been almost entirely overlooked by contemporary philosophy of mind. If we refer to the basic definitions of "sign" and "meaning" found in structuralism and post-structuralism, we see a fundamental difference between the capabilities of a machine and the human brain engaged in the processing of a sign. This research will exemplify and provide additional evidence to support distinctions between syntactic and semantic aspects of intelligence, an issue widely discussed by adepts of contemporary philosophy of mind. The research will demonstrate that some aspect of a number of ideas proposed in relation to semantics and semiosis in structuralism and post-structuralism are similar to those we find in contemporary analytical studies related to the theory and philosophy of artificial intelligence. The concluding part of the paper offers an interpretation of the problem of formalization of sense, connected to its metaphysical (transcendental) properties.

  5. A pilot study: mindfulness meditation intervention in COPD.

    PubMed

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Giardino, Nicholas; Larson, Janet L

    2015-01-01

    Living well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires people to manage disease-related symptoms in order to participate in activities of daily living. Mindfulness practice is an intervention that has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic disease and improve accurate symptom assessment, both of which could result in improved disease management and increased wellness for people with COPD. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate an 8-week mindful meditation intervention program tailored for the COPD population and explore the use of breathing timing parameters as a possible physiological measure of meditation uptake. Results demonstrated that those randomized to the mindful meditation intervention group (N=19) had a significant increase in respiratory rate over time as compared to those randomized to the wait-list group (N=22) (P=0.045). It was also found that the mindful meditation intervention group demonstrated a significant decrease in level of mindfulness over time as compared to the wait-list group (P=0.023). When examining participants from the mindful meditation intervention who had completed six or more classes, it was found that respiratory rate did not significantly increase in comparison to the wait-list group. Furthermore, those who completed six or more classes (N=12) demonstrated significant improvement in emotional function in comparison to the wait-list group (P=0.032) even though their level of mindfulness did not improve. This study identifies that there may be a complex relationship between breathing parameters, emotion, and mindfulness in the COPD population. The results describe good feasibility and acceptability for meditation interventions in the COPD population.

  6. A pilot study: mindfulness meditation intervention in COPD

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Giardino, Nicholas; Larson, Janet L

    2015-01-01

    Living well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) requires people to manage disease-related symptoms in order to participate in activities of daily living. Mindfulness practice is an intervention that has been shown to reduce symptoms of chronic disease and improve accurate symptom assessment, both of which could result in improved disease management and increased wellness for people with COPD. A randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate an 8-week mindful meditation intervention program tailored for the COPD population and explore the use of breathing timing parameters as a possible physiological measure of meditation uptake. Results demonstrated that those randomized to the mindful meditation intervention group (N=19) had a significant increase in respiratory rate over time as compared to those randomized to the wait-list group (N=22) (P=0.045). It was also found that the mindful meditation intervention group demonstrated a significant decrease in level of mindfulness over time as compared to the wait-list group (P=0.023). When examining participants from the mindful meditation intervention who had completed six or more classes, it was found that respiratory rate did not significantly increase in comparison to the wait-list group. Furthermore, those who completed six or more classes (N=12) demonstrated significant improvement in emotional function in comparison to the wait-list group (P=0.032) even though their level of mindfulness did not improve. This study identifies that there may be a complex relationship between breathing parameters, emotion, and mindfulness in the COPD population. The results describe good feasibility and acceptability for meditation interventions in the COPD population. PMID:25767382

  7. Meditation for posttraumatic stress: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Hilton, Lara; Maher, Alicia Ruelaz; Colaiaco, Benjamin; Apaydin, Eric; Sorbero, Melony E; Booth, Marika; Shanman, Roberta M; Hempel, Susanne

    2017-07-01

    We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis that synthesized evidence from randomized controlled trials of meditation interventions to provide estimates of their efficacy and safety in treating adults diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This review was based on an established protocol (PROSPERO: CRD42015025782) and is reported according to PRISMA guidelines. Outcomes of interest included PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, health-related quality of life, functional status, and adverse events. Meta-analyses were conducted using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method for random-effects models. Quality of evidence was assessed using the Grade of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. In total, 10 trials on meditation interventions for PTSD with 643 participants met inclusion criteria. Across interventions, adjunctive meditation interventions of mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and the mantram repetition program improve PTSD and depression symptoms compared with control groups, but the findings are based on low and moderate quality of evidence. Effects were positive but not statistically significant for quality of life and anxiety, and no studies addressed functional status. The variety of meditation intervention types, the short follow-up times, and the quality of studies limited analyses. No adverse events were reported in the included studies; only half of the studies reported on safety. Meditation appears to be effective for PTSD and depression symptoms, but in order to increase confidence in findings, more high-quality studies are needed on meditation as adjunctive treatment with PTSD-diagnosed participant samples large enough to detect statistical differences in outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Focused attention, open monitoring and loving kindness meditation: effects on attention, conflict monitoring, and creativity – A review

    PubMed Central

    Lippelt, Dominique P.; Hommel, Bernhard; Colzato, Lorenza S.

    2014-01-01

    Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a topic for scientific research and theories on meditation are becoming ever more specific. We distinguish between what is called focused Attention meditation, open Monitoring meditation, and loving kindness (or compassion) meditation. Research suggests that these meditations have differential, dissociable effects on a wide range of cognitive (control) processes, such as attentional selection, conflict monitoring, divergent, and convergent thinking. Although research on exactly how the various meditations operate on these processes is still missing, different kinds of meditations are associated with different neural structures and different patterns of electroencephalographic activity. In this review we discuss recent findings on meditation and suggest how the different meditations may affect cognitive processes, and we give suggestions for directions of future research. PMID:25295025

  9. Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use among US adults: A nationally representative survey

    PubMed Central

    Cramer, Holger; Hall, Helen; Leach, Matthew; Frawley, Jane; Zhang, Yan; Leung, Brenda; Adams, Jon; Lauche, Romy

    2016-01-01

    Emerging evidence suggests substantial health benefits from using meditation. While there are some indications that the popularity of meditation is increasing, little is known about the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use in the general population. In this secondary analysis of data from the 2012 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (n = 34,525), lifetime and 12-month prevalence of meditation use were 5.2% and 4.1%, respectively. Compared to non-users, those who had used meditation in the past 12 months were more likely to be 40–64 years, female, non-Hispanic White, living in the West, at least college-educated, not in a relationship, diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, smoking, consuming alcohol and physically active. Meditation was mainly used for general wellness (76.2%), improving energy (60.0%), and aiding memory or concentration (50.0%). Anxiety (29.2%), stress (21.6%), and depression (17.8%) were the top health problems for which people used meditation; 63.6% reported that meditation had helped a great deal with these conditions. Only 34.8% disclosed their use of meditation with a health provider. These findings indicate that about 9.3 million US adults have used meditation in the past 12 months; and that mental health problems were the most important reason for meditation use. PMID:27829670

  10. Increased Gamma Brainwave Amplitude Compared to Control in Three Different Meditation Traditions

    PubMed Central

    Cahn, B. Rael; Levy, Jonathan; Fernandez, Manuel; Delorme, Arnaud

    2017-01-01

    Despite decades of research, effects of different types of meditation on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity are still being defined. We compared practitioners of three different meditation traditions (Vipassana, Himalayan Yoga and Isha Shoonya) with a control group during a meditative and instructed mind-wandering (IMW) block. All meditators showed higher parieto-occipital 60–110 Hz gamma amplitude than control subjects as a trait effect observed during meditation and when considering meditation and IMW periods together. Moreover, this gamma power was positively correlated with participants meditation experience. Independent component analysis was used to show that gamma activity did not originate in eye or muscle artifacts. In addition, we observed higher 7–11 Hz alpha activity in the Vipassana group compared to all the other groups during both meditation and instructed mind wandering and lower 10–11 Hz activity in the Himalayan yoga group during meditation only. We showed that meditation practice is correlated to changes in the EEG gamma frequency range that are common to a variety of meditation practices. PMID:28118405

  11. The Meditative Mind: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis of MRI Studies

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Over the past decade mind and body practices, such as yoga and meditation, have raised interest in different scientific fields; in particular, the physiological mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects observed in meditators have been investigated. Neuroimaging studies have studied the effects of meditation on brain structure and function and findings have helped clarify the biological underpinnings of the positive effects of meditation practice and the possible integration of this technique in standard therapy. The large amount of data collected thus far allows drawing some conclusions about the neural effects of meditation practice. In the present study we used activation likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis to make a coordinate-based meta-analysis of neuroimaging data on the effects of meditation on brain structure and function. Results indicate that meditation leads to activation in brain areas involved in processing self-relevant information, self-regulation, focused problem-solving, adaptive behavior, and interoception. Results also show that meditation practice induces functional and structural brain modifications in expert meditators, especially in areas involved in self-referential processes such as self-awareness and self-regulation. These results demonstrate that a biological substrate underlies the positive pervasive effect of meditation practice and suggest that meditation techniques could be adopted in clinical populations and to prevent disease. PMID:26146618

  12. Increased Gamma Brainwave Amplitude Compared to Control in Three Different Meditation Traditions.

    PubMed

    Braboszcz, Claire; Cahn, B Rael; Levy, Jonathan; Fernandez, Manuel; Delorme, Arnaud

    2017-01-01

    Despite decades of research, effects of different types of meditation on electroencephalographic (EEG) activity are still being defined. We compared practitioners of three different meditation traditions (Vipassana, Himalayan Yoga and Isha Shoonya) with a control group during a meditative and instructed mind-wandering (IMW) block. All meditators showed higher parieto-occipital 60-110 Hz gamma amplitude than control subjects as a trait effect observed during meditation and when considering meditation and IMW periods together. Moreover, this gamma power was positively correlated with participants meditation experience. Independent component analysis was used to show that gamma activity did not originate in eye or muscle artifacts. In addition, we observed higher 7-11 Hz alpha activity in the Vipassana group compared to all the other groups during both meditation and instructed mind wandering and lower 10-11 Hz activity in the Himalayan yoga group during meditation only. We showed that meditation practice is correlated to changes in the EEG gamma frequency range that are common to a variety of meditation practices.

  13. Prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use among US adults: A nationally representative survey.

    PubMed

    Cramer, Holger; Hall, Helen; Leach, Matthew; Frawley, Jane; Zhang, Yan; Leung, Brenda; Adams, Jon; Lauche, Romy

    2016-11-10

    Emerging evidence suggests substantial health benefits from using meditation. While there are some indications that the popularity of meditation is increasing, little is known about the prevalence, patterns, and predictors of meditation use in the general population. In this secondary analysis of data from the 2012 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (n = 34,525), lifetime and 12-month prevalence of meditation use were 5.2% and 4.1%, respectively. Compared to non-users, those who had used meditation in the past 12 months were more likely to be 40-64 years, female, non-Hispanic White, living in the West, at least college-educated, not in a relationship, diagnosed with one or more chronic conditions, smoking, consuming alcohol and physically active. Meditation was mainly used for general wellness (76.2%), improving energy (60.0%), and aiding memory or concentration (50.0%). Anxiety (29.2%), stress (21.6%), and depression (17.8%) were the top health problems for which people used meditation; 63.6% reported that meditation had helped a great deal with these conditions. Only 34.8% disclosed their use of meditation with a health provider. These findings indicate that about 9.3 million US adults have used meditation in the past 12 months; and that mental health problems were the most important reason for meditation use.

  14. Meditation for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Systematic Review

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-01-01

    Meditation for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder A Systematic Review Lara Hilton, Alicia Ruelaz Maher, Benjamin Colaiaco, Eric Apaydin, Melony E...interventions for posttraumatic stress disorder. The review will be of interest to military health policymakers and practitioners, civilian health care...is provided on the web page). v Abstract Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition that emerges after exposure to a

  15. Take a Breath: Yoga and Meditation in the Developmental Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arbeau, Denise Cady

    2016-01-01

    Teachers of developmental education are familiar with non-traditional students who are balancing innumerate stressors in their lives, in addition to the overwhelming stress of college. Stress relief methods like yoga and meditation are essential life management tools in helping new college students succeed, not only in their education but also in…

  16. Scholarly Observations and Meditations: Perspectives on September 11, 2001.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, James W.; Drucker, Susan J.; Gozzi, Raymond, Jr.; Gumpert, Gary; Thaler, Paul; Wilder, Carol

    2002-01-01

    Presents a transcription of a panel (at the annual meeting of the New York State Communication Association) consisting of internationally known and respected communication scholars, and New Yorkers, who offered their thoughts and meditations on September 11, 2001. Notes the only appropriate frames of understanding in those few short weeks after…

  17. Presence of Mind: A Qualitative Study of Meditating Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irwin, Michèle; Miller, John P.

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the results of a study into the effects of meditation practice on the lives of professional educators, specifically educators who either began or continued such practice during course work led by Professor Miller at the University of Toronto. The study incorporates semistructured interviews with 12 participants to track their…

  18. Meditation and Education: India, Tibet, and Modern America

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thurman, Robert A. F.

    2006-01-01

    This article explores Asian traditions of meditation, with particular attention to Buddhism as it was developed in ancient India. It delineates a core curriculum, initially developed in monastic institutions of higher education, that has been most fully preserved in Tibet. It then explores how this curriculum might be adapted so that it can help…

  19. Meditation, restoration, and the management of mental fatigue

    Treesearch

    Stephen Kaplan

    2001-01-01

    An analysis of the underlying similarities between the Eastern meditation tradition and attention restoration theory (ART) provides a basis for an expanded framework for studying directed attention. The focus of the analysis is the active role the individual can play in the preservation and recovery of the directed attention capacity. Two complementary strategies are...

  20. Meditation, Creativity, and Consciousness: Charting Future Terrain within Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sarath, Ed

    2006-01-01

    This article explores the role of contemplative practices within an emerging interdisciplinary area that I refer to as "creativity and consciousness studies." Within this new area, consciousness is studied from an "integral" perspective that brings together insights from a range of wisdom traditions and modern science. Meditation is presented as…

  1. Music Education and Human Flourishing: A Meditation on Democratic Origins

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Allsup, Randall Everett

    2012-01-01

    This philosophical essay is a meditation on the multiple and contested meanings of the concept of democracy with the aim of redirecting dominant discourses in music education practices and building new capacities for democracy's practical use in music classrooms. Inspired by philosopher John Dewey's travels to China, and his influence on major…

  2. Combining Mindfulness Meditation with Cognitive-Behavior Therapy for Insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Ong, Jason C.; Shapiro, Shauna L.; Manber, Rachel

    2009-01-01

    This treatment-development study is a Stage I evaluation of an intervention that combines mindfulness meditation with cognitive-behavior therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Thirty adults who met research diagnostic criteria for Psychophysiological Insomnia (Edinger et al., 2004) participated in a 6-week, multi-component group intervention using mindfulness meditation, sleep restriction, stimulus control, sleep education, and sleep hygiene. Sleep diaries and self-reported pre-sleep arousal were assessed weekly while secondary measures of insomnia severity, arousal, mindfulness skills, and daytime functioning were assessed at pre-treatment and post-treatment. Data collected on recruitment, retention, compliance, and satisfaction indicate that the treatment protocol is feasible to deliver and is acceptable for individuals seeking treatment for insomnia. The overall patterns of change with treatment demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvements in several nighttime symptoms of insomnia as well as statistically significant reductions in pre-sleep arousal, sleep effort, and dysfunctional sleep-related cognitions. In addition, a significant correlation was found between the number of meditation sessions and changes on a trait measure of arousal. Together, the findings indicate that mindfulness meditation can be combined with CBT-I and this integrated intervention is associated with reductions in both sleep and sleep-related arousal. Further testing of this intervention using randomized controlled trials is warranted to evaluate the efficacy of the intervention for this population and the specific effects of each component on sleep and both psychological and physiological arousal. PMID:18502250

  3. Meditative Vail Painting: A Finnish Creative Arts Therapist's Transpersonal Journey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sky Hiltunen, Sirkku M.

    2006-01-01

    Anthroposophy has made the spiritual a living experience by producing numerous practical applications, such as veil painting, initially created by Liane Collot d'Herbois (1988). Its theoretical framework has been substantially simplified by the author and crucial meditative and contemplative steps have been added. European and American…

  4. Taiwanese Married Women's Lived Experience of Zen Meditation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kang, Hsin-Ru

    2014-01-01

    Due to the impact of Confucianism on Taiwanese society, Taiwanese married women play multiple family roles including being a daughter-in-law, wife, mother, and working woman. Having to play multiple roles usually brings Taiwanese married women burdens and stress. It is reported that Zen meditation improves people's physical and mental wellbeing.…

  5. Loving-Kindness and Compassion Meditation: Potential for Psychological Interventions

    PubMed Central

    Hofmann, Stefan G.; Grossman, Paul; Hinton, Devon E.

    2011-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation interventions have become increasingly popular in contemporary psychology. Other closely related meditation practices include loving-kindness meditation (LKM) and compassion meditation (CM), exercises oriented toward enhancing unconditional, positive emotional states of kindness and compassion. This article provides a review of the background, the techniques, and the empirical contemporary literature of LKM and CM. The literature suggests that LKM and CM are associated with an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect. Preliminary findings from neuroendocrine studies indicate that CM may reduce stress-induced subjective distress and immune response. Neuroimaging studies suggest that LKM and CM may enhance activation of brain areas that are involved in emotional processing and empathy. Finally, preliminary intervention studies support application of these strategies in clinical populations. It is concluded that, when combined with empirically supported treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, LKM and CM may provide potentially useful strategies for targeting a variety of different psychological problems that involve interpersonal processes, such as social anxiety, marital conflict, anger, and coping with the strains of long-term caregiving. PMID:21840289

  6. Stress and the Beliefs of Meditation among Community College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wallentiny, Pamela L.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess stress levels in community college students and their beliefs of meditation. Community college students tend to report high levels of stress due to demographic factors, such low economic status, need to work at least part time, and need for remedial classes. Many of these demographic factors are particularly…

  7. Meditation in Higher Education: Does It Enhance Cognition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Helber, Casey; Zook, Nancy A.; Immergut, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    We predicted that students in a sociology course that included contemplative practices (i.e., mindfulness meditation) would show an increase in performance on higher level cognitive abilities (executive functions) over the semester compared to a control group of students. Change in executive functions performance was not significantly different…

  8. Toward a unifying taxonomy and definition for meditation

    PubMed Central

    Nash, Jonathan D.; Newberg, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    One of the well-documented concerns confronting scholarly discourse about meditation is the plethora of semantic constructs and the lack of a unified definition and taxonomy. In recent years there have been several notable attempts to formulate new lexicons in order to define and categorize meditation methods. While these constructs have been useful and have encountered varying degrees of acceptance, they have also been subject to misinterpretation and debate, leaving the field devoid of a consensual paradigm. This paper attempts to influence this ongoing discussion by proposing two new models which hold the potential for enhanced scientific reliability and acceptance. Regarding the quest for a universally acceptable taxonomy, we suggest a paradigm shift away from the norm of fabricatIng new terminology from a first-person perspective. As an alternative, we propose a new taxonomic system based on the historically well-established and commonly accepted third-person paradigm of Affect and Cognition, borrowed, in part, from the psychological and cognitive sciences. With regard to the elusive definitional problem, we propose a model of meditation which clearly distinguishes “method” from “state” and is conceptualized as a dynamic process which is inclusive of six related but distinct stages. The overall goal is to provide researchers with a reliable nomenclature with which to categorize and classify diverse meditation methods, and a conceptual framework which can provide direction for their research and a theoretical basis for their findings. PMID:24312060

  9. Dynamics of a family of transcendental meromorphic functions having rational Schwarzian derivative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sajid, M.; Kapoor, G. P.

    2007-02-01

    In the present paper, a class of critically finite transcendental meromorphic functions having rational Schwarzian derivative is introduced and the dynamics of functions in one parameter family is investigated. It is found that there exist two parameter values [lambda]*=[phi](0)>0 and , where and is the real root of [phi]'(x)=0, such that the Fatou sets of f[lambda](z) for [lambda]=[lambda]* and [lambda]=[lambda]** contain parabolic domains. A computationally useful characterization of the Julia set of the function f[lambda](z) as the complement of the basin of attraction of an attracting real fixed point of f[lambda](z) is established and applied for the generation of the images of the Julia sets of f[lambda](z). Further, it is observed that the Julia set of explodes to whole complex plane for [lambda]>[lambda]**. Finally, our results found in the present paper are compared with the recent results on dynamics of one parameter families [lambda]tanz, [R.L. Devaney, L. Keen, Dynamics of meromorphic maps: Maps with polynomial Schwarzian derivative, Ann. Sci. Ecole Norm. Sup. 22 (4) (1989) 55-79; L. Keen, J. Kotus, Dynamics of the family [lambda]tan(z), Conform. Geom. Dynam. 1 (1997) 28-57; G.M. Stallard, The Hausdorff dimension of Julia sets of meromorphic functions, J. London Math. Soc. 49 (1994) 281-295] and , [lambda]>0 [G.P. Kapoor, M. Guru Prem Prasad, Dynamics of : The Julia set and bifurcation, Ergodic Theory Dynam. Systems 18 (1998) 1363-1383].

  10. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of hippocampal activation during silent mantra meditation.

    PubMed

    Engström, Maria; Pihlsgård, Johan; Lundberg, Peter; Söderfeldt, Birgitta

    2010-12-01

    The objective of the present study was to investigate whether moderately experienced meditators activate hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex during silent mantra meditation, as has been observed in earlier studies on subjects with several years of practice. Subjects with less than 2 years of meditation practice according to the Kundalini yoga or Acem tradition were examined by functional magnetic resonance imaging during silent mantra meditation, using an on-off block design. Whole-brain as well as region-of-interest analyses were performed. The most significant activation was found in the bilateral hippocampus/parahippocampal formations. Other areas with significant activation were the bilateral middle cingulate cortex and the bilateral precentral cortex. No activation in the anterior cingulate cortex was found, and only small activation clusters were observed in the prefrontal cortex. In conclusion, the main finding in this study was the significant activation in the hippocampi, which also has been correlated with meditation in several previous studies on very experienced meditators. We propose that the hippocampus is activated already after moderate meditation practice and also during different modes of meditation, including relaxation. The role of hippocampal activity during meditation should be further clarified in future studies, especially by investigating whether the meditation-correlated hippocampal activity is related to memory consolidation.

  11. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task.

    PubMed

    Garrison, Kathleen A; Zeffiro, Thomas A; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R Todd; Brewer, Judson A

    2015-09-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest, despite other studies having reported differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, in this study we compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate the findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation, beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies had used small groups, whereas in the present study we tested these hypotheses in a larger group. The results indicated that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network, relative to an active task, for meditators as compared to controls. Regions of the default mode network showing a Group × Task interaction included the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that the suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and they suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task.

  12. Meditation leads to reduced default mode network activity beyond an active task

    PubMed Central

    Garrison, Kathleen A.; Zeffiro, Thomas A.; Scheinost, Dustin; Constable, R. Todd; Brewer, Judson A.

    2015-01-01

    Meditation has been associated with relatively reduced activity in the default mode network, a brain network implicated in self-related thinking and mind wandering. However, previous imaging studies have typically compared meditation to rest despite other studies reporting differences in brain activation patterns between meditators and controls at rest. Moreover, rest is associated with a range of brain activation patterns across individuals that has only recently begun to be better characterized. Therefore, this study compared meditation to another active cognitive task, both to replicate findings that meditation is associated with relatively reduced default mode network activity, and to extend these findings by testing whether default mode activity was reduced during meditation beyond the typical reductions observed during effortful tasks. In addition, prior studies have used small groups, whereas the current study tested these hypotheses in a larger group. Results indicate that meditation is associated with reduced activations in the default mode network relative to an active task in meditators compared to controls. Regions of the default mode showing a group by task interaction include the posterior cingulate/precuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings replicate and extend prior work indicating that suppression of default mode processing may represent a central neural process in long-term meditation, and suggest that meditation leads to relatively reduced default mode processing beyond that observed during another active cognitive task. PMID:25904238

  13. Comparing individual preferences for four meditation techniques: Zen, Vipassana (Mindfulness), Qigong, and Mantra.

    PubMed

    Burke, Adam

    2012-01-01

    A significant number of studies have been published examining the mind-body effects of meditation and its clinical efficacy. There are very few studies, however, which directly compare different meditation methods with each other to explore potentially distinct mechanisms and effects, and no studies comparing individual preferences for different methods. As preference is seen as an important factor in consumer healthcare decision making, greater understanding of this aspect is needed as meditation becomes a more widely used therapeutic modality. For this reason a pilot study was conducted to compare four meditation techniques for personal preference. A within-subjects comparison design was employed. A convenience sample of 247 undergraduate university students participated in the study. Participants learned two open observing meditation techniques-Vipassana (Mindfulness) and Zen, and two focused attention techniques-Mantra and Qigong Visualization, practicing one method per week. At the end of a six-week training period participants ranked the four meditation methods in order of personal preference. Ranking of subjective preference of meditations practiced. A within subjects comparison revealed that significantly more participants chose Vipassana or Mantra meditation as their preferred techniques compared with Qigong Visualization and Zen. This study provides information on differences in preference for type of meditation. As the benefits of meditation accrue over time, selecting a method that motivates sustained practice is a critical objective if therapeutic effects are to be achieved. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. A Review of "Integrity[TM]"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veldkamp, Bernard P.

    2008-01-01

    Integrity[TM], an online application for testing both the statistical integrity of the test and the academic integrity of the examinees, was evaluated for this review. Program features and the program output are described. An overview of the statistics in Integrity[TM] is provided, and the application is illustrated with a small simulation study.…

  15. Beliefs about meditating among university students, faculty, and staff: a theory-based salient belief elicitation.

    PubMed

    Lederer, Alyssa M; Middlestadt, Susan E

    2014-01-01

    Stress impacts college students, faculty, and staff alike. Although meditation has been found to decrease stress, it is an underutilized strategy. This study used the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify beliefs underlying university constituents' decision to meditate. N=96 students, faculty, and staff at a large midwestern university during spring 2012. A survey measured the RAA global constructs and elicited the beliefs underlying intention to meditate. Thematic and frequency analyses and multiple regression were performed. Quantitative analyses showed that intention to meditate was significantly predicted (R2=.632) by attitude, perceived norm, and perceived behavioral control. Qualitative analyses revealed advantages (eg, reduced stress; feeling calmer), disadvantages (eg, takes time; will not work), and facilitating circumstances (eg, having more time; having quiet space) of meditating. Results of this theory-based research suggest how college health professionals can encourage meditation practice through individual, interpersonal, and environmental interventions.

  16. The Influence of Buddhist Meditation Traditions on the Autonomic System and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Amihai, Ido; Kozhevnikov, Maria

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive and neuroscience research from the past several years has shed new light on the influences that meditative traditions have on the meditation practice. Here we review new evidence that shows that types of meditation that developed out of certain traditions such as Vajrayana and Hindu Tantric lead to heightened sympathetic activation and phasic alertness, while types of meditation from other traditions such as Theravada and Mahayana elicit heightened parasympathetic activity and tonic alertness. Such findings validate Buddhist scriptural descriptions of heightened arousal during Vajrayana practices and a calm and alert state of mind during Theravada and Mahayana types of meditation and demonstrate the importance of the cultural and philosophical context out of which the meditation practices develop. PMID:26146629

  17. A randomised controlled study of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation therapy in the management of tinnitus.

    PubMed

    Arif, M; Sadlier, M; Rajenderkumar, D; James, J; Tahir, T

    2017-06-01

    Psychotherapeutic interventions have been adopted effectively in the management of tinnitus for a long time. This study compared mindfulness meditation and relaxation therapy for management of tinnitus. In this randomised controlled trial, patients were recruited for five sessions of mindfulness meditation or five sessions of relaxation therapy. Patients' responses were evaluated using the Tinnitus Reaction Questionnaire as a primary outcome measure, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, visual analogue scale and a health status indicator as secondary outcome measures. A total of 86 patients were recruited. Thirty-four patients completed mindfulness meditation and 27 patients completed relaxation therapy. Statistically significant improvement was seen in all outcome measures except the health status indicator in both treatment groups. The change in treatment scores was greater in the mindfulness meditation group than in the relaxation therapy group. This study suggests that although both mindfulness meditation and relaxation therapy are effective in the management of tinnitus, mindfulness meditation is superior to relaxation therapy.

  18. Mindfulness meditation-related pain relief: Evidence for unique brain mechanisms in the regulation of pain

    PubMed Central

    Zeidan, F.; Grant, J.A.; Brown, C.A.; McHaffie, J.G.; Coghill, R.C.

    2013-01-01

    The cognitive modulation of pain is influenced by a number of factors ranging from attention, beliefs, conditioning, expectations, mood, and the regulation of emotional responses to noxious sensory events. Recently, mindfulness meditation has been found attenuate pain through some of these mechanisms including enhanced cognitive and emotional control, as well as altering the contextual evaluation of sensory events. This review discusses the brain mechanisms involved in mindfulness meditation-related pain relief across different meditative techniques, expertise and training levels, experimental procedures, and neuroimaging methodologies. Converging lines of neuroimaging evidence reveal that mindfulness meditation-related pain relief is associated with unique appraisal cognitive processes depending on expertise level and meditation tradition. Moreover, it is postulated that mindfulness meditation-related pain relief may share a common final pathway with other cognitive techniques in the modulation of pain. PMID:22487846

  19. Neurocognitive and Somatic Components of Temperature Increases during g-Tummo Meditation: Legend and Reality

    PubMed Central

    Kozhevnikov, Maria; Elliott, James; Shephard, Jennifer; Gramann, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Stories of g-tummo meditators mysteriously able to dry wet sheets wrapped around their naked bodies during a frigid Himalayan ceremony have intrigued scholars and laypersons alike for a century. Study 1 was conducted in remote monasteries of eastern Tibet with expert meditators performing g-tummo practices while their axillary temperature and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity were measured. Study 2 was conducted with Western participants (a non-meditator control group) instructed to use the somatic component of the g-tummo practice (vase breathing) without utilization of meditative visualization. Reliable increases in axillary temperature from normal to slight or moderate fever zone (up to 38.3°C) were observed among meditators only during the Forceful Breath type of g-tummo meditation accompanied by increases in alpha, beta, and gamma power. The magnitude of the temperature increases significantly correlated with the increases in alpha power during Forceful Breath meditation. The findings indicate that there are two factors affecting temperature increase. The first is the somatic component which causes thermogenesis, while the second is the neurocognitive component (meditative visualization) that aids in sustaining temperature increases for longer periods. Without meditative visualization, both meditators and non-meditators were capable of using the Forceful Breath vase breathing only for a limited time, resulting in limited temperature increases in the range of normal body temperature. Overall, the results suggest that specific aspects of the g-tummo technique might help non-meditators learn how to regulate their body temperature, which has implications for improving health and regulating cognitive performance. PMID:23555572

  20. Exploration of Lower Frequency EEG Dynamics and Cortical Alpha Asymmetry in Long-term Rajyoga Meditators

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Kanishka; Chandra, Sushil; Dubey, Ashok Kumar

    2018-01-01

    Background: Rajyoga meditation is taught by Prajapita Brahmakumaris World Spiritual University (Brahmakumaris) and has been followed by more than one million followers across the globe. However, rare studies were conducted on physiological aspects of rajyoga meditation using electroencephalography (EEG). Band power and cortical asymmetry were not studied with Rajyoga meditators. Aims: This study aims to investigate the effect of regular meditation practice on EEG brain dynamics in low-frequency bands of long-term Rajyoga meditators. Settings and Design: Subjects were matched for age in both groups. Lower frequency EEG bands were analyzed in resting and during meditation. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one male long-term meditators (LTMs) and same number of controls were selected to participate in study as par inclusion criteria. Semi high-density EEG was recorded before and during meditation in LTM group and resting in control group. The main outcome of the study was spectral power of alpha and theta bands and cortical (hemispherical) asymmetry calculated using band power. Statistical Analysis: One-way ANOVA was performed to find the significant difference between EEG spectral properties of groups. Pearson's Chi-square test was used to find difference among demographics data. Results: Results reveal high-band power in alpha and theta spectra in meditators. Cortical asymmetry calculated through EEG power was also found to be high in frontal as well as parietal channels. However, no correlation was seen between the experience of meditation (years, hours) practice and EEG indices. Conclusion: Overall findings indicate contribution of smaller frequencies (alpha and theta) while maintaining meditative experience. This suggests a positive impact of meditation on frontal and parietal areas of brain, involved in the processes of regulation of selective and sustained attention as well as provide evidence about their involvement in emotion and cognitive processing. PMID

  1. Source-space EEG neurofeedback links subjective experience with brain activity during effortless awareness meditation

    PubMed Central

    van Lutterveld, Remko; Houlihan, Sean D.; Pal, Prasanta; Sacchet, Matthew D.; McFarlane-Blake, Cinque; Patel, Payal R.; Sullivan, John S.; Ossadtchi, Alex; Druker, Susan; Bauer, Clemens; Brewer, Judson A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Meditation is increasingly showing beneficial effects for psychiatric disorders. However, learning to meditate is not straightforward as there are no easily discernible outward signs of performance and thus no direct feedback is possible. As meditation has been found to correlate with posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) activity, we tested whether source-space EEG neurofeedback from the PCC followed the subjective experience of effortless awareness (a major component of meditation), and whether participants could volitionally control the signal. Methods Sixteen novice meditators and sixteen experienced meditators participated in the study. Novice meditators were briefly trained to perform a basic meditation practice to induce the subjective experience of effortless awareness in a progressively more challenging neurofeedback test-battery. Experienced meditators performed a self-selected meditation practice to induce this state in the same test-battery. Neurofeedback was provided based on gamma-band (40–57 Hz) PCC activity extracted using a beamformer algorithm. Associations between PCC activity and the subjective experience of effortless awareness were assessed by verbal probes. Results Both groups reported that decreased PCC activity corresponded with effortless awareness (P<0.0025 for each group), with high median confidence ratings (novices: 8 on a 0–10 Likert scale; experienced: 9). Both groups showed high moment-to-moment median correspondence ratings between PCC activity and subjective experience of effortless awareness (novices: 8, experienced: 9). Both groups were able to volitionally control the PCC signal in the direction associated with effortless awareness by practicing effortless awareness meditation (novices: median % of time =77.97, P=0.001; experienced: 89.83, P<0.0005). Conclusions These findings support the feasibility of using EEG neurofeedback to link an objective measure of brain activity with the subjective experience of effortless

  2. Source-space EEG neurofeedback links subjective experience with brain activity during effortless awareness meditation.

    PubMed

    van Lutterveld, Remko; Houlihan, Sean D; Pal, Prasanta; Sacchet, Matthew D; McFarlane-Blake, Cinque; Patel, Payal R; Sullivan, John S; Ossadtchi, Alex; Druker, Susan; Bauer, Clemens; Brewer, Judson A

    2017-05-01

    Meditation is increasingly showing beneficial effects for psychiatric disorders. However, learning to meditate is not straightforward as there are no easily discernible outward signs of performance and thus no direct feedback is possible. As meditation has been found to correlate with posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) activity, we tested whether source-space EEG neurofeedback from the PCC followed the subjective experience of effortless awareness (a major component of meditation), and whether participants could volitionally control the signal. Sixteen novice meditators and sixteen experienced meditators participated in the study. Novice meditators were briefly trained to perform a basic meditation practice to induce the subjective experience of effortless awareness in a progressively more challenging neurofeedback test-battery. Experienced meditators performed a self-selected meditation practice to induce this state in the same test-battery. Neurofeedback was provided based on gamma-band (40-57Hz) PCC activity extracted using a beamformer algorithm. Associations between PCC activity and the subjective experience of effortless awareness were assessed by verbal probes. Both groups reported that decreased PCC activity corresponded with effortless awareness (P<0.0025 for each group), with high median confidence ratings (novices: 8 on a 0-10 Likert scale; experienced: 9). Both groups showed high moment-to-moment median correspondence ratings between PCC activity and subjective experience of effortless awareness (novices: 8, experienced: 9). Both groups were able to volitionally control the PCC signal in the direction associated with effortless awareness by practicing effortless awareness meditation (novices: median % of time=77.97, P=0.001; experienced: 89.83, P<0.0005). These findings support the feasibility of using EEG neurofeedback to link an objective measure of brain activity with the subjective experience of effortless awareness, and suggest potential utility of

  3. Is Knowledge of Physical Reality Still Kantian? Some Remarks About the Transcendental Character of Loop Quantum Gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laino, Luigi

    2018-06-01

    In the following paper, the author will try to test the meaning of the transcendental approach in respect of the inner changes implied by the idea of quantum gravity. He will firstly describe the basic methodological Kant's aim, viz. the grounding of a meta-science of physics as the a priori corpus of physical knowledge. After that, he will take into account the problematic physical and philosophical relationship between the theory of relativity and the quantum mechanics; in showing how the elementary ontological and epistemological assumptions of experience result to be changed within them, he will also show the further modifications occurred in the development of the loop quantum gravity. He will particularly focus on the tough problem of the relationship space-matter, in order to settle the decisive question about the possibility of keeping a transcendental approach in the light of quantum gravity. He will positively answer by recalling Cassirer's theory of the invariants of experience, although he will also add some problematic issues arising from the new physical context.

  4. The exploration of meditation in the neuroscience of attention and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Raffone, Antonino; Srinivasan, Narayanan

    2010-02-01

    Many recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies have revealed the importance of investigating meditation states and traits to achieve an increased understanding of cognitive and affective neuroplasticity, attention and self-awareness, as well as for their increasingly recognized clinical relevance. The investigation of states and traits related to meditation has especially pronounced implications for the neuroscience of attention, consciousness, self-awareness, empathy and theory of mind. In this article we present the main features of meditation-based mental training and characterize the current scientific approach to meditation states and traits with special reference to attention and consciousness, in light of the articles contributed to this issue.

  5. Disentangling the neural mechanisms involved in Hinduism- and Buddhism-related meditations.

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Chiesa, Alberto; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-10-01

    The most diffuse forms of meditation derive from Hinduism and Buddhism spiritual traditions. Different cognitive processes are set in place to reach these meditation states. According to an historical-philological hypothesis (Wynne, 2009) the two forms of meditation could be disentangled. While mindfulness is the focus of Buddhist meditation reached by focusing sustained attention on the body, on breathing and on the content of the thoughts, reaching an ineffable state of nothigness accompanied by a loss of sense of self and duality (Samadhi) is the main focus of Hinduism-inspired meditation. It is possible that these different practices activate separate brain networks. We tested this hypothesis by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. The network related to Buddhism-inspired meditation (16 experiments, 263 subjects, and 96 activation foci) included activations in some frontal lobe structures associated with executive attention, possibly confirming the fundamental role of mindfulness shared by many Buddhist meditations. By contrast, the network related to Hinduism-inspired meditation (8 experiments, 54 activation foci and 66 subjects) triggered a left lateralized network of areas including the postcentral gyrus, the superior parietal lobe, the hippocampus and the right middle cingulate cortex. The dissociation between anterior and posterior networks support the notion that different meditation styles and traditions are characterized by different patterns of neural activation. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Meditation-induced neuroplastic changes in amygdala activity during negative affective processing.

    PubMed

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Lau, Way K W; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Wong, Samuel S Y; Fung, Annis L C; Lee, Tatia M C

    2018-06-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the effects of meditation practice on affective processing and resilience have the potential to induce neuroplastic changes within the amygdala. Notably, literature speculates that meditation training may reduce amygdala activity during negative affective processing. Nonetheless, studies have thus far not verified this speculation. In this longitudinal study, participants (N = 21, 9 men) were trained in awareness-based compassion meditation (ABCM) or matched relaxation training. The effects of meditation training on amygdala activity were examined during passive viewing of affective and neutral stimuli in a non-meditative state. We found that the ABCM group exhibited significantly reduced anxiety and right amygdala activity during negative emotion processing than the relaxation group. Furthermore, ABCM participants who performed more compassion practice had stronger right amygdala activity reduction during negative emotion processing. The lower right amygdala activity after ABCM training may be associated with a general reduction in reactivity and distress. As all participants performed the emotion processing task in a non-meditative state, it appears likely that the changes in right amygdala activity are carried over from the meditation practice into the non-meditative state. These findings suggest that the distress-reducing effects of meditation practice on affective processing may transfer to ordinary states, which have important implications on stress management.

  7. Effects of Singing Bowl Sound Meditation on Mood, Tension, and Well-being: An Observational Study

    PubMed Central

    Goldsby, Tamara L.; Goldsby, Michael E.; McWalters, Mary; Mills, Paul J.

    2016-01-01

    Poor mood and elevated anxiety are linked to increased incidence of disease. This study examined the effects of sound meditation, specifically Tibetan singing bowl meditation, on mood, anxiety, pain, and spiritual well-being. Sixty-two women and men (mean age 49.7 years) participated. As compared with pre-meditation, following the sound meditation participants reported significantly less tension, anger, fatigue, and depressed mood (all Ps <.001). Additionally, participants who were previously naïve to this type of meditation experienced a significantly greater reduction in tension compared with participants experienced in this meditation (P < .001). Feeling of spiritual well-being significantly increased across all participants (P < .001). Tibetan singing bowl meditation may be a feasible low-cost low technology intervention for reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, and increasing spiritual well-being. This meditation type may be especially useful in decreasing tension in individuals who have not previously practiced this form of meditation. PMID:27694559

  8. Plasticity of visual attention in Isha yoga meditation practitioners before and after a 3-month retreat

    PubMed Central

    Braboszcz, Claire; Cahn, B. Rael; Balakrishnan, Bhavani; Maturi, Raj K.; Grandchamp, Romain; Delorme, Arnaud

    2013-01-01

    Meditation has lately received considerable interest from cognitive neuroscience. Studies suggest that daily meditation leads to long lasting attentional and neuronal plasticity. We present changes related to the attentional systems before and after a 3 month intensive meditation retreat. We used three behavioral psychophysical tests - a Stroop task, an attentional blink task, and a global-local letter task-to assess the effect of Isha yoga meditation on attentional resource allocation. 82 Isha yoga practitioners were tested at the beginning and at the end of the retreat. Our results showed an increase in correct responses specific to incongruent stimuli in the Stroop task. Congruently, a positive correlation between previous meditation experience and accuracy to incongruent Stroop stimuli was also observed at baseline. We also observed a reduction of the attentional blink. Unexpectedly, a negative correlation between previous meditation experience and attentional blink performance at baseline was observed. Regarding spatial attention orientation as assessed using the global-local letter task, participants showed a bias toward local processing. Only slight differences in performance were found pre- vs. post- meditation retreat. Biasing toward the local stimuli in the global-local task and negative correlation of previous meditation experience with attentional blink performance is consistent with Isha practices being focused-attention practices. Given the relatively small effect sizes and the absence of a control group, our results do not allow clear support nor rejection of the hypothesis of meditation-driven neuronal plasticity in the attentional system for Isha yoga practice. PMID:24376429

  9. Short Meditation Trainings Enhance Non-REM Sleep Low-Frequency Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Dentico, Daniela; Ferrarelli, Fabio; Riedner, Brady A.; Smith, Richard; Zennig, Corinna; Lutz, Antoine; Tononi, Giulio; Davidson, Richard J.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives We have recently shown higher parietal-occipital EEG gamma activity during sleep in long-term meditators compared to meditation-naive individuals. This gamma increase was specific for NREM sleep, was present throughout the entire night and correlated with meditation expertise, thus suggesting underlying long-lasting neuroplastic changes induced through prolonged training. The aim of this study was to explore the neuroplastic changes acutely induced by 2 intensive days of different meditation practices in the same group of practitioners. We also repeated baseline recordings in a meditation-naive cohort to account for time effects on sleep EEG activity. Design High-density EEG recordings of human brain activity were acquired over the course of whole sleep nights following intervention. Setting Sound-attenuated sleep research room. Patients or Participants Twenty-four long-term meditators and twenty-four meditation-naïve controls. Interventions Two 8-h sessions of either a mindfulness-based meditation or a form of meditation designed to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, hereafter referred to as compassion meditation. Measurements and Results We found an increase in EEG low-frequency oscillatory activities (1–12 Hz, centered around 7–8 Hz) over prefrontal and left parietal electrodes across whole night NREM cycles. This power increase peaked early in the night and extended during the third cycle to high-frequencies up to the gamma range (25–40 Hz). There was no difference in sleep EEG activity between meditation styles in long-term meditators nor in the meditation naïve group across different time points. Furthermore, the prefrontal-parietal changes were dependent on meditation life experience. Conclusions This low-frequency prefrontal-parietal activation likely reflects acute, meditation-related plastic changes occurring during wakefulness, and may underlie a top-down regulation from frontal and anterior parietal areas to the posterior

  10. Experienced Mindfulness Meditators Exhibit Higher Parietal-Occipital EEG Gamma Activity during NREM Sleep

    PubMed Central

    Ferrarelli, Fabio; Smith, Richard; Dentico, Daniela; Riedner, Brady A.; Zennig, Corinna; Benca, Ruth M.; Lutz, Antoine; Davidson, Richard J.; Tononi, Giulio

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years meditation practice has gained increasing attention as a non-pharmacological intervention to provide health related benefits, from promoting general wellness to alleviating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. However, the effects of meditation training on brain activity still need to be fully characterized. Sleep provides a unique approach to explore the meditation-related plastic changes in brain function. In this study we performed sleep high-density electroencephalographic (hdEEG) recordings in long-term meditators (LTM) of Buddhist meditation practices (approximately 8700 mean hours of life practice) and meditation naive individuals. We found that LTM had increased parietal-occipital EEG gamma power during NREM sleep. This increase was specific for the gamma range (25–40 Hz), was not related to the level of spontaneous arousal during NREM and was positively correlated with the length of lifetime daily meditation practice. Altogether, these findings indicate that meditation practice produces measurable changes in spontaneous brain activity, and suggest that EEG gamma activity during sleep represents a sensitive measure of the long-lasting, plastic effects of meditative training on brain function. PMID:24015304

  11. Meditation programs for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder: Aggregate findings from a multi-site evaluation.

    PubMed

    Heffner, Kathi L; Crean, Hugh F; Kemp, Jan E

    2016-05-01

    Interest in meditation to manage posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms is increasing. Few studies have examined the effectiveness of meditation programs offered to Veterans within Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mental health services. The current study addresses this gap using data from a multisite VA demonstration project. Evaluation data collected at 6 VA sites (N = 391 Veterans) before and after a meditation program, and a treatment-as-usual (TAU) program, were examined here using random effects meta-analyses. Site-specific and aggregate between group effect sizes comparing meditation programs to TAU were determined for PTSD severity measured by clinical interview and self-report. Additional outcomes included experiential avoidance and mindfulness. In aggregate, analyses showed medium effect sizes for meditation programs compared to TAU for PTSD severity (clinical interview: effect size (ES) = -0.32; self-report: ES = -0.39). Similarly sized effects of meditation programs were found for overall mindfulness (ES = 0.41) and 1 specific aspect of mindfulness, nonreactivity to inner experience (ES = .37). Additional findings suggested meditation type and program completion differences each moderated program effects. VA-sponsored meditation programs show promise for reducing PTSD severity in Veterans receiving mental health services. Where meditation training fits within mental health services, and for whom programs will be of interest and effective, require further clarification. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  12. Analysis of heart rate variability signal in meditation using second-order difference plot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Damodar Prasad; Tibarewala, Dewaki Nandan; Bhattacharya, Dilip Kumar

    2011-06-01

    In this article, the heart rate variability signal taken from subjects practising different types of meditations have been investigated to find the underlying similarity among them and how they differ from the non-meditative condition. Four different groups of subjects having different meditation techniques are involved. The data have been obtained from the Physionet and also collected with our own ECG machine. For data analysis, the second order difference plot is applied. Each of the plots obtained from the second order differences form a single cluster which is nearly elliptical in shape except for some outliers. In meditation, the axis of the elliptical cluster rotates anticlockwise from the cluster formed from the premeditation data, although the amount of rotation is not of the same extent in every case. This form study reveals definite and specific changes in the heart rate variability of the subjects during meditation. All the four groups of subjects followed different procedures but surprisingly the resulting physiological effect is the same to some extent. It indicates that there is some commonness among all the meditative techniques in spite of their apparent dissimilarity and it may be hoped that each of them leads to the same result as preached by the masters of meditation. The study shows that meditative state has a completely different physiology and that it can be achieved by any meditation technique we have observed. Possible use of this tool in clinical setting such as in stress management and in the treatment of hypertension is also mentioned.

  13. The Relationship Between Focused Attention Meditation Practice Habits, Psychological Symptoms, and Quality of Life.

    PubMed

    Bilican, F Isil

    2016-12-01

    This study examined the relationship between focused attention meditation practice habits, psychological symptoms, and quality of life. The participants were 30 adults from New York, NY, practicing Ananda Marga spirituality. They were administered the Symptom Check List-90-R and the Quality of Life Index. The findings pointed out while Ananda Marga meditation practice habits were not associated with improvements in psychological symptoms, longer years in meditation practice was associated with improvements in overall, social and psychological/spiritual quality of life. Longer periods of meditation practice per session were related to lower levels of overall quality of life and economic quality of life.

  14. Mindful meditation: healing burnout in critical care nursing.

    PubMed

    Davies, William Richard

    2008-01-01

    The nursing profession is experiencing a crisis in both manpower and the ability to fend off the deleterious effects of burnout. Nursing professionals face extraordinary stress in our present medical environment, and studies have frequently found moderate-to-high levels of burnout among nurses. Nurses experience burnout for a variety of reasons, some inherent to the profession and others related to our 21st-century values that have necessitated multiple breadwinners within the household. Mindful meditation represents a complementary therapy that has shown promise in the reduction of negative stress and those extraneous factors that lead to burnout. A mindful, meditative practice can be another tool with which critical care nurses can regain the control of their careers and personal lives. The purpose of this article is to describe nurse burnout, identify those factors that contribute to burnout, and offer a solution to a continuing problem for nurses.

  15. Mindfulness meditation-based pain relief: a mechanistic account.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Vago, David R

    2016-06-01

    Pain is a multidimensional experience that involves interacting sensory, cognitive, and affective factors, rendering the treatment of chronic pain challenging and financially burdensome. Further, the widespread use of opioids to treat chronic pain has led to an opioid epidemic characterized by exponential growth in opioid misuse and addiction. The staggering statistics related to opioid use highlight the importance of developing, testing, and validating fast-acting nonpharmacological approaches to treat pain. Mindfulness meditation is a technique that has been found to significantly reduce pain in experimental and clinical settings. The present review delineates findings from recent studies demonstrating that mindfulness meditation significantly attenuates pain through multiple, unique mechanisms-an important consideration for the millions of chronic pain patients seeking narcotic-free, self-facilitated pain therapy. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  16. Concentration and mindfulness meditations: unique forms of consciousness?

    PubMed

    Dunn, B R; Hartigan, J A; Mikulas, W L

    1999-09-01

    Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from 19 scalp recording sites were used to differentiate among two posited unique forms of mediation, concentration and mindfulness, and a normal relaxation control condition. Analyzes of all traditional frequency bandwidth data (i.e., delta 1-3 Hz; theta, 4-7 Hz; alpha, 8-12 Hz; beta 1, 13-25 Hz; beta 2, 26-32 Hz) showed strong mean amplitude frequency differences between the two meditation conditions and relaxation over numerous cortical sites. Furthermore, significant differences were obtained between concentration and mindfulness states at all bandwidths. Taken together, our results suggest that concentration and mindfulness "meditations" may be unique forms of consciousness and are not merely degrees of a state of relaxation.

  17. The Effects of Meditation Training on Vigilance Performance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-05-01

    was demonstrated across several independent groups which received one- or two-hour sessions. Once it became known in the research community that a... communicate with subjects while they were inside the chamber. Illumination was provided by a 25-watt incandescent lamp located behind the monitor... communicate with me, just press the call button on the intercom. Do not interupt the task if at all possible. Meditation Instructions I will expain and

  18. Effects of Meditation on Symptoms of Knee Osteoarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Selfe, Terry Kit; Innes, Kim E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective The aim of this study was to investigate changes in knee pain, function, and related indices in older adults with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, following an 8-week meditation program. Methods Eleven community-dwelling adults with physician- confirmed knee OA were enrolled in the study. Core outcomes included recommended measures of knee pain (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC] and 11-point numeric rating scale [NRS]), function (WOMAC), and perceived global status (patient global assessment). Additional outcomes included: perceived stress; stress hardiness; mood; sleep; and sympathetic activation. Following baseline assessment, participants were trained briefly in mantra meditation and instructed to meditate for 15–20 minutes twice daily for 8 weeks, and to record each practice session on a daily log. Changes over time were analyzed using paired t-tests. Results Nine participants (82%) completed the study. Participants had statistically significant improvements in all core outcomes: knee pain (WOMAC: 47.7% ± 25.1% reduction, P = 0.001; NRS: 42.6% ± 34.6% reduction, P < 0.01); function (44.8% ± 29.9, P = 0.001); and global status (45.7% ± 36.5, P = 0.01); as well as knee stiffness (P = 0.005), mood (P = 0.05), and a WOMAC proxy for sleep disturbance (P = 0.005). Conclusions Findings from this pilot study suggest that a mantra meditation program may help reduce knee pain and dysfunction, as well as improving mood and related outcomes in adults with knee OA. PMID:26549967

  19. Magnetic ordering in TmGa.

    PubMed

    Cadogan, J M; Stewart, G A; Muñoz Pérez, S; Cobas, R; Hansen, B R; Avdeev, M; Hutchison, W D

    2014-03-19

    We have determined the magnetic structure of the intermetallic compound TmGa by high-resolution neutron powder diffraction and (169)Tm Mössbauer spectroscopy. This compound crystallizes in the orthorhombic (Cmcm) CrB-type structure and its magnetic structure is characterized by magnetic order of the Tm sublattice along the a-axis. The initial magnetic ordering occurs at 15(1) K and yields an incommensurate antiferromagnetic structure described by the propagation vector k1 = [0 0.275(2) 0]. At 12 K the dominant ferromagnetic ordering of the Tm sublattice along the a-axis develops in what appears to be a first-order transition. At 3 K the magnetic structure of TmGa is predominantly ferromagnetic but a weakened incommensurate component remains. The ferromagnetic Tm moment reaches 6.7(2) μB at 3 K and the amplitude of the remaining incommensurate component is 2.7(4) μB. The (169)Tm hyperfine magnetic field at 5 K is 631(1) T.

  20. State Mindfulness During Meditation Predicts Enhanced Cognitive Reappraisal

    PubMed Central

    Hanley, Adam; Farb, Norman A.; Froeliger, Brett E.

    2013-01-01

    Putatively, mindfulness meditation involves generation of a state of “nonappraisal”, yet, little is known about how mindfulness may influence appraisal processes. We investigated whether the state and practice of mindfulness could enhance cognitive reappraisal. Participants (N = 44; M age = 24.44, SD = 4.00, range 19 – 38, 82.2% female) were randomized to either 1) mindfulness, 2) suppression, or 3) mind-wandering induction training conditions. Cognitive reappraisal was assessed with the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) prior to experimental induction, and state mindfulness was assessed immediately following induction using the Toronto Mindfulness Scale (TMS). Participants practiced their assigned strategy for one week and then were reassessed with the ERQ reappraisal subscale. Participants receiving mindfulness training reported significantly higher levels of state mindfulness than participants in the thought suppression and mind wandering conditions. Although brief mindfulness training did not lead to significantly greater increases in reappraisal than the other two conditions, state mindfulness during mindfulness meditation was prospectively associated with increases in reappraisal. Path analysis revealed that the indirect effect between mindfulness training and reappraisal was significant through state mindfulness. Degree of state mindfulness achieved during the act of mindfulness meditation significantly predicted increases in reappraisal over time, suggesting that mindfulness may promote emotion regulation by enhancing cognitive reappraisal. PMID:26085851

  1. Conceptual and methodological issues in research on mindfulness and meditation.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Richard J; Kaszniak, Alfred W

    2015-10-01

    Both basic science and clinical research on mindfulness, meditation, and related constructs have dramatically increased in recent years. However, interpretation of these research results has been challenging. The present article addresses unique conceptual and methodological problems posed by research in this area. Included among the key topics is the role of first-person experience and how it can be best studied, the challenges posed by intervention research designs in which true double-blinding is not possible, the nature of control and comparison conditions for research that includes mindfulness or other meditation-based interventions, issues in the adequate description of mindfulness and related trainings and interventions, the question of how mindfulness can be measured, questions regarding what can and cannot be inferred from self-report measures, and considerations regarding the structure of study design and data analyses. Most of these topics are germane to both basic and clinical research studies and have important bearing on the future scientific understanding of mindfulness and meditation. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Research on Mindfulness and Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Richard J.; Kaszniak, Alfred W.

    2015-01-01

    Both basic science and clinical research on mindfulness, meditation, and related constructs has dramatically increased in recent years. However, interpretation of these research results has been challenging. The present article addresses unique conceptual and methodological problems posed by research in this area. Included among the key topics is the role of first person experience and how it can be best studied; the challenges posed by intervention research designs in which true double-blinding is not possible; the nature of control and comparison conditions for research that includes mindfulness or other meditation-based interventions; issues in the adequate description of mindfulness and related trainings and interventions; the question of how mindfulness can be measured; questions regarding what can and cannot be inferred from self-report measures; and considerations regarding the structure of study design and data analyses. Most of these topics are germane to both basic and clinical research studies and have important bearing on the future scientific understanding of mindfulness and meditation. PMID:26436310

  3. Increased False-Memory Susceptibility After Mindfulness Meditation.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Brent M; Mickes, Laura; Stolarz-Fantino, Stephanie; Evrard, Matthew; Fantino, Edmund

    2015-10-01

    The effect of mindfulness meditation on false-memory susceptibility was examined in three experiments. Because mindfulness meditation encourages judgment-free thoughts and feelings, we predicted that participants in the mindfulness condition would be especially likely to form false memories. In two experiments, participants were randomly assigned to either a mindfulness induction, in which they were instructed to focus attention on their breathing, or a mind-wandering induction, in which they were instructed to think about whatever came to mind. The overall number of words from the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm that were correctly recalled did not differ between conditions. However, participants in the mindfulness condition were significantly more likely to report critical nonstudied items than participants in the control condition. In a third experiment, which tested recognition and used a reality-monitoring paradigm, participants had reduced reality-monitoring accuracy after completing the mindfulness induction. These results demonstrate a potential unintended consequence of mindfulness meditation in which memories become less reliable. © The Author(s) 2015.

  4. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation

    PubMed Central

    Malinowski, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed. PMID:23382709

  5. Neural mechanisms of attentional control in mindfulness meditation.

    PubMed

    Malinowski, Peter

    2013-01-01

    The scientific interest in meditation and mindfulness practice has recently seen an unprecedented surge. After an initial phase of presenting beneficial effects of mindfulness practice in various domains, research is now seeking to unravel the underlying psychological and neurophysiological mechanisms. Advances in understanding these processes are required for improving and fine-tuning mindfulness-based interventions that target specific conditions such as eating disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. This review presents a theoretical framework that emphasizes the central role of attentional control mechanisms in the development of mindfulness skills. It discusses the phenomenological level of experience during meditation, the different attentional functions that are involved, and relates these to the brain networks that subserve these functions. On the basis of currently available empirical evidence specific processes as to how attention exerts its positive influence are considered and it is concluded that meditation practice appears to positively impact attentional functions by improving resource allocation processes. As a result, attentional resources are allocated more fully during early processing phases which subsequently enhance further processing. Neural changes resulting from a pure form of mindfulness practice that is central to most mindfulness programs are considered from the perspective that they constitute a useful reference point for future research. Furthermore, possible interrelations between the improvement of attentional control and emotion regulation skills are discussed.

  6. The use of meditation in psychotherapy: a review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Bogart, G

    1991-07-01

    This article has explored research to date concerning the efficacy of introducing meditation into the therapeutic setting. I have presented the views of proponents and critics of the relaxation model of meditation and of theories describing the cognitive changes brought about by meditation--for example, Deikman's theory of the deautomatization of consciousness and Delmonte's view that meditation may be utilized to bring about "ascendence," "descendence," and "transcendence." After summarizing psychoanalytic and Jungian arguments against meditation, the writings of several transpersonal psychologists have been cited to demonstrate the differences in how psychotherapy and meditative disciplines conceptualize personal identity, work with unconscious material, and view the experience of emptiness. I conclude that the question of whether meditation should be used in therapy can be answered only by considering what therapeutic goals are being sought in a particular instance and whether or not meditation can reasonably be expected to facilitate achievement of those goals. Meditation may, in some cases, be compatible with, and effective in, promoting the aims of psychotherapy--for example, cognitive and behavioral change, or access to the deep regions of the personal unconscious. In other cases, it may be strongly contraindicated, especially when the therapeutic goal is to strengthen ego boundaries, release powerful emotions, or work through complex relational dynamics--ends which may be more effectively reached through standard psychotherapeutic methods than through meditation. Meditation may be of great value, however, through its capacity to awaken altered states of consciousness that may profoundly reorient an individual's identity, emotional attitude, and sense of wellbeing and purpose in life.

  7. The Association between Meditation Practice and Job Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Sugimoto, Minami; Ishikawa, Yoshiki

    2015-01-01

    Many previous studies have shown that meditation practice has a positive impact on cognitive and non-cognitive functioning, which are related to job performance. Thus, the aims of this study were to (1) estimate the prevalence of meditation practice, (2) identify the characteristics of individuals who practice meditation, and (3) examine the association between meditation practice and job performance. Two population-based, cross-sectional surveys were conducted. In study 1, we examined the prevalence of meditation practice and the characteristics of the persons practicing meditation; in Study 2, we examined the association between meditation practice and job performance. The outcome variables included work engagement, subjective job performance, and job satisfaction. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale was used to assess work engagement, the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) was used to measure subjective job performance, and a scale developed by the Japanese government was used to assess job satisfaction. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used in Study 2. Demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors were included as covariates in the analyses. The results of Study 1 indicated that 3.9% of persons surveyed (n = 30,665) practiced meditation; these individuals were younger and had a higher education, higher household income, higher stress level, and lower body mass index than those who did not practice meditation. The results of Study 2 (n = 1,470) indicated that meditation practice was significantly predictive of work engagement (β = 0.112, p < .001), subjective job performance (β = 0.116, p < .001), and job satisfaction (β = 0.079, p = .002), even after adjusting for covariates (β = 0.083, p < .001; β = 0.104, p < .001; β = 0.060, p = .015, respectively). The results indicate that meditation practice may positively influence job performance, including job satisfaction, subjective job performance

  8. Effect of Compassion Meditation on Neuroendocrine, Innate Immune and Behavioral Responses to Psychosocial Stress

    PubMed Central

    Pace, Thaddeus W.W.; Negi, Lobsang Tenzin; Adame, Daniel D.; Cole, Steven P.; Sivilli, Teresa I.; Brown, Timothy D.; Issa, Michael J.; Raison, Charles L.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Meditation practices may impact physiological pathways that are modulated by stress and relevant to disease. While much attention has been paid to meditation practices that emphasize calming the mind, improving focused attention, or developing mindfulness, less is known about meditation practices that foster compassion. Accordingly, the current study examined the effect of compassion meditation on innate immune, neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to psychosocial stress and evaluated the degree to which engagement in meditation practice influenced stress-reactivity. Sixty-one healthy adults were randomized to 6 weeks of training in compassion meditation (n=33) or participation in a health discussion control group (n=28) followed by exposure to a standardized laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test [TSST]). Physiologic and behavioral responses to the TSST were determined by repeated assessments of plasma concentrations of interleukin (IL)-6 and cortisol as well as total distress scores on the Profile of Mood States (POMS). No main effect of group assignment on TSST responses was found for IL-6, cortisol or POMS scores. However, within the meditation group, increased meditation practice was correlated with decreased TSST-induced IL-6 (rp =-0.46, p=0.008) and POMS distress scores (rp =-0.43, p=0.014). Moreover, individuals with meditation practice times above the median exhibited lower TSST-induced IL-6 and POMS distress scores compared to individuals below the median, who did not differ from controls. These data suggest that engagement in compassion meditation may reduce stress-induced immune and behavioral responses, although future studies are required to determine whether individuals who engage in compassion meditation techniques are more likely to exhibit reduced stress reactivity. PMID:18835662

  9. The Association between Meditation Practice and Job Performance: A Cross-Sectional Study.

    PubMed

    Shiba, Koichiro; Nishimoto, Masahiro; Sugimoto, Minami; Ishikawa, Yoshiki

    2015-01-01

    Many previous studies have shown that meditation practice has a positive impact on cognitive and non-cognitive functioning, which are related to job performance. Thus, the aims of this study were to (1) estimate the prevalence of meditation practice, (2) identify the characteristics of individuals who practice meditation, and (3) examine the association between meditation practice and job performance. Two population-based, cross-sectional surveys were conducted. In study 1, we examined the prevalence of meditation practice and the characteristics of the persons practicing meditation; in Study 2, we examined the association between meditation practice and job performance. The outcome variables included work engagement, subjective job performance, and job satisfaction. The Utrecht Work Engagement Scale was used to assess work engagement, the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ) was used to measure subjective job performance, and a scale developed by the Japanese government was used to assess job satisfaction. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used in Study 2. Demographic characteristics and behavioral risk factors were included as covariates in the analyses. The results of Study 1 indicated that 3.9% of persons surveyed (n = 30,665) practiced meditation; these individuals were younger and had a higher education, higher household income, higher stress level, and lower body mass index than those who did not practice meditation. The results of Study 2 (n = 1,470) indicated that meditation practice was significantly predictive of work engagement (β = 0.112, p < .001), subjective job performance (β = 0.116, p < .001), and job satisfaction (β = 0.079, p = .002), even after adjusting for covariates (β = 0.083, p < .001; β = 0.104, p < .001; β = 0.060, p = .015, respectively). The results indicate that meditation practice may positively influence job performance, including job satisfaction, subjective job performance

  10. A Transcendental Phenomenological Study Examining Parents' Perceptions Regarding the Enrollment of Children with Learning Differences in an NILD Program in a K-12 Christian School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bayer, Wendy Wallis

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to describe the experiences of parents who have a child with learning differences who has been enrolled in a National Institute for Learning Development (NILD) program in a K-12 Christian school. The central phenomenon is, "What are the experiences of parents who have a child with…

  11. LaRC(TM)-IA Copolyimides

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    St. Clair, Terry L.; Chang, Alice C.

    1995-01-01

    Copolyimides modified versions of LaRC(TM)-IA thermoplastic polyimide formulated by incorporating moieties of 3,3',4,4'-benzophenonetetracarboxylic dianhydride (BTDA) and, alternatively, isophthaloyldiphthalic anhydride (IDPA) into LaRC(TM)-IA polymer backbones. Exhibit higher glass-transition temperatures and retain greater fractions of lower-temperature shear moduli at higher temperatures. Copolyimides spun into fibers or used as adhesives, molding powders, or matrix resins in many applications, especially in fabrication of strong, lightweight structural components of aircraft.

  12. Examining the Effects of Jyoti Meditation on Stress and the Moderating Role of Emotional Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Daniel; Conley, Abigail H.; Young, Mark

    2016-01-01

    The authors examined whether Jyoti meditation (JM), a spiritually based meditation (Singh, 2012), influenced student counselors' (N = 60) level of stress and emotional intelligence (EI). Results from a randomized controlled trial and growth curve analysis provided a multilevel model in which JM reduced stress and EI moderated the effect.

  13. Quality of Life and Functional Health Status of Long-Term Meditators

    PubMed Central

    Manocha, Ramesh; Black, Deborah; Wilson, Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Background. There is very little data describing the long-term health impacts of meditation. Aim. To compare the quality of life and functional health of long-term meditators to that of the normative population in Australia. Method. Using the SF-36 questionnaire and a Meditation Lifestyle Survey, we sampled 343 long-term Australian Sahaja Yoga meditation practitioners and compared their scores to those of the normative Australian population. Results. Six SF-36 subscales (bodily pain, general health, mental health, role limitation—emotional, social functioning, and vitality) were significantly better in meditators compared to the national norms whereas two of the subscales (role limitation—physical, physical functioning) were not significantly different. A substantial correlation between frequency of mental silence experience and the vitality, general health, and especially mental health subscales (P < 0.005) was found. Conclusion. Long-term practitioners of Sahaja yoga meditation experience better functional health, especially mental health, compared to the general population. A relationship between functional health, especially mental health, and the frequency of meditative experience (mental silence) exists that may be causal. Evidence for the potential role of this definition of meditation in enhancing quality of life, functional health and wellbeing is growing. Implications for primary mental health prevention are discussed. PMID:22611427

  14. Calm and smart? A selective review of meditation effects on decision making.

    PubMed

    Sun, Sai; Yao, Ziqing; Wei, Jaixin; Yu, Rongjun

    2015-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of meditation to improve cognitive performance, emotional balance, and well-being. As a consequence, research into the psychological effects and neural mechanisms of meditation has been accumulating. Whether and how meditation affects decision making is not yet clear. Here, we review evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies and summarize the effects of meditation on social and non-social economic decision making. Research suggests that meditation modulates brain activities associated with cognitive control, emotion regulation and empathy, and leads to improved non-social and social decision making. Accordingly, we propose an integrative model in which cognitive control, emotional regulation, and empathic concern mediate the effects of meditation on decision making. This model provides insights into the mechanisms by which meditation affects the decision making process. More evidence is needed to test our explanatory model and to explore the function of specific brain areas and their interactive effects on decision making during meditation training.

  15. Issues and perspectives in meditation research: in search for a definition.

    PubMed

    Awasthi, Bhuvanesh

    2012-01-01

    Despite the growing interest in the neurobiological correlates of meditation, most research has omitted to take into account the underlying philosophical aspects of meditation and its wider implications. This, in turn, is reflected in issues surrounding definition, study design, and outcomes. Here, I highlight the often ignored but important aspect of definition in the existing scholarship on neuroscience and meditation practice. For a satisfactory account of a neuroscience of meditation, we must aim to retrieve an operational definition that is inclusive of a traditional ontological description as well as the modern neurocognitive account of the phenomena. Moving beyond examining the effects of meditation practice, to take a potential step forward in the direction to establish how meditation works, it becomes crucial to appraise the philosophical positions that underlie the phenomenology of meditation in the originating traditions. This endeavor may challenge our intuitions and concepts in either directions, but issues pertaining to definition, design, and validity of response measures are extremely important for the evolution of the field and will provide a much-needed context and framework for meditation based interventions.

  16. Effect of Sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sheng-Chia; Brooks, Maria M; Rai, Madhur; Balk, Judith L; Rai, Sandeep

    2012-06-01

    The present study investigates the effect of Sahaja yoga meditation on quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure control. The prospective observational cohort study enrolled two study groups: those receiving treatment from the International Sahaja Yoga Research and Health Center (meditation group) and those receiving treatment from the Mahatma Gandhi Mission Hospital (control group). Researchers measured quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure before and after treatment. Sixty-seven (67) participants in the meditation group and 62 participants in the control group completed the study. The two groups were comparable in demographic and clinical characteristics. At baseline, the meditation group had higher quality of life (p<0.001) than controls but similar anxiety level (p=0.74) to controls. Within-group pre- versus post-treatment comparisons showed significant improvement in quality of life, anxiety, and blood pressure in the meditation group (p<0.001), while in controls, quality of life deteriorated and there was no improvement in blood pressure. The improvement in quality of life, anxiety reduction, and blood pressure control was greater in the meditation group. The beneficial effect of meditation remained significant after adjusting for confounders. Meditation treatment was associated with significant improvements in quality of life, anxiety reduction, and blood pressure control.

  17. Calm and smart? A selective review of meditation effects on decision making

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Sai; Yao, Ziqing; Wei, Jaixin; Yu, Rongjun

    2015-01-01

    Over the past two decades, there has been a growing interest in the use of meditation to improve cognitive performance, emotional balance, and well-being. As a consequence, research into the psychological effects and neural mechanisms of meditation has been accumulating. Whether and how meditation affects decision making is not yet clear. Here, we review evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies and summarize the effects of meditation on social and non-social economic decision making. Research suggests that meditation modulates brain activities associated with cognitive control, emotion regulation and empathy, and leads to improved non-social and social decision making. Accordingly, we propose an integrative model in which cognitive control, emotional regulation, and empathic concern mediate the effects of meditation on decision making. This model provides insights into the mechanisms by which meditation affects the decision making process. More evidence is needed to test our explanatory model and to explore the function of specific brain areas and their interactive effects on decision making during meditation training. PMID:26257700

  18. Stress Management: A Case Study of Professional Students on Impact of Meditation & Yoga on Stress Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reddy, T. L. Narasimha; Ammani, S.

    2013-01-01

    Meditation is one of the Five Principles of Yoga. It is the practice by which there is constant observation of the mind. It requires you to focus your mind at one point and make your mind still in order to perceive the "self". Through the practice of Meditation, it will help achieve a greater sense of purpose and strength of will. It…

  19. Self-Desensitization and Meditation in the Reduction of Public Speaking Anxiety.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kirsch, Irving; Henry, David

    1979-01-01

    Speech-anxious students were assigned to self-administered treatment conditions: (1) systematic desensitization, (2) desensitization with meditation replacing progressive relaxation, and (3) meditation only. Treatment manuals included coping-skill instructions. Treatments were equally effective in reducing anxiety and produced a greater reduction…

  20. Open Mind, Open Heart: An Anthropological Study of the Therapeutics of Meditation Practice in the US

    PubMed Central

    Myers, Neely; Lewis, Sara; Dutton, MaryAnn

    2015-01-01

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews collected with meditation teachers and students in the United States, this article will argue that active training in meditation-based practices occasions the opportunity for people with traumatic stress to develop a stronger mind-body connection through heightened somatic awareness and a focus on the present moment that they find to be therapeutic. Three important themes related to healing through meditation for trauma emerged from the data and centered around the ways our interlocutors attempted to realign their sense of self, mind and body, after a traumatic experience. The themes helped explain why US women perceive meditation as therapeutic for trauma, namely that the practice of meditation enables one to focus on the lived present rather than traumatic memories, to accept pain and “open” one's heart, and to make use of silence instead of speech as a healing modality. As meditation practices increasingly enter global popular culture, promoted for postulated health benefits, the driving question of this research—how meditation may perpetuate human resilience for women who have experienced trauma based on their own perspectives of meditation practices—is a critical addition to the literature. PMID:25613595

  1. "Communicating Quietly: Supporting Personal Growth with Meditation and Listening in Schools"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leoni, Julie

    2006-01-01

    This article argues that meditation and therapeutic listening have a place in school. The article starts by summarising the findings of PhD research into exclusion which gave rise to this argument and then goes on to explain exactly what is meant by the words: "meditation" and "therapeutic listening". In defining the words, details of how the…

  2. The Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Adolescents with High-Incidence Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solar, Ernest L., II

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown evidence that mindfulness-based meditation practices may be effective treatment interventions for mental, emotional, and medical disabilities in the adult population. There has been a limited number of research studies showing the effectiveness of meditation practices with secondary students who receive special education…

  3. Meditation and the Classroom: Contemplative Pedagogy for Religious Studies. SUNY Series in Religious Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmer-Brown, Judith, Ed.; Grace, Fran, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    "Meditation and the Classroom" inventively articulates how educators can use meditation to educate the whole student. Notably, a number of universities have initiated contemplative studies options and others have opened contemplative spaces. This represents an attempt to address the inner life. It is also a sign of a new era, one in…

  4. Neoliberal Meditations: How Mindfulness Training Medicalizes Education and Responsibilizes Young People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reveley, James

    2016-01-01

    Teaching mindfulness meditation at school has been advocated by educational researchers and practitioners in order to proactively target the well-being of young people. By conceptualizing mindfulness meditation as a technology of the self, in Foucauldian terms, this article considers the ideological implications of implementing mindfulness…

  5. Exploring Mindfulness and Meditation for the Elementary Classroom: Intersections across Current Multidisciplinary Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Routhier-Martin, Kayli; Roberts, Sherron Killingsworth; Blanch, Norine

    2017-01-01

    Mindfulness and meditation programs, and their associated benefits for education, can be examined within three related disciplines: psychology, elementary education, and exceptional education. A review of psychology research provides evidence that meditation and mindfulness work to balance the often negative effects of students' social-emotional…

  6. Relationships among Meditation, Perfectionism, Mindfulness, and Performance Anxiety among Collegiate Music Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diaz, Frank M.

    2018-01-01

    I examined the use of meditation practices among collegiate-level musicians (N = 255), along with the degree to which these practices contributed to music performance anxiety (MPA) when controlling for trait perfectionism and trait mindfulness. Findings indicated that approximately 48% of the participants sampled had engaged in meditation during…

  7. Frontal Theta Dynamics during Response Conflict in Long-Term Mindfulness Meditators

    PubMed Central

    Jo, Han-Gue; Malinowski, Peter; Schmidt, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Mindfulness meditators often show greater efficiency in resolving response conflicts than non-meditators. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the improved behavioral efficiency are unclear. Here, we investigated frontal theta dynamics—a neural mechanism involved in cognitive control processes—in long-term mindfulness meditators. The dynamics of EEG theta oscillations (4–8 Hz) recorded over the medial frontal cortex (MFC) were examined in terms of their power (MFC theta power) and their functional connectivity with other brain areas (the MFC-centered theta network). Using a flanker-type paradigm, EEG data were obtained from 22 long-term mindfulness meditators and compared to those from 23 matched controls without meditation experience. Meditators showed more efficient cognitive control after conflicts, evidenced by fewer error responses irrespective of response timing. Furthermore, meditators exhibited enhanced conflict modulations of the MFC-centered theta network shortly before the response, in particular for the functional connection between the MFC and the motor cortex. In contrast, MFC theta power was comparable between groups. These results suggest that the higher behavioral efficiency after conflicts in mindfulness meditators could be a function of increased engagement to control the motor system in association with the MFC-centered theta network. PMID:28638334

  8. Open Mind, Open Heart: An Anthropological Study of the Therapeutics of Meditation Practice in the US.

    PubMed

    Myers, Neely; Lewis, Sara; Dutton, Mary Ann

    2015-09-01

    Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews collected with meditation teachers and students in the United States, this article will argue that active training in meditation-based practices occasions the opportunity for people with traumatic stress to develop a stronger mind-body connection through heightened somatic awareness and a focus on the present moment that they find to be therapeutic. Three important themes related to healing through meditation for trauma emerged from the data and centered around the ways our interlocutors attempted to realign their sense of self, mind and body, after a traumatic experience. The themes helped explain why US women perceive meditation as therapeutic for trauma, namely that the practice of meditation enables one to focus on the lived present rather than traumatic memories, to accept pain and "open" one's heart, and to make use of silence instead of speech as a healing modality. As meditation practices increasingly enter global popular culture, promoted for postulated health benefits, the driving question of this research--how meditation may perpetuate human resilience for women who have experienced trauma based on their own perspectives of meditation practices--is a critical addition to the literature.

  9. Being Allowing and yet Directive: Mindfulness Meditation in the Teaching of Developmental Reading and Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Garretson, Kate

    2010-01-01

    Because learning to meditate shares important qualities with learning to be a better reader and writer--for example, dispassionate noticing, becoming more aware of inner processes, a faith in inner wisdom, effort made with a light touch, the cultivation of a practice through simple, regular doing--practice in mindfulness meditation was used to…

  10. Beliefs about Meditating among University Students, Faculty, and Staff: A Theory-Based Salient Belief Elicitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lederer, Alyssa M.; Middlestadt, Susan E.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: Stress impacts college students, faculty, and staff alike. Although meditation has been found to decrease stress, it is an underutilized strategy. This study used the Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to identify beliefs underlying university constituents' decision to meditate. Participants: N = 96 students, faculty, and staff at a large…

  11. Contemplative Education: A Systematic, Evidence-Based Review of the Effect of Meditation Interventions in Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waters, Lea; Barsky, Adam; Ridd, Amanda; Allen, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Schools need reliable evidence about the outcomes of meditation programs before they consider if and how such programmes can influence learning agendas, curriculum and timetables. This paper reviewed evidence from 15 peer-reviewed studies of school meditation programmes with respect to three student outcomes: well-being, social competence and…

  12. Silent Illumination: A Study on Chan (Zen) Meditation, Anxiety, and Musical Performance Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Peter; Chang, Joanne; Zemon, Vance; Midlarsky, Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of Chan (Zen) meditation on musical performance anxiety and musical performance quality. Nineteen participants were recruited from music conservatories and randomly assigned to either an eight-week meditation group or a wait-list control group. After the intervention, all participants performed in a public…

  13. A comparative concept analysis of centring vs. opening meditation processes in health care.

    PubMed

    Birx, Ellen

    2013-08-01

    To report an analysis and comparison of the concepts centring and opening meditation processes in health care. Centring and opening meditation processes are included in nursing theories and frequently recommended in health care for stress management. These meditation processes are integrated into emerging psychotherapy approaches and there is a rapidly expanding body of neuroscience research distinguishing brain activity associated with different types of meditation. Currently, there is a lack of theoretical and conceptual clarity needed to guide meditation research in health care. A search of healthcare literature between 2006-2011 was conducted using Alt HealthWatch, CINAHL, PsychNET and PubMed databases using the keywords 'centring' and 'opening' alone and in combination with the term 'meditation.' For the concept centring, 10 articles and 11 books and for the concept opening 13 articles and 10 books were included as data sources. Rodgers' evolutionary method of concept analysis was used. Centring and opening are similar in that they both involve awareness in the present moment; both use a gentle, effortless approach; and both have a calming effect. Key differences include centring's focus on the individual's inner experience compared with the non-dual, spacious awareness of opening. Centring and opening are overlapping, yet distinct meditation processes. The term meditation cannot be used in a generic way in health care. The differences between centring and opening have important implications for the further development of unitary-transformative nursing theories. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. Issues and Perspectives in Meditation Research: In Search for a Definition

    PubMed Central

    Awasthi, Bhuvanesh

    2013-01-01

    Despite the growing interest in the neurobiological correlates of meditation, most research has omitted to take into account the underlying philosophical aspects of meditation and its wider implications. This, in turn, is reflected in issues surrounding definition, study design, and outcomes. Here, I highlight the often ignored but important aspect of definition in the existing scholarship on neuroscience and meditation practice. For a satisfactory account of a neuroscience of meditation, we must aim to retrieve an operational definition that is inclusive of a traditional ontological description as well as the modern neurocognitive account of the phenomena. Moving beyond examining the effects of meditation practice, to take a potential step forward in the direction to establish how meditation works, it becomes crucial to appraise the philosophical positions that underlie the phenomenology of meditation in the originating traditions. This endeavor may challenge our intuitions and concepts in either directions, but issues pertaining to definition, design, and validity of response measures are extremely important for the evolution of the field and will provide a much-needed context and framework for meditation based interventions. PMID:23335908

  15. Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Brewer, Judson A.; Worhunsky, Patrick D.; Gray, Jeremy R.; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Weber, Jochen; Kober, Hedy

    2011-01-01

    Many philosophical and contemplative traditions teach that “living in the moment” increases happiness. However, the default mode of humans appears to be that of mind-wandering, which correlates with unhappiness, and with activation in a network of brain areas associated with self-referential processing. We investigated brain activity in experienced meditators and matched meditation-naive controls as they performed several different meditations (Concentration, Loving-Kindness, Choiceless Awareness). We found that the main nodes of the default-mode network (medial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices) were relatively deactivated in experienced meditators across all meditation types. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis revealed stronger coupling in experienced meditators between the posterior cingulate, dorsal anterior cingulate, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices (regions previously implicated in self-monitoring and cognitive control), both at baseline and during meditation. Our findings demonstrate differences in the default-mode network that are consistent with decreased mind-wandering. As such, these provide a unique understanding of possible neural mechanisms of meditation. PMID:22114193

  16. A Wireless Accelerometer-Based Body Posture Stability Detection System and Its Application for Meditation Practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Kang-Ming; Chen, Sih-Huei; Lee, Hsin-Yi; Ching, Congo Tak-Shing; Huang, Chun-Lung

    2012-01-01

    The practice of meditation has become an interesting research issue in recent decades. Meditation is known to be beneficial for health improvement and illness reduction and many studies on meditation have been made, from both the physiological and psychological points of view. It is a fundamental requirement of meditation practice to be able to sit without body motion. In this study, a novel body motion monitoring and estimation system has been developed. A wireless tri-axis accelerometer is used to measure body motion. Both a mean and maximum motion index is derived from the square summation of three axes. Two experiments were conducted in this study. The first experiment was to investigate the motion index baseline among three leg-crossing postures. The second experiment was to observe posture dynamics for thirty minute’s meditation. Twenty-six subjects participated in the experiments. In one experiment, thirteen subjects were recruited from an experienced meditation group (meditation experience > 3 years); and the other thirteen subjects were beginners (meditation experience < 1 years). There was a significant posture stability difference between both groups in terms of either mean or maximum parameters (p < 0.05), according to the results of the experiment. Results from another experiment showed that the motion index is different for various postures, such as full-lotus < half-lotus < non-lotus. PMID:23250281

  17. Awareness of subtle emotional feelings: a comparison of long-term meditators and nonmeditators.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Lisbeth; Kaszniak, Alfred W

    2006-08-01

    The authors explored whether meditation training to enhance emotional awareness improves discrimination of subtle emotional feelings hypothesized to guide decision-making. Long-term meditators and nonmeditators were compared on measures of self-reported valence and arousal, skin conductance response (SCR), and facial electromyography (EMG) to masked and nonmasked emotional pictures, and on measures of heartbeat detection and self-reported emotional awareness. Groups responded similarly to nonmasked pictures. In the masked condition, only controls showed discrimination in valence self-reports. However, meditators reported greater emotional clarity than controls, and meditators with higher clarity had reduced arousal and improved valence discrimination in the masked condition. These findings provide qualified support for the somatic marker hypothesis and suggest that meditation may influence how emotionally ambiguous information is processed, regulated, and represented in conscious awareness. (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved

  18. Global and regional alterations of hippocampal anatomy in long-term meditation practitioners.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen; Thompson, Paul M; Kurth, Florian; Hong, Jui-Yang; Phillips, Owen R; Wang, Yalin; Gutman, Boris A; Chou, Yi-Yu; Narr, Katherine L; Toga, Arthur W

    2013-12-01

    Studies linking meditation and brain structure are still relatively sparse, but the hippocampus is consistently implicated as one of the structures altered in meditation practitioners. To explore hippocampal features in the framework of meditation, we analyzed high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 long-term meditators and 30 controls, closely matched for sex, age, and handedness. Hippocampal formations were manually traced following established protocols. In addition to calculating left and right hippocampal volumes (global measures), regional variations in surface morphology were determined by measuring radial distances from the hippocampal core to spatially matched surface points (local measures). Left and right hippocampal volumes were larger in meditators than in controls, significantly so for the left hippocampus. The presence and direction of this global effect was confirmed locally by mapping the exact spatial locations of the group differences. Altogether, radial distances were larger in meditators compared to controls, with up to 15% difference. These local effects were observed in several hippocampal regions in the left and right hemisphere though achieved significance primarily in the left hippocampal head. Larger hippocampal dimensions in long-term meditators may constitute part of the underlying neurological substrate for cognitive skills, mental capacities, and/or personal traits associated with the practice of meditation. Alternatively, given that meditation positively affects autonomic regulation and immune activity, altered hippocampal dimensions may be one result of meditation-induced stress reduction. However, given the cross-sectional design, the lack of individual stress measures, and the limited resolution of brain data, the exact underlying neuronal mechanisms remain to be established. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Pranic meditation affects phagocyte functions and hormonal levels of recent practitioners.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, César A; Nóbrega, Yanna K M; Tosta, C Eduardo

    2012-08-01

    Despite the recognized importance of phagocytes in the maintenance and recovery of health, the influence of meditation on their functions is not properly established. This investigation aimed at evaluating the influence of pranic meditation on the functions of phagocytes, and on the levels of hormones that influence them. A pre-post design was adopted. The investigation was carried out at a university research laboratory. Twenty-nine (29) healthy individuals of both sexes, 24-67 years old (median 45), with no previous experience in meditation, received 3-hour-duration weekly training on pranic meditation during 10 weeks and agreed to engage in daily home practice for 20 minutes. Pranic meditation is a novel method of meditation, based on the Vedic tradition, which uses techniques of breathing and visualization for quieting the mind, and for capturing and intentionally directing prana ("vital energy") wherever necessary. For assessing phagocytosis, the production of hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide by monocytes, and the concentrations of corticotrophin and cortisol, blood was collected at the beginning (week 1), at the middle (week 5), and by the end (week 10) of the practice period. At the same intervals, melatonin concentrations were evaluated in the saliva. Those who meditated for more than 980 minutes showed increased phagocytosis, their monocytes produced higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, and their plasma levels of corticotrophin were reduced. The production of nitric oxide by monocytes, and the levels of cortisol and melatonin were not modified by meditation. This is the first study to show that a short program of pranic meditation practice was able to upregulate the function and metabolism of phagocytes, in parallel with the reduction of the plasma levels of corticotrophin. The results of this study point to a possible causal effect between these events, and indicate that pranic meditation could be useful for stimulating the function and

  20. The Unique Brain Anatomy of Meditation Practitioners: Alterations in Cortical Gyrification

    PubMed Central

    Luders, Eileen; Kurth, Florian; Mayer, Emeran A.; Toga, Arthur W.; Narr, Katherine L.; Gaser, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Several cortical regions are reported to vary in meditation practitioners. However, prior analyses have focused primarily on examining gray matter or cortical thickness. Thus, additional effects with respect to other cortical features might have remained undetected. Gyrification (the pattern and degree of cortical folding) is an important cerebral characteristic related to the geometry of the brain’s surface. Thus, exploring cortical gyrification in long-term meditators may provide additional clues with respect to the underlying anatomical correlates of meditation. This study examined cortical gyrification in a large sample (n = 100) of meditators and controls, carefully matched for sex and age. Cortical gyrification was established by calculating mean curvature across thousands of vertices on individual cortical surface models. Pronounced group differences indicating larger gyrification in meditators were evident within the left precentral gyrus, right fusiform gyrus, right cuneus, as well as left and right anterior dorsal insula (the latter representing the global significance maximum). Positive correlations between gyrification and the number of meditation years were similarly pronounced in the right anterior dorsal insula. Although the exact functional implications of larger cortical gyrification remain to be established, these findings suggest the insula to be a key structure involved in aspects of meditation. For example, variations in insular complexity could affect the regulation of well-known distractions in the process of meditation, such as daydreaming, mind-wandering, and projections into past or future. Moreover, given that meditators are masters in introspection, awareness, and emotional control, increased insular gyrification may reflect an integration of autonomic, affective, and cognitive processes. Due to the cross-sectional nature of this study, further research is necessary to determine the relative contribution of nature and nurture to

  1. Global and Regional Alterations of Hippocampal Anatomy in Long-Term Meditation Practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Luders, Eileen; Thompson, Paul M.; Kurth, Florian; Hong, Jui-Yang; Phillips, Owen R.; Wang, Yalin; Gutman, Boris A.; Chou, Yi-Yu; Narr, Katherine L.; Toga, Arthur W.

    2014-01-01

    Studies linking meditation and brain structure are still relatively sparse, but the hippocampus is consistently implicated as one of the structures altered in meditation practitioners. To explore hippocampal features in the framework of meditation, we analyzed high-resolution structural magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 long-term meditators and 30 controls, closely matched for sex, age, and handedness. Hippocampal formations were manually traced following established protocols. In addition to calculating left and right hippocampal volumes (global measures), regional variations in surface morphology were determined by measuring radial distances from the hippocampal core to spatially matched surface points (local measures). Left and right hippocampal volumes were larger in meditators than in controls, significantly so for the left hippocampus. The presence and direction of this global effect was confirmed locally by mapping the exact spatial locations of the group differences. Altogether, radial distances were larger in meditators compared to controls, with up to 15% difference. These local effects were observed in several hippocampal regions in the left and right hemisphere though achieved significance primarily in the left hippocampal head. Larger hippocampal dimensions in long-term meditators may constitute part of the underlying neurological substrate for cognitive skills, mental capacities, and/or personal traits associated with the practice of meditation. Alternatively, given that meditation positively affects autonomic regulation and immune activity, altered hippocampal dimensions may be one result of meditation-induced stress reduction. However, given the cross-sectional design, the lack of individual stress measures, and the limited resolution of brain data, the exact underlying neuronal mechanisms remain to be established. PMID:22815233

  2. Impact of short-term meditation and expectation on executive brain functions.

    PubMed

    Prätzlich, Martin; Kossowsky, Joe; Gaab, Jens; Krummenacher, Peter

    2016-01-15

    Meditation improves executive functions such as attention and working memory processes. However, it remains unclear to what extent contextual effects contribute to these improvements, since the role of meditation-associated expectations has not been investigated so far. In a randomized, single-blind, deceptive, between-subject design we compared the impact of short-term meditation (MG) on executive functioning with an expectation (ECG) and a passive control group (CG) as well as the effect of positive and negative outcome expectations. Fifty-nine healthy meditation-naïve volunteers participated on three consecutive days (20 min/session). Five groups were examined: 2 MGs, 2 ECGs and 1 CG. While one MG and one ECG were given positive suggestions concerning the effect of meditation on attention, the other two groups were given negative suggestions. MGs practised a focused attention meditation technique; ECGs were told that they were practising meditation but were given instructions for a sham meditation. CG participants sat in silence with their eyes closed. Interference control (Stroop task), selective sustained attention (d2 task), figural and verbal fluency measures of executive functions were assessed. Results indicate that suggestions have a substantial impact on interference control and verbal fluency, with positive suggestions leading to an increase in performance, whereas negative suggestions impeded improvement. This proof of concept study demonstrates the importance of the implementation of a credible ECG to elucidate context effects in meditation processes. It also indicates that suggestions can modulate the small effect of meditation on verbal fluency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation for chronic insomnia.

    PubMed

    Ong, Jason C; Manber, Rachel; Segal, Zindel; Xia, Yinglin; Shapiro, Shauna; Wyatt, James K

    2014-09-01

    To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Academic medical center. Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P < 0.05), with the largest difference occurring at the 3-month follow-up. Remission and response rates in MBTI and MBSR were sustained from post-treatment through follow-up, with MBTI showing the highest rates of treatment remission (50%) and response (78.6%) at the 6-month follow-up. Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia: clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00768781. © 2014 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  4. Concurrent Validity of LibQUAL+[TM] Scores: What Do LibQUAL+[TM] Scores Measure?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce; Cook, Colleen; Kyrillidou, Martha

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated the validity of LibQUAL+[TM] scores, and specifically how total and subscale LibQUAL+[TM] scores are associated with self-reported, library-related satisfaction and outcomes scores. Participants included 88,664 students and faculty who completed the American English (n[AE] = 69,494) or the British English (n[BE] =…

  5. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Ong, Jason C.; Manber, Rachel; Segal, Zindel; Xia, Yinglin; Shapiro, Shauna; Wyatt, James K.

    2014-01-01

    Study Objectives: To evaluate the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic insomnia. Design: Three-arm, single-site, randomized controlled trial. Setting: Academic medical center. Participants: Fifty-four adults with chronic insomnia. Interventions: Participants were randomized to either mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI), or an eight-week self-monitoring (SM) condition. Measurements and Results: Patient-reported outcome measures were total wake time (TWT) from sleep diaries, the pre-sleep arousal scale (PSAS), measuring a prominent waking correlate of insomnia, and the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) to determine remission and response as clinical endpoints. Objective sleep measures were derived from laboratory polysomnography and wrist actigraphy. Linear mixed models showed that those receiving a meditation-based intervention (MBSR or MBTI) had significantly greater reductions on TWT minutes (43.75 vs 1.09), PSAS (7.13 vs 0.16), and ISI (4.56 vs 0.06) from baseline-to-post compared to SM. Post hoc analyses revealed that each intervention was superior to SM on each of the patient-reported measures, but no significant differences were found when comparing MBSR to MBTI from baseline-to-post. From baseline to 6-month follow-up, MBTI had greater reductions in ISI scores than MBSR (P < 0.05), with the largest difference occurring at the 3-month follow-up. Remission and response rates in MBTI and MBSR were sustained from post-treatment through follow-up, with MBTI showing the highest rates of treatment remission (50%) and response (78.6%) at the 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: Mindfulness meditation appears to be a viable treatment option for adults with chronic insomnia and could provide an alternative to traditional treatments for insomnia. Trial Registration: Mindfulness-Based Approaches to Insomnia: clinicaltrials.gov, identifier: NCT00768781 Citation: Ong JC, Manber R, Segal Z, Xia Y

  6. Modeling Cr-to-Tm and Cr-to-Tm-to-Ho energy transfer in YAG crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swetits, John J.

    1991-01-01

    A systematic analysis of energy transfer processes in crystals of YAG doped with varying concentrations of Cr and Tm is described. Both spectral measurements and measurements of the temporal response to pulsed excitation are used to give independent determinations of the microscopic interaction parameter for Cr to Tm transfer. The different factors in influencing the temperature dependence of the Cr to Tm transfer are discussed. The dependence of the Tm cross-relaxation rate on Tm concentration is determined.

  7. Immediate and long-term effects of meditation on acute stress reactivity, cognitive functions, and intelligence.

    PubMed

    Singh, Yogesh; Sharma, Ratna; Talwar, Anjana

    2012-01-01

    With the current globalization of the world's economy and demands for enhanced performance, stress is present universally. Life's stressful events and daily stresses cause both deleterious and cumulative effects on the human body. The practice of meditation might offer a way to relieve that stress. The research team intended to study the effects of meditation on stress-induced changes in physiological parameters, cognitive functions, intelligence, and emotional quotients. The research team conducted the study in two phases, with a month between them. Each participant served as his own control, and the first phase served as the control for the second phase. In phase 1, the research team studied the effects of a stressor (10 minutes playing a computer game) on participants' stress levels. In phase 2, the research team examined the effects of meditation on stress levels. The research team conducted the study in a lab setting at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India. The participants were 34 healthy, male volunteers who were students. To study the effects of long-term meditation on stress levels, intelligence, emotional quotients, and cognitive functions participants meditated daily for 1 month, between phases 1 and 2. To study the immediate effects of meditation on stress levels, participants meditated for 15 minutes after playing a computer game to induce stress. The research team measured galvanic skin response (GSR), heart rate (HR), and salivary cortisol and administered tests for the intelligence and emotional quotients (IQ and EQ), acute and perceived stress (AS and PS), and cognitive functions (ie, the Sternberg memory test [short-term memory] and the Stroop test [cognitive flexibility]). Using a pre-post study design, the team performed this testing (1) prior to the start of the study (baseline); (2) in phase 1, after induced stress; (3) in part 1 of phase 2, after 1 month of daily meditation, and (4) in part 2 of phase 2, after

  8. [Hormonal changes during relaxation].

    PubMed

    Gallois, P; Forzy, G; Dhont, J L

    1984-01-01

    Among 10 subjects who practiced autogenic training (AT) and 10 subjects who practiced transcendental meditation (TM), compared to 10 control subjects during 40 minutes, have been observed the following results: --decrease in cortisol plasma level (reaching a minima of 2 g/100 ml), --decrease in prolactin plasma level, --the basal plasma level of cortisol and prolactin were significantly lower in the TM group. Lastly, the urinary catecholamines (UC) increase after 40 minutes of rest in the control group, whereas the UC decrease in the TA group and most certainly in the TM group. All these variations indicate a humoral modification which seems to be the opposite of the state induced by stress.

  9. Magnetoencephalographic alpha band connectivity reveals differential default mode network interactions during focused attention and open monitoring meditation

    PubMed Central

    Marzetti, Laura; Di Lanzo, Claudia; Zappasodi, Filippo; Chella, Federico; Raffone, Antonino; Pizzella, Vittorio

    2014-01-01

    According to several conceptualizations of meditation, the interplay between brain systems associated to self-related processing, attention and executive control is crucial for meditative states and related traits. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate such interplay in a highly selected group of “virtuoso” meditators (Theravada Buddhist monks), with long-term training in the two main meditation styles: focused attention (FA) and open monitoring (OM) meditation. Specifically, we investigated the differences between FA meditation, OM meditation and resting state in the coupling between the posterior cingulate cortex, core node of the Default Mode Network (DMN) implicated in mind wandering and self-related processing, and the whole brain, with a recently developed phase coherence approach. Our findings showed a state dependent coupling of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to nodes of the DMN and of the executive control brain network in the alpha frequency band (8–12 Hz), related to different attentional and cognitive control processes in FA and OM meditation, consistently with the putative role of alpha band synchronization in the functional mechanisms for attention and consciousness. The coupling of PCC with left medial prefrontal cortex (lmPFC) and superior frontal gyrus characterized the contrast between the two meditation styles in a way that correlated with meditation expertise. These correlations may be related to a higher mindful observing ability and a reduced identification with ongoing mental activity in more expert meditators. Notably, different styles of meditation and different meditation expertise appeared to modulate the dynamic balance between fronto-parietal (FP) and DMN networks. Our results support the idea that the interplay between the DMN and the FP network in the alpha band is crucial for the transition from resting state to different meditative states. PMID:25360102

  10. Building mindfulness bottom-up: Meditation in natural settings supports open monitoring and attention restoration.

    PubMed

    Lymeus, Freddie; Lindberg, Per; Hartig, Terry

    2018-03-01

    Mindfulness courses conventionally use effortful, focused meditation to train attention. In contrast, natural settings can effortlessly support state mindfulness and restore depleted attention resources, which could facilitate meditation. We performed two studies that compared conventional training with restoration skills training (ReST) that taught low-effort open monitoring meditation in a garden over five weeks. Assessments before and after meditation on multiple occasions showed that ReST meditation increasingly enhanced attention performance. Conventional meditation enhanced attention initially but increasingly incurred effort, reflected in performance decrements toward the course end. With both courses, attentional improvements generalized in the first weeks of training. Against established accounts, the generalized improvements thus occurred before any effort was incurred by the conventional exercises. We propose that restoration rather than attention training can account for early attentional improvements with meditation. ReST holds promise as an undemanding introduction to mindfulness and as a method to enhance restoration in nature contacts. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The physiological correlates of Kundalini Yoga meditation: a study of a yoga master.

    PubMed

    Arambula, P; Peper, E; Kawakami, M; Gibney, K H

    2001-06-01

    This study explores the physiological correlates of a highly practiced Kundalini Yoga meditator. Thoracic and abdominal breathing patterns, heart rate (HR), occipital parietal electroencephalograph (EEG), skin conductance level (SCL), and blood volume pulse (BVP) were monitored during prebaseline, meditation, and postbaseline periods. Visual analyses of the data showed a decrease in respiration rate during the meditation from a mean of 11 breaths/min for the pre- and 13 breaths/min for the postbaseline to a mean of 5 breaths/min during the meditation, with a predominance of abdominal/diaphragmatic breathing. There was also more alpha EEG activity during the meditation (M = 1.71 microV) compared to the pre- (M = .47 microV) and postbaseline (M = .78 microV) periods, and an increase in theta EEG activity immediately following the meditation (M = .62 microV) compared to the pre-baseline and meditative periods (each with M = .26 microV). These findings suggest that a shift in breathing patterns may contribute to the development of alpha EEG, and those patterns need to be investigated further.

  12. Effects of Breathing-Based Meditation on Earthquake-Affected Health Professionals.

    PubMed

    Iwakuma, Miho; Oshita, Daien; Yamamoto, Akihiro; Urushibara-Miyachi, Yuka

    On March 11, 2013, the Great East Japan Earthquake (magnitude 9) hit the northern part of Japan (Tohoku), killing more than 15 000 people and leaving long-lasting scars, including psychological damage among evacuees, some of whom were health professionals. Little is known about meditation efficacy on disaster-affected health professionals. The present study investigated the effects of breathing-based meditation on seminar participants who were health professionals who had survived the earthquake. This study employed a mixed methods approach, using both survey data and handwritten qualitative data. Quantitative results of pre- and postmeditation practice indicated that all mood scales (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, strain, and vigor) were significantly improved (N = 17). Qualitative results revealed several common themes (emancipation from chronic and bodily senses; holistic sense: transcending mind-body; re-turning an axis in life through reflection, self-control, and/or gratitude; meditation into mundane, everyday life; and coming out of pain in the aftermath of the earthquake) that had emerged as expressions of participant meditation experiences. Following the 45-minute meditation session, the present study participants reported improvements in all psychological states (anger, confusion, depression, fatigue, strain, and vigor) in the quantitative portion, which indicated efficacy of the meditation. Our analysis of the qualitative portion revealed what and how participants felt during meditating.

  13. Experimental Effects of Acute Exercise and Meditation on Parameters of Cognitive Function.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Meghan K; Loprinzi, Paul D

    2018-05-29

    Single bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation have been shown to improve cognitive function. Yet to be examined in the literature, we sought to examine the effects of a combination of acute bouts of aerobic exercise and meditation on cognitive function among young adults. Participants ( n = 66, mean (SD) age = 21 (2)) were randomly assigned to walk then meditate, meditate then walk, or to sit (inactive control). All walking and meditation bouts were 10 min in duration. Participants' cognition was monitored before and after the intervention using Identification, Set Shifting, Stroop, and Trail Making tasks. Additionally, a subjective assessment of cognitive function was implemented before and after the intervention. Significant group by time interaction effects were observed when examining the Stroop congruent trials ( P = 0.05). Post hoc paired t -tests revealed that reaction time significantly decreased from baseline to post-intervention in both combination groups ( P < 0.001 for both), but not in the control group ( P = 0.09). Regarding all other cognitive assessments, there were no significant group by time interaction effects ( P > 0.05). Cognitive function was not substantially affected by a combination of brief meditation and exercise, though there is evidence to suggest that this combination may have beneficial effects on certain aspects of cognition. Future work should be conducted to evaluate the influences of different doses of exercise and meditation on cognitive functioning.

  14. Mindfulness and meditation: treating cognitive impairment and reducing stress in dementia.

    PubMed

    Russell-Williams, Jesse; Jaroudi, Wafa; Perich, Tania; Hoscheidt, Siobhan; El Haj, Mohamad; Moustafa, Ahmed A

    2018-02-21

    This study investigates the relationship between mindfulness, meditation, cognition and stress in people with Alzheimer's disease (AD), dementia, mild cognitive impairment and subjective cognitive decline. Accordingly, we explore how the use of meditation as a behavioural intervention can reduce stress and enhance cognition, which in turn ameliorates some dementia symptoms. A narrative review of the literature was conducted with any studies using meditation as an intervention for dementia or dementia-related memory conditions meeting inclusion criteria. Studies where moving meditation was the main intervention were excluded due to the possible confounding of exercise. Ten papers were identified and reviewed. There was a broad use of measures across all studies, with cognitive assessment, quality of life and perceived stress being the most common. Three studies used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure functional changes to brain regions during meditation. The interventions fell into the following three categories: mindfulness, most commonly mindfulness-based stress reduction (six studies); Kirtan Kriya meditation (three studies); and mindfulness-based Alzheimer's stimulation (one study). Three of these studies were randomised controlled trials. All studies reported significant findings or trends towards significance in a broad range of measures, including a reduction of cognitive decline, reduction in perceived stress, increase in quality of life, as well as increases in functional connectivity, percent volume brain change and cerebral blood flow in areas of the cortex. Limitations and directions for future studies on meditation-based treatment for AD and stress management are suggested.

  15. Awakening is not a metaphor: the effects of Buddhist meditation practices on basic wakefulness

    PubMed Central

    Britton, Willoughby B.; Lindahl, Jared R.; Cahn, B. Rael; Davis, Jake H.; Goldman, Roberta E.

    2014-01-01

    Buddhist meditation practices have become a topic of widespread interest in both science and medicine. Traditional Buddhist formulations describe meditation as a state of relaxed alertness that must guard against both excessive hyperarousal (restlessness) and excessive hypoarousal (drowsiness, sleep). Modern applications of meditation have emphasized the hypoarousing and relaxing effects without as much emphasis on the arousing or alertness-promoting effects. In an attempt to counterbalance the plethora of data demonstrating the relaxing and hypoarousing effects of Buddhist meditation, this interdisciplinary review aims to provide evidence of meditation’s arousing or wake-promoting effects by drawing both from Buddhist textual sources and from scientific studies, including subjective, behavioral, and neuroimaging studies during wakefulness, meditation, and sleep. Factors that may influence whether meditation increases or decreases arousal are discussed, with particular emphasis on dose, expertise, and contemplative trajectory. The course of meditative progress suggests a nonlinear multiphasic trajectory such that early phases that are more effortful may produce more fatigue and sleep propensity, while later stages produce greater wakefulness as a result of neuroplastic changes and more efficient processing. PMID:24372471

  16. Mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction: experience with a bilingual inner-city program.

    PubMed

    Roth, B; Creaser, T

    1997-03-01

    This article describes a bilingual mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program in an inner-city setting. Mindfulness meditation is defined, and the practices of breathing meditation, eating meditation, walking meditation, and mindful yoga are described. Data analysis examined compliance, medical and psychologic symptom reduction, and changes in self-esteem, of English- and Spanish-speaking patients who completed the 8-week Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program at the Community Health Center in Meriden, Conn. Statistically significant decreases in medical and psychologic symptoms and improvement in self-esteem were found. Many program completers reported dramatic changes in attitudes, beliefs, habits, and behaviors. Despite the limitations of the research design, these findings suggest that a mindfulness meditation course can be an effective health care intervention when utilized by English- and Spanish-speaking patients in an inner-city community health center. The article includes a discussion of factors to be considered when establishing a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction program in a health care setting.

  17. Preliminary evidence about the effects of meditation on interoceptive sensitivity and social cognition

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Interoception refers to the conscious perception of body signals. Mindfulness is a meditation practice that encourages individuals to focus on their internal experiences such as bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions. In this study, we selected a behavioral measure of interoceptive sensitivity (heartbeat detection task, HBD) to compare the effect of meditation practice on interoceptive sensitivity among long term practitioners (LTP), short term meditators (STM, subjects that completed a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program) and controls (non-meditators). All participants were examined with a battery of different tasks including mood state, executive function and social cognition tests (emotion recognition, empathy and theory of mind). Findings Compared to controls, both meditators’ groups showed lower levels of anxiety and depression, but no improvement in executive function or social cognition performance was observed (except for lower scores compared to controls only in the personal distress dimension of empathy). More importantly, meditators’ performance did not differ from that of nonmeditators regarding cardiac interoceptive sensitivity. Conclusion Results suggest no influence of meditation practice in cardiac interoception and in most related social cognition measures. These negative results could be partially due to the fact that awareness of heartbeat sensations is not emphasized during mindfulness/vipassana meditation and may not be the best index of the awareness supported by the practice of meditation. PMID:24365106

  18. Opinions and practices of medical rehabilitation professionals regarding prayer and meditation.

    PubMed

    Schoenberger, Nancy E; Matheis, Robert J; Shiflett, Samuel C; Cotter, Ann C

    2002-02-01

    To assess the attitudes and practices of professionals in the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) regarding prayer and meditation. A national mail survey that included questions about the use of a number of complementary and alternative therapies. The survey was mailed to 7,479 physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and occupational therapists who specialize in PM&R, and 1221 (17%) returned completed surveys. Although the majority of respondents endorsed prayer as a legitimate health care practice, there was greater belief in the benefits of meditation. Older respondents were more likely to recommend meditation to their patients and more likely to meditate themselves. Gender differences that were observed in opinions and practices are better interpreted as differences in professional specialty. In general, nurses and occupational therapists responded more positively toward meditation and prayer than did physicians and physical therapists. Personal use of a technique was the strongest predictor of professional behaviors. Attitude was a stronger predictor of professional use or referral for prayer than meditation, but correlations between attitude and behavior were generally weak for both techniques. Despite their acceptance of these techniques, the vast majority of rehabilitation professionals did not refer their patients for meditation or religious consultation. Although there were significant relationships among beliefs, and personal and professional behaviors regarding these techniques, a large part of the variance in professional behaviors was not accounted for by age, gender, opinion, or personal behavior, indicating that other influences exert a stronger effect on professional practice decisions.

  19. Meditation effects within the hippocampal complex revealed by voxel-based morphometry and cytoarchitectonic probabilistic mapping

    PubMed Central

    Luders, Eileen; Kurth, Florian; Toga, Arthur W.; Narr, Katherine L.; Gaser, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Scientific studies addressing anatomical variations in meditators' brains have emerged rapidly over the last few years, where significant links are most frequently reported with respect to gray matter (GM). To advance prior work, this study examined GM characteristics in a large sample of 100 subjects (50 meditators, 50 controls), where meditators have been practicing close to 20 years, on average. A standard, whole-brain voxel-based morphometry approach was applied and revealed significant meditation effects in the vicinity of the hippocampus, showing more GM in meditators than in controls as well as positive correlations with the number of years practiced. However, the hippocampal complex is regionally segregated by architecture, connectivity, and functional relevance. Thus, to establish differential effects within the hippocampal formation (cornu ammonis, fascia dentata, entorhinal cortex, subiculum) as well as the hippocampal-amygdaloid transition area, we utilized refined cytoarchitectonic probabilistic maps of (peri-) hippocampal subsections. Significant meditation effects were observed within the subiculum specifically. Since the subiculum is known to play a key role in stress regulation and meditation is an established form of stress reduction, these GM findings may reflect neuronal preservation in long-term meditators—perhaps due to an attenuated release of stress hormones and decreased neurotoxicity. PMID:23847572

  20. Larger hippocampal dimensions in meditation practitioners: differential effects in women and men

    PubMed Central

    Luders, Eileen; Thompson, Paul M.; Kurth, Florian

    2015-01-01

    On average, the human hippocampus shows structural differences between meditators and non-meditators as well as between men and women. However, there is a lack of research exploring possible sex effects on hippocampal anatomy in the framework of meditation. Thus, we obtained high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging data from 30 long-term meditation practitioners (15 men/15 women) and 30 well-matched control subjects (15 men/15 women) to assess if hippocampus-specific effects manifest differently in male and female brains. Hippocampal dimensions were enlarged both in male and in female meditators when compared to sex- and age-matched controls. However, meditation effects differed between men and women in magnitude, laterality, and location on the hippocampal surface. Such sex-divergent findings may be due to genetic (innate) or acquired differences between male and female brains in the areas involved in meditation and/or suggest that male and female hippocampi are differently receptive to mindfulness practices. PMID:25798115

  1. Insight meditation and telomere biology: The effects of intensive retreat and the moderating role of personality.

    PubMed

    Conklin, Quinn A; King, Brandon G; Zanesco, Anthony P; Lin, Jue; Hamidi, Anahita B; Pokorny, Jennifer J; Álvarez-López, María Jesús; Cosín-Tomás, Marta; Huang, Colin; Kaliman, Perla; Epel, Elissa S; Saron, Clifford D

    2018-05-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that meditation training may have a range of salubrious effects, including improved telomere regulation. Telomeres and the enzyme telomerase interact with a variety of molecular components to regulate cell-cycle signaling cascades, and are implicated in pathways linking psychological stress to disease. We investigated the effects of intensive meditation practice on these biomarkers by measuring changes in telomere length (TL), telomerase activity (TA), and telomere-related gene (TRG) expression during a 1-month residential Insight meditation retreat. Multilevel analyses revealed an apparent TL increase in the retreat group, compared to a group of experienced meditators, similarly comprised in age and gender, who were not on retreat. Moreover, personality traits predicted changes in TL, such that retreat participants highest in neuroticism and lowest in agreeableness demonstrated the greatest increases in TL. Changes observed in TRGs further suggest retreat-related improvements in telomere maintenance, including increases in Gar1 and HnRNPA1, which encode proteins that bind telomerase RNA and telomeric DNA. Although no group-level changes were observed in TA, retreat participants' TA levels at post-assessment were inversely related to several indices of retreat engagement and prior meditation experience. Neuroticism also predicted variation in TA across retreat. These findings suggest that meditation training in a retreat setting may have positive effects on telomere regulation, which are moderated by individual differences in personality and meditation experience. (ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT03056105). Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  2. Event-related delta, theta, alpha and gamma correlates to auditory oddball processing during Vipassana meditation

    PubMed Central

    Delorme, Arnaud; Polich, John

    2013-01-01

    Long-term Vipassana meditators sat in meditation vs. a control (instructed mind wandering) states for 25 min, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded and condition order counterbalanced. For the last 4 min, a three-stimulus auditory oddball series was presented during both meditation and control periods through headphones and no task imposed. Time-frequency analysis demonstrated that meditation relative to the control condition evinced decreased evoked delta (2–4 Hz) power to distracter stimuli concomitantly with a greater event-related reduction of late (500–900 ms) alpha-1 (8–10 Hz) activity, which indexed altered dynamics of attentional engagement to distracters. Additionally, standard stimuli were associated with increased early event-related alpha phase synchrony (inter-trial coherence) and evoked theta (4–8 Hz) phase synchrony, suggesting enhanced processing of the habituated standard background stimuli. Finally, during meditation, there was a greater differential early-evoked gamma power to the different stimulus classes. Correlation analysis indicated that this effect stemmed from a meditation state-related increase in early distracter-evoked gamma power and phase synchrony specific to longer-term expert practitioners. The findings suggest that Vipassana meditation evokes a brain state of enhanced perceptual clarity and decreased automated reactivity. PMID:22648958

  3. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

    PubMed

    Black, David S; Slavich, George M

    2016-06-01

    Mindfulness meditation represents a mental training framework for cultivating the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in how mindfulness meditation improves human health and well-being. Although studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve self-reported measures of disease symptomatology, the effect that mindfulness meditation has on biological mechanisms underlying human aging and disease is less clear. To address this issue, we conducted the first comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on immune system parameters, with a specific focus on five outcomes: (1) circulating and stimulated inflammatory proteins, (2) cellular transcription factors and gene expression, (3) immune cell count, (4) immune cell aging, and (5) antibody response. This analysis revealed substantial heterogeneity across studies with respect to patient population, study design, and assay procedures. The findings suggest possible effects of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, and biological aging, but these results are tentative and require further replication. On the basis of this analysis, we describe the limitations of existing work and suggest possible avenues for future research. Mindfulness meditation may be salutogenic for immune system dynamics, but additional work is needed to examine these effects. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  4. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation.

    PubMed

    Ding, Xiaoqian; Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2014-03-19

    One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation.

  5. The value of mindfulness meditation in the treatment of insomnia.

    PubMed

    Martires, Joanne; Zeidler, Michelle

    2015-11-01

    Insomnia is the most common reported sleep disorder with limited treatment options including pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Pharmacotherapy can be complicated by tolerance and significant side-effects and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia providers are limited in number. This article reviews mindfulness meditation as an additional therapy for insomnia. Both mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based therapy for insomnia (MBTI) have been studied in the treatment of insomnia. Randomized controlled studies of MBSR and MBTI have shown overall reduction in sleep latency and total wake time and increase in total sleep time after mindfulness therapy using both patient reported outcome and quantitative measures of sleep. Mindfulness techniques have been shown to be well accepted by patients with long-lasting effects. A three-arm randomized study with MBSR, MBTI, and self-monitoring showed similar improvement in insomnia between the MBSR and MBTI groups, with possibly longer duration of efficacy in the MBTI group. Recent data show that MBTI is also an effective and accepted treatment for insomnia in older patients. Increasing evidence shows that mindfulness meditation, delivered either via MBSR or MBTI, can be successfully used for the treatment of insomnia with good patient acceptance and durable results.

  6. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  7. Barriers to meditation by gender and age among cancer family caregivers.

    PubMed

    Williams, Anna-Leila; Ness, Peter Van; Dixon, Jane; McCorkle, Ruth

    2012-01-01

    Despite solid basic science research supporting meditation's physiologic benefits, meditation remains a marginalized practice for many Westerners; observational and descriptive studies indicate a spectrum of barriers to meditation practice. The aim of this study was to determine differences in barriers to meditation by gender and age. A cross-sectional survey study of 150 family caregivers to adults with cancer visiting an outpatient chemotherapy center in Connecticut was conducted. The primary outcome was the Determinants of Meditation Practice Inventory. Explanatory variables included demographic characteristics, Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale, Big Five Inventory, and Caregiver Reaction Assessment. Participants included 98 women and 52 men. Age range was 18-84 years (M = 52.3 years). The highest frequency of barriers for both genders related to misconceptions about meditation. The total number of barriers to meditation did not significantly vary by gender (p = .10) nor age (p = .27). After adjusting for personality trait, reactions to caregiving, and emotional distress, gender (adjusted β = 0.81, SE = 1.70, p = .63) and age (adjusted β = 0.02, SE = 0.05, p = .67) still did not predict the number of barriers to meditation. Backward elimination in model building showed that personality trait and reactions to caregiving account for 32% of the variability in barriers. The total number of barriers to meditation was examined, and a difference was not found by age or gender. It is possible that differences by age and gender exist at the item level of evaluation but were not evident when evaluating total scores. Further study is needed with samples large enough to have statistical power for item-level analysis.

  8. Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation? A multicentre survey

    PubMed Central

    Demarzo, Marcelo; Martins, Patricia; Soler, Joaquim; Garcia-Campayo, Javier

    2017-01-01

    Objectives Despite the long-term use and evidence-based efficacy of meditation and mindfulness-based interventions, there is still a lack of data about the possible unwanted effects (UEs) of these practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of UEs among meditation practitioners, considering moderating factors such as the type, frequency, and lifetime duration of the meditation practices. Methods An online survey was developed and disseminated through several websites, such as Spanish-, English- and Portuguese-language scientific research portals related to mindfulness and meditation. After excluding people who did not answer the survey correctly or completely and those who had less than two months of meditation experience, a total of 342 people participated in the study. However, only 87 reported information about UEs. Results The majority of the practitioners were women from Spain who were married and had a University education level. Practices were more frequently informal, performed on a daily basis, and followed by focused attention (FA). Among the participants, 25.4% reported UEs, showing that severity varies considerably. The information requested indicated that most of the UEs were transitory and did not lead to discontinuing meditation practice or the need for medical assistance. They were more frequently reported in relation to individual practice, during focused attention meditation, and when practising for more than 20 minutes and alone. The practice of body awareness was associated with UEs to a lesser extent, whereas focused attention was associated more with UEs. Conclusions This is the first large-scale, multi-cultural study on the UEs of meditation. Despite its limitations, this study suggests that UEs are prevalent and transitory and should be further studied. We recommend the use of standardized questionnaires to assess the UEs of meditation practices. PMID:28873417

  9. Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation? A multicentre survey.

    PubMed

    Cebolla, Ausiàs; Demarzo, Marcelo; Martins, Patricia; Soler, Joaquim; Garcia-Campayo, Javier

    2017-01-01

    Despite the long-term use and evidence-based efficacy of meditation and mindfulness-based interventions, there is still a lack of data about the possible unwanted effects (UEs) of these practices. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of UEs among meditation practitioners, considering moderating factors such as the type, frequency, and lifetime duration of the meditation practices. An online survey was developed and disseminated through several websites, such as Spanish-, English- and Portuguese-language scientific research portals related to mindfulness and meditation. After excluding people who did not answer the survey correctly or completely and those who had less than two months of meditation experience, a total of 342 people participated in the study. However, only 87 reported information about UEs. The majority of the practitioners were women from Spain who were married and had a University education level. Practices were more frequently informal, performed on a daily basis, and followed by focused attention (FA). Among the participants, 25.4% reported UEs, showing that severity varies considerably. The information requested indicated that most of the UEs were transitory and did not lead to discontinuing meditation practice or the need for medical assistance. They were more frequently reported in relation to individual practice, during focused attention meditation, and when practising for more than 20 minutes and alone. The practice of body awareness was associated with UEs to a lesser extent, whereas focused attention was associated more with UEs. This is the first large-scale, multi-cultural study on the UEs of meditation. Despite its limitations, this study suggests that UEs are prevalent and transitory and should be further studied. We recommend the use of standardized questionnaires to assess the UEs of meditation practices.

  10. The Experience of Learning Meditation and Mind/Body Practices in the COPD Population.

    PubMed

    Chan, Roxane Raffin; Lehto, Rebecca H

    2016-01-01

    Persons with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exhibit high levels of comorbid anxiety that severely worsens their sensation of dyspnea and is associated with high levels of avoidance of essential activities resulting in an increase morbidity and mortality. Increasing meditation and mind/body practices have been shown to decrease anxiety, and improve intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships in general populations, however, results of studies in the COPD population have been mixed. Understanding how persons with COPD experience learning meditation and mind/body skills would aid future meditation-focused mind/body intervention design. A mixed-method study of a community based meditation-focused mind/body intervention for persons with COPD. Reflective journaling, phone exit interviews and survey measures: chronic disease respiratory questionnaire, and Anxiety Sensitivity 3 questionnaire. Eight weekly one hour meditation-focused mind/body classes that taught concentration and insight meditation skills along with mind/body exercises that facilitated increased body and emotional awareness. Out of 41 participants, 32 (73%) contributed detailed experience about learning and practicing meditation and mind/body practices that distilled into four themes, barriers to practice, learning style, emotional processing, and benefits of practice. Of those 32 participants 21 (73%) identified improvement in physical or emotional symptoms. Overall, 13 (40%) participants provided details regarding how they adapted specific meditation skills into daily life to improve emotional function and lessen dyspnea. Anxiety sensitivity to social situations was associated with a lack of participation. Lessons learned for larger scale application to future meditation and mind/body intervention design for chronic illness populations such as COPD are identified. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Regular, brief mindfulness meditation practice improves electrophysiological markers of attentional control

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Adam; Gruber, Thomas; Derose, Jennifer; Malinowski, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Mindfulness-based meditation practices involve various attentional skills, including the ability to sustain and focus ones attention. During a simple mindful breathing practice, sustained attention is required to maintain focus on the breath while cognitive control is required to detect mind wandering. We thus hypothesized that regular, brief mindfulness training would result in improvements in the self-regulation of attention and foster changes in neuronal activity related to attentional control. A longitudinal randomized control group EEG study was conducted. At baseline (T1), 40 meditation naïve participants were randomized into a wait list group and a meditation group, who received three hours mindfulness meditation training. Twenty-eight participants remained in the final analysis. At T1, after eight weeks (T2) and after 16 weeks (T3), all participants performed a computerized Stroop task (a measure of attentional control) while the 64-channel EEG was recorded. Between T1 and T3 the meditators were requested to meditate daily for 10 min. Event-related potential (ERP) analysis highlighted two between group effects that developed over the course of the 16-week mindfulness training. An early effect at left and right posterior sites 160–240 ms post-stimulus indicated that meditation practice improved the focusing of attentional resources. A second effect at central posterior sites 310–380 ms post-stimulus reflects that meditation practice reduced the recruitment of resources during object recognition processes, especially for incongruent stimuli. Scalp topographies and source analyses (Variable Resolution Electromagnetic Tomography, VARETA) indicate relevant changes in neural sources, pertaining to left medial and lateral occipitotemporal areas for the early effect and right lateral occipitotemporal and inferior temporal areas for the later effect. The results suggest that mindfulness meditation may alter the efficiency of allocating cognitive resources

  12. A review on how meditation could be used to comfort the terminally ill.

    PubMed

    Ball, Michael Stephen; Vernon, Bryan

    2015-10-01

    Our objective was to review how meditation could comfort the terminally ill. Our methodology was a literature search, which included books, journals, papers in collections, and online databases. The main search engines employed were Google Scholar and the Durham University Library. The main databases consulted were the Christian Meditation Centre, Project Meditation, and Stress-Related Facts and Well-Being at Monash. We were specifically interested in data acquired from clinical and nonclinical trials. The arguments needed to be based on qualitative and quantitative scientific data. Papers were published between 1985 and 2014. We then subdivided the review into three subcategories: physical, emotional, and self-awareness. When reviewing each category, we put our results into tabular form. In each table, we noted the percentage of terminally ill patients (TIPs) and non-terminally ill patients (NTIPs), and whether meditation had comforted them. Our review demonstrated that there are many areas that have yet to be researched. First, very little work has been done on how meditation affects the physical health of TIPs, including such variables as blood pressure, chronic pain, and sleeping patterns. However, no research has been done on heart disease, hypertension, depression, among others. Second, virtually no research has been conducted on how meditation affects the mental health of TIPs. Notably neglected areas include anxiety, compliance, depression, and stress. Third, no research has been done on whether meditation increases self-awareness in TIPs. In each of these cases, most NTIPs reacted positively; however, no research has been done on why TIPs reacted differently. Our results demonstrate the need for further research on how meditation affects terminally ill patients. In turn, this would enrich the debate on whether meditation should be prescribed for the dying.

  13. Decreased electrophysiological activity represents the conscious state of emptiness in meditation

    PubMed Central

    Hinterberger, Thilo; Schmidt, Stephanie; Kamei, Tsutomu; Walach, Harald

    2014-01-01

    Many neuroscientific theories explain consciousness with higher order information processing corresponding to an activation of specific brain areas and processes. In contrast, most forms of meditation ask for a down-regulation of certain mental processing activities while remaining fully conscious. To identify the physiological properties of conscious states with decreased mental and cognitive processing, the electrical brain activity (64 channels of EEG) of 50 participants of various meditation proficiencies was measured during distinct and idiosyncratic meditative tasks. The tasks comprised a wakeful “thoughtless emptiness (TE),” a “focused attention,” and an “open monitoring” task asking for mindful presence in the moment and in the environment without attachment to distracting thoughts. Our analysis mainly focused on 30 highly experienced meditators with at least 5 years and 1000 h of meditation experience. Spectral EEG power comparisons of the TE state with the resting state or other forms of meditation showed decreased activities in specific frequency bands. In contrast to a focused attention task the TE task showed significant central and parietal gamma decreases (p < 0.05). Compared to open monitoring TE expressed decreased alpha and beta amplitudes, mainly in parietal areas (p < 0.01). TE presented significantly less delta (p < 0.001) and theta (p < 0.05) waves than a wakeful closed eyes resting condition. A group of participants with none or little meditation practice did not present those differences significantly. Our findings indicate that a conscious state of TE reached by experienced meditators is characterized by reduced high-frequency brain processing with simultaneous reduction of the low frequencies. This suggests that such a state of meditative conscious awareness might be different from higher cognitive and mentally focused states but also from states of sleep and drowsiness. PMID:24596562

  14. A translational neuroscience perspective on mindfulness meditation as a prevention strategy.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Leve, Leslie D

    2016-03-01

    Mindfulness meditation research mainly focuses on psychological outcomes such as behavioral, cognitive, and emotional functioning. However, the neuroscience literature on mindfulness meditation has grown in recent years. This paper provides an overview of relevant neuroscience and psychological research on the effects of mindfulness meditation. We propose a translational prevention framework of mindfulness and its effects. Drawing upon the principles of prevention science, this framework integrates neuroscience and prevention research and postulates underlying brain regulatory mechanisms that explain the impact of mindfulness on psychological outcomes via self-regulation mechanisms linked to underlying brain systems. We conclude by discussing potential clinical and practice implications of this model and directions for future research.

  15. A meta-analytic review of the effects of mindfulness meditation on telomerase activity.

    PubMed

    Schutte, Nicola S; Malouff, John M

    2014-04-01

    The enzyme telomerase, through its influence on telomere length, is associated with health and mortality. Four pioneering randomized control trials, including a total of 190 participants, provided information on the effect of mindfulness meditation on telomerase. A meta-analytic effect size of d=0.46 indicated that mindfulness meditation leads to increased telomerase activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These results suggest the need for further large-scale trials investigating optimal implementation of mindfulness meditation to facilitate telomerase functioning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (Vipassana) in the management of chronic low back pain

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Sangram G

    2009-01-01

    Summary Chronic low back pain (CLBP) is challenging to treat with its significant psychological and cognitive behavioural element involved. Mindfulness meditation helps alter the behavioural response in chronic pain situations. Significant body of research in the filed of mindfulness meditation comes from the work of Dr Kabat-Zinn. The current evidence in the field, though not grade one, shows that there is a place for mindfulness meditation in managing chronic pain conditions including CLBP. Further research to test the usefulness of mindfulness in CLBP should involve good quality randomized controlled trials of pure mindfulness based technique in matched subjects. PMID:20640116

  17. Effects of a Meditation Program on Nurses' Power and Quality of Life.

    PubMed

    Chang, Sun Ju; Kwak, Eun Young; Hahm, Bong-Jin; Seo, Se Hee; Lee, Da Woon; Jang, Sun Joo

    2016-07-01

    This study evaluated the effects of meditation programs on nurses' power and quality of life. In this study, Barrett's power theory derived from Rogers' unitary human being science was used as a theoretical framework. A randomized controlled design with 50 recruited and randomly allocated participants was used. The results demonstrated that the eight-week meditation program significantly improved nurses' power and quality of life. These results suggest that meditation has positive effects on power and quality of life. © The Author(s) 2016.

  18. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention for the General Public: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background Mindfulness meditation interventions improve a variety of health conditions and quality of life, are inexpensive, easy to implement, have minimal if any side effects, and engage patients to take an active role in their treatment. However, the group format can be an obstacle for many to take structured meditation programs. Internet Mindfulness Meditation Intervention (IMMI) is a program that could make mindfulness meditation accessible to all people who want and need to receive it. However, the feasibility, acceptability, and ability of IMMI to increase meditation practice have yet to be evaluated. Objectives The primary objectives of this pilot randomized controlled study were to (1) evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of IMMIs in the general population and (2) to evaluate IMMI’s ability to change meditation practice behavior. The secondary objective was to collect preliminary data on health outcomes. Methods Potential participants were recruited from online and offline sources. In a randomized controlled trial, participants were allocated to IMMI or Access to Guided Meditation arm. IMMI included a 1-hour Web-based training session weekly for 6 weeks along with daily home practice guided meditations between sessions. The Access to Guided Meditation arm included a handout on mindfulness meditation and access to the same guided meditation practices that the IMMI participants received, but not the 1-hour Web-based training sessions. The study activities occurred through the participants’ own computer and Internet connection and with research-assistant telephone and email contact. Feasibility and acceptability were measured with enrollment and completion rates and participant satisfaction. The ability of IMMI to modify behavior and increase meditation practice was measured by objective adherence of daily meditation practice via Web-based forms. Self-report questionnaires of quality of life, self-efficacy, depression symptoms, sleep disturbance

  19. Prevalence and patterns of use of mantra, mindfulness and spiritual meditation among adults in the United States.

    PubMed

    Burke, Adam; Lam, Chun Nok; Stussman, Barbara; Yang, Hui

    2017-06-15

    Despite a growing body of scientific literature exploring the nature of meditation there is limited information on the characteristics of individuals who use it. This is particularly true of comparative studies examining prevalence and predictors of use of various forms of meditation. A secondary analysis was conducted using data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (n = 34,525). Three popular forms of meditation were compared-mantra, mindfulness, and spiritual-to determine lifetime and 12-month use related to key sociodemographic, health behavior, health status, and healthcare access variables. The 12-month prevalence for meditation practice was 3.1% for spiritual meditation, 1.9% for mindfulness meditation, and 1.6% for mantra meditation. This represents approximately 7.0, 4.3, and 3.6 million adults respectively. A comparison across the three meditation practices found many similarities in user characteristics, suggesting interest in meditation may be more related to the type of person meditating than to the type of practice selected. Across meditation styles use was more prevalent among respondents who were female, non-Hispanic White, college educated, physically active; who used other complementary health practices; and who reported depression. Higher utilization of conventional healthcare services was one of the strongest predictors of use of all three styles. In addition to similarities, important distinctions were observed. For example, spiritual meditation practice was more prevalent among former drinkers. This may reflect use of spiritual meditation practices in support of alcohol treatment and sobriety. Reasons for use of meditation were examined using the sample of respondents who practiced mindfulness meditation. Wellness and prevention (74%) was a more common reason than use to treat a specific health condition (30%). Common reasons for use included stress management (92%) and emotional well-being (91%), and to support other health

  20. Defying Gravity Using Jenga[TM] Blocks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tan, Yin-Soo; Yap, Kueh-Chin

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes how Jenga[TM] blocks can be used to demonstrate the physics of an overhanging tower that appears to defy gravity. We also propose ideas for how this demonstration can be adapted for the A-level physics curriculum. (Contains 8 figures and 1 table.)

  1. Doors to Discovery [TM]. WWC Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2009

    2009-01-01

    Doors to Discovery[TM], an early childhood curriculum, focuses on the development of children's vocabulary and expressive and receptive language through a learning process called "shared literacy," where adults and children work together to develop literacy-related skills. Literacy activities, organized into thematic units, encourage children's…

  2. The Neuroscience of PowerPoint[TM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horvath, Jared Cooney

    2014-01-01

    Many concepts have been published relevant to improving the design of PowerPoint[TM] (PP) presentations for didactic purposes, including the redundancy, modality, and signaling principles of multimedia learning. In this article, we review the recent neuroimaging findings that have emerged elucidating the neural structures involved in many of these…

  3. Meditate to Create: The Impact of Focused-Attention and Open-Monitoring Training on Convergent and Divergent Thinking

    PubMed Central

    Colzato, Lorenza S.; Ozturk, Ayca; Hommel, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    The practice of meditation has seen a tremendous increase in the western world since the 60s. Scientific interest in meditation has also significantly grown in the past years; however, so far, it has neglected the idea that different type of meditations may drive specific cognitive-control states. In this study we investigate the possible impact of meditation based on focused-attention (FA) and meditation based on open-monitoring (OM) on creativity tasks tapping into convergent and divergent thinking. We show that FA meditation and OM meditation exert specific effect on creativity. First, OM meditation induces a control state that promotes divergent thinking, a style of thinking that allows many new ideas of being generated. Second, FA meditation does not sustain convergent thinking, the process of generating one possible solution to a particular problem. We suggest that the enhancement of positive mood induced by meditating has boosted the effect in the first case and counteracted in the second case. PMID:22529832

  4. Daily Mindful Responding Mediates the Effect of Meditation Practice on Stress and Mood: The Role of Practice Duration and Adherence.

    PubMed

    Lacaille, Julien; Sadikaj, Gentiana; Nishioka, Midori; Carrière, Kimberly; Flanders, Joseph; Knäuper, Bärbel

    2018-01-01

    Although meditation practice is an important component of many mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), empirical findings of its effects on psychological functioning are mixed and the mechanisms for the effects remain unclear. Responding with mindfulness (i.e., returning one's attention back to a nonjudgmental, present-oriented awareness) is a fundamental skill practiced in meditations. With repeated meditation practice, this skill is thought to become internalized and be applied to one's daily life. We thus hypothesized that the extent to which individuals responded to daily events with mindfulness would mediate the effects of meditation practice (instance, duration, and adherence to instructions) on psychological well-being. Using a daily diary methodology, we tracked the meditation practice, use of mindful responding during the day, and psychological outcomes (perceived stress, negative and positive affect) of 117 mindfulness-based stress reduction program participants. We found that on days when participants meditated, they responded with greater mindfulness to daily events, which accounted for the beneficial effects of meditating on psychological outcomes. Furthermore, findings suggest that on meditation days, longer and more closely adhered meditation practices were independently associated with increases in mindful responding, which in turn were associated with better psychological outcomes. These results suggest that regular, longer, and more closely adhered meditation practice is an important component of MBIs, in part because it leads to responding more mindfully in daily life, which promotes well-being. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Temperature dependence of LRE-HRE-TM thin films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zuoyi; Cheng, Xiaomin; Lin, Gengqi; Li, Zhen; Huang, Zhixin; Jin, Fang; Wang, Xianran; Yang, Xiaofei

    2003-04-01

    Temperature dependence of the properties of RE-TM thin films is very important for MO recording. In this paper, we studied the temperature dependence of the magnetic and magneto-optical properties of the amorphous LRE-HRE-TM single layer thin films and LRE-HRE-TM/HRE-TM couple-bilayered thin films. For LRE-HRE-TM single layer thin films, the temperature dependence of the magnetization was investigated by using the mean field theory. The experimental and theoretical results matched very well. With the LRE substitution in HRE-TM thin film, the compensation temperature Tcomp decreased and the curie temperature Tc remained unchanged. Kerr rotation angle became larger and the saturation magnetization Ms at room temperature increased. For LRE-HRE-TM/HRE-TM couple-bilayered thin films, comparisons of the temperature dependences of the coercivities and Kerr rotation angles were made between isolated sublayers and couple-bilayered thin film.

  6. CCRS proposal for evaluating LANDSAT-4 MSS and TM data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strome, W. M.; Cihlar, J.; Goodenough, D. G.; Guertin, F. E. (Principal Investigator); Guindon, B.; Murphy, J.; Butlin, J. M.; Duff, P.; Fitzgerald, A.; Grieve, G.

    1984-01-01

    The measurement of registration errors in LANDSAT MSS data is discussed as well as the development of a revised algorithm for the radiometric calibration of TM data and the production of a geocoded TM image.

  7. Long-term Vihangam Yoga meditation and scores on tests of attention.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Ravi; Dubey, Indu; Abhishek, Priyadarshee; Gupta, Sanjeev Kumar; Rastogi, Priyanka; Siddiqui, Shazia Veqar

    2010-06-01

    Although the literature indicates that meditation has beneficial effects on several aspects of human functioning, few studies have specifically investigated the effects of meditation on various domains of attention. This study was conducted to examine the differences in various domains of attention between long-term concentrative meditators versus matched controls. 15 practitioners of Vihangam Yoga (> 10 yr. experience) were enrolled in the study. Controls matched on age, sex, and years of education were recruited. Both groups were administered the Stroop, Trail-Making, and Digit Symbol Substitution tests as well as the Digit Forward and Digit Backward tests. The group of Vihangam Yogis had significantly better mean performance on all tests of attention. Long-term Vihangam Yoga meditation improves attention span, processing speed, attention alternation ability, and performance in interference tests.

  8. Mindfulness meditation as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Katterman, Shawn N; Kleinman, Brighid M; Hood, Megan M; Nackers, Lisa M; Corsica, Joyce A

    2014-04-01

    Mindfulness-based approaches are growing in popularity as interventions for disordered eating and weight loss. Initial research suggests that mindfulness meditation may be an effective intervention for binge eating; however, no systematic review has examined interventions where mindfulness meditation was the primary intervention and no review has examined its effect on subclinical disordered eating or weight. Using the PRISMA method for systematic reviews, we reviewed 14 studies that investigated mindfulness meditation as the primary intervention and assessed binge eating, emotional eating, and/or weight change. Results suggest that mindfulness meditation effectively decreases binge eating and emotional eating in populations engaging in this behavior; evidence for its effect on weight is mixed. Additional research is warranted to determine comparative effectiveness and long-term effects of mindfulness training. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Mindfulness meditation in older adults with postherpetic neuralgia: a randomized controlled pilot study.

    PubMed

    Meize-Grochowski, Robin; Shuster, George; Boursaw, Blake; DuVal, Michelle; Murray-Krezan, Cristina; Schrader, Ron; Smith, Bruce W; Herman, Carla J; Prasad, Arti

    2015-01-01

    This parallel-group, randomized controlled pilot study examined daily meditation in a diverse sample of older adults with postherpetic neuralgia. Block randomization was used to allocate participants to a treatment group (n = 13) or control group (n = 14). In addition to usual care, the treatment group practiced daily meditation for six weeks. All participants completed questionnaires at enrollment in the study, two weeks later, and six weeks after that, at the study's end. Participants recorded daily pain and fatigue levels in a diary, and treatment participants also noted meditation practice. Results at the 0.10 level indicated improvement in neuropathic, affective, and total pain scores for the treatment group, whereas affective pain worsened for the control group. Participants were able to adhere to the daily diary and meditation requirements in this feasibility pilot study. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Mindfulness Meditation Versus Physical Exercise in the Management of Depression Among Nursing Students.

    PubMed

    Alsaraireh, Faris Abdelkarim; Aloush, Sami Mohammad

    2017-10-01

    Depression among nursing students is an ongoing problem. Several psychotherapies have been suggested as alternatives to antidepressants in the management of depression. The aim of this randomized controlled study was to compare the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation versus physical exercise in the management of depression among nursing students. A sample of 181 soon-to-graduate nursing students participated in the study and were assigned at random to one of two therapies: physical exercise (n = 90) or mindfulness meditation (n = 91). The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was completed by the participants in both groups prior to the therapies and after completion. The findings indicated that both therapies were effective in the management of depression. However, mindfulness meditation is more effective than physical exercise. Mindfulness meditation is recommended over physical exercise in the management of depression among undergraduate nursing students. [J Nurs Educ. 2017;56(10):599-604.]. Copyright 2017, SLACK Incorporated.

  11. Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Gard, Tim; Taquet, Maxime; Dixit, Rohan; Hölzel, Britta K.; de Montjoye, Yves-Alexandre; Brach, Narayan; Salat, David H.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Gray, Jeremy R.; Lazar, Sara W.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the normal age-related decline of neural structure, function, and cognitive performance. Preliminary evidence suggests that meditation may reduce decline in specific cognitive domains and in brain structure. Here we extended this research by investigating the relation between age and fluid intelligence and resting state brain functional network architecture using graph theory, in middle-aged yoga and meditation practitioners, and matched controls. Fluid intelligence declined slower in yoga practitioners and meditators combined than in controls. Resting state functional networks of yoga practitioners and meditators combined were more integrated and more resilient to damage than those of controls. Furthermore, mindfulness was positively correlated with fluid intelligence, resilience, and global network efficiency. These findings reveal the possibility to increase resilience and to slow the decline of fluid intelligence and brain functional architecture and suggest that mindfulness plays a mechanistic role in this preservation. PMID:24795629

  12. Transcendental Spirituality and Acquaintance With the Activities of the Domestic National Transplant Center as Factors Shaping Attitudes Toward Organ Donation.

    PubMed

    Melnikov, Semyon; Ashkenazi, Tamar; Amara, Muhammad; Peles Bortz, Anat

    2017-06-01

    Organ donation has been shown to be perceived as inappropriate by religiously observant individuals. The impact of spirituality level on attitudes toward organ donation has not been broadly explored. To explore the contribution of ethnicity, spirituality, level of religious observance, and acquaintance with the activities of the Israel National Transplant Center (INTC) to forming attitudes toward organ donation among Jews and Muslim Arabs in Israel. A descriptive cross-sectional survey. Three hundred five (65.2%) Jewish and 163 (34.8%) Muslim Arab respondents living in Israel. Jewish respondents had more positive attitudes toward organ donation than Muslim Arabs. Muslim Arabs had a higher mean spirituality score than Jews. Gender, age, ethnicity, level of religious observance, education, 4 spirituality dimensions, and acquaintance with the activities of the INTC explained 41.5% of the variance in attitudes to organ donation. Transcendental spirituality, acquaintance with the activities of the INTC, and level of religious observance had the highest contribution to explaining attitudes to organ donation, while gender and age had a low contribution. Ethnicity, education, and the 3 other spirituality dimensions were not found to have a significant contribution. A multifaceted approach to improving attitudes toward organ donation among Jews and Muslim Arabs in Israel is important.

  13. Mindfulness Meditation for Substance Use Disorders: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Zgierska, Aleksandra; Rabago, David; Chawla, Neharika; Kushner, Kenneth; Koehler, Robert; Marlatt, Allan

    2009-01-01

    Relapse is common in substance use disorders (SUDs), even among treated individuals. The goal of this article was to systematically review the existing evidence on mindfulness meditation-based interventions (MM) for SUDs. The comprehensive search for and review of literature found over 2,000 abstracts and resulted in 25 eligible manuscripts (22 published, 3 unpublished: 8 RCTs, 7 controlled non-randomized, 6 non-controlled prospective, 2 qualitative studies, 1 case report). When appropriate, methodological quality, absolute risk reduction, number needed to treat, and effect size (ES) were assessed. Overall, although preliminary evidence suggests MM efficacy and safety, conclusive data for MM as a treatment of SUDs are lacking. Significant methodological limitations exist in most studies. Further, it is unclear which persons with SUDs might benefit most from MM. Future trials must be of sufficient sample size to answer a specific clinical question and should target both assessment of effect size and mechanisms of action. PMID:19904664

  14. Does mindfulness meditation improve attention in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?

    PubMed

    Modesto-Lowe, Vania; Farahmand, Pantea; Chaplin, Margaret; Sarro, Lauren

    2015-12-22

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) manifests by high levels of inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity. ADHD starts in childhood and results in impairments that continue into adulthood. While hyperactivity declines over time, inattention and executive function difficulties persist, leading to functional deficits. Adolescents and adults with ADHD have pervasive impairment in interpersonal and family relationships. They may develop addiction, delinquent behavior and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Despite advances in diagnosis and treatment, persistent residual symptoms are common, highlighting the need for novel treatment strategies. Mindfulness training, derived from Eastern meditation practices, may improve self-regulation of attention. It may also be a useful strategy to augment standard ADHD treatments and may be used as a potential tool to reduce impairments in patients with residual symptoms of ADHD. Clinically, this would manifest by an increased ability to suppress task-unrelated thoughts and distractions resulting in improved attention, completion of tasks and potential improvement in occupational and social function.

  15. Relationship between Meditative Practice and Self-Reported Mindfulness: The MINDSENS Composite Index

    PubMed Central

    Soler, Joaquim; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Demarzo, Marcelo M. P.; Pascual, Juan C.; Baños, Rosa; García-Campayo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. The present study explores the role of practice parameters on self-reported mindfulness skills. A total of 670 voluntary participants with and without previous meditation experience (n = 384 and n = 286, respectively) responded to an internet-based survey on various aspects of their meditative practice (type of meditation, length of session, frequency, and lifetime practice). Participants also completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and the Experiences Questionnaire (EQ). The group with meditation experience obtained significantly higher scores on all facets of FFMQ and EQ questionnaires compared to the group without experience. However different effect sizes were observed, with stronger effects for the Observing and Non-Reactivity facets of the FFMQ, moderate effects for Decentering in EQ, and a weak effect for Non-judging, Describing, and Acting with awareness on the FFMQ. Our results indicate that not all practice variables are equally relevant in terms of developing mindfulness skills. Frequency and lifetime practice – but not session length or meditation type – were associated with higher mindfulness skills. Given that these 6 mindfulness aspects show variable sensitivity to practice, we created a composite index (MINDSENS) consisting of those items from FFMQ and EQ that showed the strongest response to practice. The MINDSENS index was able to correctly discriminate daily meditators from non-meditators in 82.3% of cases. These findings may contribute to the understanding

  16. Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress.

    PubMed

    Creswell, J David; Pacilio, Laura E; Lindsay, Emily K; Brown, Kirk Warren

    2014-06-01

    To test whether a brief mindfulness meditation training intervention buffers self-reported psychological and neuroendocrine responses to the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) in young adult volunteers. A second objective evaluates whether pre-existing levels of dispositional mindfulness moderate the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on stress reactivity. Sixty-six (N=66) participants were randomly assigned to either a brief 3-day (25-min per day) mindfulness meditation training or an analytic cognitive training control program. All participants completed a standardized laboratory social-evaluative stress challenge task (the TSST) following the third mindfulness meditation or cognitive training session. Measures of psychological (stress perceptions) and biological (salivary cortisol, blood pressure) stress reactivity were collected during the social evaluative stress-challenge session. Brief mindfulness meditation training reduced self-reported psychological stress reactivity but increased salivary cortisol reactivity to the TSST, relative to the cognitive training comparison program. Participants who were low in pre-existing levels of dispositional mindfulness and then received mindfulness meditation training had the greatest cortisol reactivity to the TSST. No significant main or interactive effects were observed for systolic or diastolic blood pressure reactivity to the TSST. The present study provides an initial indication that brief mindfulness meditation training buffers self-reported psychological stress reactivity, but also increases cortisol reactivity to social evaluative stress. This pattern may indicate that initially brief mindfulness meditation training fosters greater active coping efforts, resulting in reduced psychological stress appraisals and greater cortisol reactivity during social evaluative stressors. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Relationship between meditative practice and self-reported mindfulness: the MINDSENS composite index.

    PubMed

    Soler, Joaquim; Cebolla, Ausiàs; Feliu-Soler, Albert; Demarzo, Marcelo M P; Pascual, Juan C; Baños, Rosa; García-Campayo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness has been described as an inherent human capability that can be learned and trained, and its improvement has been associated with better health outcomes in both medicine and psychology. Although the role of practice is central to most mindfulness programs, practice-related improvements in mindfulness skills is not consistently reported and little is known about how the characteristics of meditative practice affect different components of mindfulness. The present study explores the role of practice parameters on self-reported mindfulness skills. A total of 670 voluntary participants with and without previous meditation experience (n = 384 and n = 286, respectively) responded to an internet-based survey on various aspects of their meditative practice (type of meditation, length of session, frequency, and lifetime practice). Participants also completed the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), and the Experiences Questionnaire (EQ). The group with meditation experience obtained significantly higher scores on all facets of FFMQ and EQ questionnaires compared to the group without experience. However different effect sizes were observed, with stronger effects for the Observing and Non-Reactivity facets of the FFMQ, moderate effects for Decentering in EQ, and a weak effect for Non-judging, Describing, and Acting with awareness on the FFMQ. Our results indicate that not all practice variables are equally relevant in terms of developing mindfulness skills. Frequency and lifetime practice--but not session length or meditation type--were associated with higher mindfulness skills. Given that these 6 mindfulness aspects show variable sensitivity to practice, we created a composite index (MINDSENS) consisting of those items from FFMQ and EQ that showed the strongest response to practice. The MINDSENS index was able to correctly discriminate daily meditators from non-meditators in 82.3% of cases. These findings may contribute to the understanding of the

  18. Value associated with mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise intervention in acute respiratory infection: the MEPARI Study.

    PubMed

    Rakel, David; Mundt, Marlon; Ewers, Tola; Fortney, Luke; Zgierska, Aleksandra; Gassman, Michele; Barrett, Bruce

    2013-08-01

    Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is among the most common, debilitating and expensive human illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess ARI-related costs and determine if mindfulness meditation or exercise can add value. One hundred and fifty-four adults ≥50 years from Madison, WI for the 2009-10 cold/flu season were randomized to (i) wait-list control (ii) meditation or (iii) moderate intensity exercise. ARI-related costs were assessed through self-reported medication use, number of missed work days and medical visits. Costs per subject were based on cost of generic medications, missed work days ($126.20) and clinic visits ($78.70). Monte Carlo bootstrap methods evaluated reduced costs of ARI episodes. The total cost per subject for the control group was $214 (95% CI: $105-$358), exercise $136 (95% CI: $64-$232) and meditation $65 (95% CI: $34-$104). The majority of cost savings was through a reduction in missed days of work. Exercise had the highest medication costs at $16.60 compared with $5.90 for meditation (P = 0.004) and $7.20 for control (P = 0.046). Combining these cost benefits with the improved outcomes in incidence, duration and severity seen with the Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection study, meditation and exercise add value for ARI. Compared with control, meditation had the greatest cost benefit. This savings is offset by the cost of the intervention ($450/subject) that would negate the short-term but perhaps not long-term savings. Meditation and exercise add value to ARI-associated health-related costs with improved outcomes. Further research is needed to confirm results and inform policies on adding value to medical spending.

  19. A phenomenology of meditation-induced light experiences: traditional buddhist and neurobiological perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Lindahl, Jared R.; Kaplan, Christopher T.; Winget, Evan M.; Britton, Willoughby B.

    2014-01-01

    The scientific study of Buddhist meditation has proceeded without much attention to Buddhist literature that details the range of psychological and physiological changes thought to occur during meditation. This paper presents reports of various meditation-induced light experiences derived from American Buddhist practitioners. The reports of light experiences are classified into two main types: discrete lightforms and patterned or diffuse lights. Similar phenomena are well documented in traditional Buddhist texts but are virtually undocumented in scientific literature on meditation. Within Buddhist traditions, these phenomena are attributed a range of interpretations. However, because it is insufficient and problematic to rely solely upon the textual sources as a means of investigating the cause or significance of these phenomena, these qualitative reports are also considered in relation to scientific research on light-related experiences in the context of sensory deprivation, perceptual isolation, and clinical disorders of the visual system. The typologies derived from these studies also rely upon reports of experiences and closely match typologies derived from the qualitative study of contemporary practitioners and typologies found in Buddhist literary traditions. Taken together, these studies also provide evidence in support of the hypothesis that certain meditative practices – especially those that deliberately decrease social, kinesthetic, and sensory stimulation and emphasize focused attention – have perceptual and cognitive outcomes similar to sensory deprivation. Given that sensory deprivation increases neuroplasticity, meditation may also have an enhanced neuroplastic potential beyond ordinary experience-dependent changes. By providing and contextualizing these reports of meditation-induced light experiences, scientists, clinicians, and meditators gain a more informed view of the range of experiences that can be elicited by contemplative practices. PMID

  20. Value associated with mindfulness meditation and moderate exercise intervention in acute respiratory infection: The MEPARI Study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background and objectives. Acute respiratory infection (ARI) is among the most common, debilitating and expensive human illnesses. The purpose of this study was to assess ARI-related costs and determine if mindfulness meditation or exercise can add value. Methods. One hundred and fifty-four adults ≥50 years from Madison, WI for the 2009–10 cold/flu season were randomized to (i) wait-list control (ii) meditation or (iii) moderate intensity exercise. ARI-related costs were assessed through self-reported medication use, number of missed work days and medical visits. Costs per subject were based on cost of generic medications, missed work days ($126.20) and clinic visits ($78.70). Monte Carlo bootstrap methods evaluated reduced costs of ARI episodes. Results. The total cost per subject for the control group was $214 (95% CI: $105–$358), exercise $136 (95% CI: $64–$232) and meditation $65 (95% CI: $34–$104). The majority of cost savings was through a reduction in missed days of work. Exercise had the highest medication costs at $16.60 compared with $5.90 for meditation (P = 0.004) and $7.20 for control (P = 0.046). Combining these cost benefits with the improved outcomes in incidence, duration and severity seen with the Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection study, meditation and exercise add value for ARI. Compared with control, meditation had the greatest cost benefit. This savings is offset by the cost of the intervention ($450/subject) that would negate the short-term but perhaps not long-term savings. Conclusions. Meditation and exercise add value to ARI-associated health-related costs with improved outcomes. Further research is needed to confirm results and inform policies on adding value to medical spending. PMID:23515373

  1. Mean-field thalamocortical modeling of longitudinal EEG acquired during intensive meditation training.

    PubMed

    Saggar, Manish; Zanesco, Anthony P; King, Brandon G; Bridwell, David A; MacLean, Katherine A; Aichele, Stephen R; Jacobs, Tonya L; Wallace, B Alan; Saron, Clifford D; Miikkulainen, Risto

    2015-07-01

    Meditation training has been shown to enhance attention and improve emotion regulation. However, the brain processes associated with such training are poorly understood and a computational modeling framework is lacking. Modeling approaches that can realistically simulate neurophysiological data while conforming to basic anatomical and physiological constraints can provide a unique opportunity to generate concrete and testable hypotheses about the mechanisms supporting complex cognitive tasks such as meditation. Here we applied the mean-field computational modeling approach using the scalp-recorded electroencephalogram (EEG) collected at three assessment points from meditating participants during two separate 3-month-long shamatha meditation retreats. We modeled cortical, corticothalamic, and intrathalamic interactions to generate a simulation of EEG signals recorded across the scalp. We also present two novel extensions to the mean-field approach that allow for: (a) non-parametric analysis of changes in model parameter values across all channels and assessments; and (b) examination of variation in modeled thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) connectivity over the retreat period. After successfully fitting whole-brain EEG data across three assessment points within each retreat, two model parameters were found to replicably change across both meditation retreats. First, after training, we observed an increased temporal delay between modeled cortical and thalamic cells. This increase provides a putative neural mechanism for a previously observed reduction in individual alpha frequency in these same participants. Second, we found decreased inhibitory connection strength between the TRN and secondary relay nuclei (SRN) of the modeled thalamus after training. This reduction in inhibitory strength was found to be associated with increased dynamical stability of the model. Altogether, this paper presents the first computational approach, taking core aspects of physiology and

  2. Meditation and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

    PubMed

    Levine, Glenn N; Lange, Richard A; Bairey-Merz, C Noel; Davidson, Richard J; Jamerson, Kenneth; Mehta, Puja K; Michos, Erin D; Norris, Keith; Ray, Indranill Basu; Saban, Karen L; Shah, Tina; Stein, Richard; Smith, Sidney C

    2017-09-28

    Despite numerous advances in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality. Novel and inexpensive interventions that can contribute to the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease are of interest. Numerous studies have reported on the benefits of meditation. Meditation instruction and practice is widely accessible and inexpensive and may thus be a potential attractive cost-effective adjunct to more traditional medical therapies. Accordingly, this American Heart Association scientific statement systematically reviewed the data on the potential benefits of meditation on cardiovascular risk. Neurophysiological and neuroanatomical studies demonstrate that meditation can have long-standing effects on the brain, which provide some biological plausibility for beneficial consequences on the physiological basal state and on cardiovascular risk. Studies of the effects of meditation on cardiovascular risk have included those investigating physiological response to stress, smoking cessation, blood pressure reduction, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, endothelial function, inducible myocardial ischemia, and primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Overall, studies of meditation suggest a possible benefit on cardiovascular risk, although the overall quality and, in some cases, quantity of study data are modest. Given the low costs and low risks of this intervention, meditation may be considered as an adjunct to guideline-directed cardiovascular risk reduction by those interested in this lifestyle modification, with the understanding that the benefits of such intervention remain to be better established. Further research on meditation and cardiovascular risk is warranted. Such studies, to the degree possible, should utilize randomized study design, be adequately powered to meet the primary study outcome, strive to achieve low drop-out rates, include long

  3. Influence of meditation on anti-correlated networks in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Josipovic, Zoran; Dinstein, Ilan; Weber, Jochen; Heeger, David J.

    2012-01-01

    Human experiences can be broadly divided into those that are external and related to interaction with the environment, and experiences that are internal and self-related. The cerebral cortex appears to be divided into two corresponding systems: an “extrinsic” system composed of brain areas that respond more to external stimuli and tasks and an “intrinsic” system composed of brain areas that respond less to external stimuli and tasks. These two broad brain systems seem to compete with each other, such that their activity levels over time is usually anti-correlated, even when subjects are “at rest” and not performing any task. This study used meditation as an experimental manipulation to test whether this competition (anti-correlation) can be modulated by cognitive strategy. Participants either fixated without meditation (fixation), or engaged in non-dual awareness (NDA) or focused attention (FA) meditations. We computed inter-area correlations (“functional connectivity”) between pairs of brain regions within each system, and between the entire extrinsic and intrinsic systems. Anti-correlation between extrinsic vs. intrinsic systems was stronger during FA meditation and weaker during NDA meditation in comparison to fixation (without mediation). However, correlation between areas within each system did not change across conditions. These results suggest that the anti-correlation found between extrinsic and intrinsic systems is not an immutable property of brain organization and that practicing different forms of meditation can modulate this gross functional organization in profoundly different ways. PMID:22287947

  4. Effect of Meditation on Cognitive Functions in Context of Aging and Neurodegenerative Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Marciniak, Rafał; Sheardova, Katerina; Čermáková, Pavla; Hudeček, Daniel; Šumec, Rastislav; Hort, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Effect of different meditation practices on various aspects of mental and physical health is receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews evidence on the effects of several mediation practices on cognitive functions in the context of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. The effect of meditation in this area is still poorly explored. Seven studies were detected through the databases search, which explores the effect of meditation on attention, memory, executive functions, and other miscellaneous measures of cognition in a sample of older people and people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases. Overall, reviewed studies suggested a positive effect of meditation techniques, particularly in the area of attention, as well as memory, verbal fluency, and cognitive flexibility. These findings are discussed in the context of MRI studies suggesting structural correlates of the effects. Meditation can be a potentially suitable non-pharmacological intervention aimed at the prevention of cognitive decline in the elderly. However, the conclusions of these studies are limited by their methodological flaws and differences of various types of meditation techniques. Further research in this direction could help to verify the validity of the findings and clarify the problematic aspects. PMID:24478663

  5. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

    PubMed Central

    Black, David S.; Slavich, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness meditation represents a mental training framework for cultivating the state of mindful awareness in daily life. Recently, there has been a surge of interest in how mindfulness meditation improves human health and well-being. Although studies have shown that mindfulness meditation can improve self-reported measures of disease symptomatology, the effect that mindfulness meditation has on biological mechanisms underlying human aging and disease is less clear. To address this issue, we conducted the first comprehensive review of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of mindfulness meditation on immune system parameters, with a specific focus on five outcomes: (1) circulating and stimulated inflammatory proteins, (2) cellular transcription factors and gene expression, (3) immune cell count, (4) immune cell aging, and (5) antibody response. This analysis revealed substantial heterogeneity across studies with respect to patient population, study design, and assay procedures. The findings suggest possible effects of mindfulness meditation on specific markers of inflammation, cell-mediated immunity, and biological aging, but these results are tentative and require further replication. On the basis of this analysis, we describe the limitations of existing work and suggest possible avenues for future research. Mindfulness mediation may be salutogenic for immune system dynamics, but additional work is needed to examine these effects. PMID:26799456

  6. Nondirective meditation activates default mode network and areas associated with memory retrieval and emotional processing.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jian; Vik, Alexandra; Groote, Inge R; Lagopoulos, Jim; Holen, Are; Ellingsen, Oyvind; Håberg, Asta K; Davanger, Svend

    2014-01-01

    Nondirective meditation techniques are practiced with a relaxed focus of attention that permits spontaneously occurring thoughts, images, sensations, memories, and emotions to emerge and pass freely, without any expectation that mind wandering should abate. These techniques are thought to facilitate mental processing of emotional experiences, thereby contributing to wellness and stress management. The present study assessed brain activity by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 experienced practitioners of Acem meditation in two experimental conditions. In the first, nondirective meditation was compared to rest. Significantly increased activity was detected in areas associated with attention, mind wandering, retrieval of episodic memories, and emotional processing. In the second condition, participants carried out concentrative practicing of the same meditation technique, actively trying to avoid mind wandering. The contrast nondirective meditation > concentrative practicing was characterized by higher activity in the right medial temporal lobe (parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala). In conclusion, the present results support the notion that nondirective meditation, which permits mind wandering, involves more extensive activation of brain areas associated with episodic memories and emotional processing, than during concentrative practicing or regular rest.

  7. Interoception drives increased rational decision-making in meditators playing the ultimatum game.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Ulrich; Downar, Jonathan; Montague, P Read

    2011-01-01

    Human decision-making is often conceptualized as a competition between cognitive and emotional processes in the brain. Deviations from rational processes are believed to derive from inclusion of emotional factors in decision-making. Here, we investigate whether experienced Buddhist meditators are better equipped to regulate emotional processes compared with controls during economic decision-making in the Ultimatum Game. We show that meditators accept unfair offers on more than half of the trials, whereas controls only accept unfair offers on one-quarter of the trials. By applying fMRI we show that controls recruit the anterior insula during unfair offers. Such responses are powerful predictors of rejecting offers in social interaction. By contrast, meditators display attenuated activity in high-level emotional representations of the anterior insula and increased activity in the low-level interoceptive representations of the posterior insula. In addition we show that a subset of control participants who play rationally (i.e., accepts >85% unfair offers) recruits the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex presumably reflecting increased cognitive demands, whereas rational meditators by contrast display elevated activity in the somatosensory cortex and posterior superior temporal cortex. In summary, when assessing unfairness in the Ultimatum Game, meditators activate a different network of brain areas compared with controls enabling them to uncouple negative emotional reactions from their behavior. These findings highlight the clinically and socially important possibility that sustained training in mindfulness meditation may impact distinct domains of human decision-making.

  8. Effect of anapanasati meditation technique through electrophotonic imaging parameters: A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Deo, Guru; Itagi R, Kumar; Thaiyar M, Srinivasan; Kuldeep, Kushwah K

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness along with breathing is a well-established meditation technique. Breathing is an exquisite tool for exploring subtle awareness of mind and life itself. This study aimed at measuring changes in the different parameters of electrophotonic imaging (EPI) in anapanasati meditators. To carry out this study, 51 subjects comprising 32 males and 19 females of age 18 years and above (mean age 45.64 ± 14.43) were recruited voluntarily with informed consent attending Karnataka Dhyana Mahachakra-1 at Pyramid Valley International, Bengaluru, India. The design was a single group pre- post and data collected by EPI device before and after 5 days of intensive meditation. Results show significant changes in EPI parameter integral area with filter (physiological) in both right and left side, which reflects the availability of high functional energy reserve in meditators. The researchers observed similar trends without filter (psycho-physiological) indicating high reserves of energy at psycho-physiological level also. Activation coefficient, another parameter of EPI, reduced showing more relaxed state than earlier, possibly due to parasympathetic dominance. Integral entropy decreased in the case of psycho-physiological parameters left-side without filter, which indicates less disorder after meditation, but these changes were not significant. The study showed a reversed change in integral entropy in the right side without filter; however, the values on both sides with filter increased, which indicates disorder. The study suggests that EPI can be used in the recording functional physiological and psychophysiological status of meditators at a subtle level.

  9. Spatially Nonlinear Interdependence of Alpha-Oscillatory Neural Networks under Chan Meditation

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chih-Hao

    2013-01-01

    This paper reports the results of our investigation of the effects of Chan meditation on brain electrophysiological behaviors from the viewpoint of spatially nonlinear interdependence among regional neural networks. Particular emphasis is laid on the alpha-dominated EEG (electroencephalograph). Continuous-time wavelet transform was adopted to detect the epochs containing substantial alpha activities. Nonlinear interdependence quantified by similarity index S(X∣Y), the influence of source signal Y on sink signal X, was applied to the nonlinear dynamical model in phase space reconstructed from multichannel EEG. Experimental group involved ten experienced Chan-Meditation practitioners, while control group included ten healthy subjects within the same age range, yet, without any meditation experience. Nonlinear interdependence among various cortical regions was explored for five local neural-network regions, frontal, posterior, right-temporal, left-temporal, and central regions. In the experimental group, the inter-regional interaction was evaluated for the brain dynamics under three different stages, at rest (stage R, pre-meditation background recording), in Chan meditation (stage M), and the unique Chakra-focusing practice (stage C). Experimental group exhibits stronger interactions among various local neural networks at stages M and C compared with those at stage R. The intergroup comparison demonstrates that Chan-meditation brain possesses better cortical inter-regional interactions than the resting brain of control group. PMID:24489583

  10. Adaptive neural reward processing during anticipation and receipt of monetary rewards in mindfulness meditators.

    PubMed

    Kirk, Ulrich; Brown, Kirk Warren; Downar, Jonathan

    2015-05-01

    Reward seeking is ubiquitous and adaptive in humans. But excessive reward seeking behavior, such as chasing monetary rewards, may lead to diminished subjective well-being. This study examined whether individuals trained in mindfulness meditation show neural evidence of lower susceptibility to monetary rewards. Seventy-eight participants (34 meditators, 44 matched controls) completed the monetary incentive delay task while undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging. The groups performed equally on the task, but meditators showed lower neural activations in the caudate nucleus during reward anticipation, and elevated bilateral posterior insula activation during reward anticipation. Meditators also evidenced reduced activations in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during reward receipt compared with controls. Connectivity parameters between the right caudate and bilateral anterior insula were attenuated in meditators during incentive anticipation. In summary, brain regions involved in reward processing-both during reward anticipation and receipt of reward-responded differently in mindfulness meditators than in nonmeditators, indicating that the former are less susceptible to monetary incentives. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. Brain activity in near-death experiencers during a meditative state.

    PubMed

    Beauregard, Mario; Courtemanche, Jérôme; Paquette, Vincent

    2009-09-01

    To measure brain activity in near-death experiencers during a meditative state. In two separate experiments, brain activity was measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) during a Meditation condition and a Control condition. In the Meditation condition, participants were asked to mentally visualize and emotionally connect with the "being of light" allegedly encountered during their "near-death experience". In the Control condition, participants were instructed to mentally visualize the light emitted by a lamp. In the fMRI experiment, significant loci of activation were found during the Meditation condition (compared to the Control condition) in the right brainstem, right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, right medial prefrontal cortex, right superior parietal lobule, left superior occipital gyrus, left anterior temporal pole, left inferior temporal gyrus, left anterior insula, left parahippocampal gyrus and left substantia nigra. In the EEG experiment, electrode sites showed greater theta power in the Meditation condition relative to the Control condition at FP1, F7, F3, T5, P3, O1, FP2, F4, F8, P4, Fz, Cz and Pz. In addition, higher alpha power was detected at FP1, F7, T3 and FP2, whereas higher gamma power was found at FP2, F7, T4 and T5. The results indicate that the meditative state was associated with marked hemodynamic and neuroelectric changes in brain regions known to be involved either in positive emotions, visual mental imagery, attention or spiritual experiences.

  12. Influence of meditation on anti-correlated networks in the brain.

    PubMed

    Josipovic, Zoran; Dinstein, Ilan; Weber, Jochen; Heeger, David J

    2011-01-01

    Human experiences can be broadly divided into those that are external and related to interaction with the environment, and experiences that are internal and self-related. The cerebral cortex appears to be divided into two corresponding systems: an "extrinsic" system composed of brain areas that respond more to external stimuli and tasks and an "intrinsic" system composed of brain areas that respond less to external stimuli and tasks. These two broad brain systems seem to compete with each other, such that their activity levels over time is usually anti-correlated, even when subjects are "at rest" and not performing any task. This study used meditation as an experimental manipulation to test whether this competition (anti-correlation) can be modulated by cognitive strategy. Participants either fixated without meditation (fixation), or engaged in non-dual awareness (NDA) or focused attention (FA) meditations. We computed inter-area correlations ("functional connectivity") between pairs of brain regions within each system, and between the entire extrinsic and intrinsic systems. Anti-correlation between extrinsic vs. intrinsic systems was stronger during FA meditation and weaker during NDA meditation in comparison to fixation (without mediation). However, correlation between areas within each system did not change across conditions. These results suggest that the anti-correlation found between extrinsic and intrinsic systems is not an immutable property of brain organization and that practicing different forms of meditation can modulate this gross functional organization in profoundly different ways.

  13. Reduced age-related degeneration of the hippocampal subiculum in long-term meditators.

    PubMed

    Kurth, Florian; Cherbuin, Nicolas; Luders, Eileen

    2015-06-30

    Normal aging is known to result in a reduction of gray matter within the hippocampal complex, particularly in the subiculum. The present study was designed to address the question whether the practice of meditation can amend this age-related subicular atrophy. For this purpose, we established the correlations between subicular volume and chronological age within 50 long-term meditators and 50 control subjects. High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were automatically processed combining cytoarchitectonically defined probabilistic maps with advanced tissue segmentation and registration methods. Overall, we observed steeper negative regression slopes in controls. The analysis further revealed a significant group-by-age interaction for the left subiculum with a significant negative correlation between age and subicular volume in controls, but no significant correlation in meditators. Altogether, these findings seem to suggest a reduced age-related atrophy of the left subiculum in meditators compared to healthy controls. Possible explanations might be a relative increase of subicular tissue over time through long-term training as meditation is a process that incorporates regular and ongoing mental efforts. Alternatively, because meditation is an established form of reducing stress, our observation might reflect an overall preservation of subicular tissue through a reduced neuronal vulnerability to negative effects of stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. A systematic review of neurobiological and clinical features of mindfulness meditations.

    PubMed

    Chiesa, A; Serretti, A

    2010-08-01

    Mindfulness meditation (MM) practices constitute an important group of meditative practices that have received growing attention. The aim of the present paper was to systematically review current evidence on the neurobiological changes and clinical benefits related to MM practice in psychiatric disorders, in physical illnesses and in healthy subjects. A literature search was undertaken using Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane collaboration database and references of retrieved articles. Controlled and cross-sectional studies with controls published in English up to November 2008 were included. Electroencephalographic (EEG) studies have revealed a significant increase in alpha and theta activity during meditation. Neuroimaging studies showed that MM practice activates the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and that long-term meditation practice is associated with an enhancement of cerebral areas related to attention. From a clinical viewpoint, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has shown efficacy for many psychiatric and physical conditions and also for healthy subjects, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is mainly efficacious in reducing relapses of depression in patients with three or more episodes, Zen meditation significantly reduces blood pressure and Vipassana meditation shows efficacy in reducing alcohol and substance abuse in prisoners. However, given the low-quality designs of current studies it is difficult to establish whether clinical outcomes are due to specific or non-specific effects of MM. Despite encouraging findings, several limitations affect current studies. Suggestions are given for future research based on better designed methodology and for future directions of investigation.

  15. Nondirective meditation activates default mode network and areas associated with memory retrieval and emotional processing

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jian; Vik, Alexandra; Groote, Inge R.; Lagopoulos, Jim; Holen, Are; Ellingsen, Øyvind; Håberg, Asta K.; Davanger, Svend

    2014-01-01

    Nondirective meditation techniques are practiced with a relaxed focus of attention that permits spontaneously occurring thoughts, images, sensations, memories, and emotions to emerge and pass freely, without any expectation that mind wandering should abate. These techniques are thought to facilitate mental processing of emotional experiences, thereby contributing to wellness and stress management. The present study assessed brain activity by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 14 experienced practitioners of Acem meditation in two experimental conditions. In the first, nondirective meditation was compared to rest. Significantly increased activity was detected in areas associated with attention, mind wandering, retrieval of episodic memories, and emotional processing. In the second condition, participants carried out concentrative practicing of the same meditation technique, actively trying to avoid mind wandering. The contrast nondirective meditation > concentrative practicing was characterized by higher activity in the right medial temporal lobe (parahippocampal gyrus and amygdala). In conclusion, the present results support the notion that nondirective meditation, which permits mind wandering, involves more extensive activation of brain areas associated with episodic memories and emotional processing, than during concentrative practicing or regular rest. PMID:24616684

  16. I think therefore I om: cognitive distortions and coping style as mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, positive and negative affect, and hope.

    PubMed

    Sears, Sharon; Kraus, Sue

    2009-06-01

    This study examined cognitive distortions and coping styles as potential mediators for the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety, negative affect, positive affect, and hope in college students. Our pre- and postintervention design had four conditions: control, brief meditation focused on attention, brief meditation focused on loving kindness, and longer meditation combining both attentional and loving kindness aspects of mindfulness. Each group met weekly over the course of a semester. Longer combined meditation significantly reduced anxiety and negative affect and increased hope. Changes in cognitive distortions mediated intervention effects for anxiety, negative affect, and hope. Further research is needed to determine differential effects of types of meditation. Copyright 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Reliability and Validity of the Zephyr[TM] BioHarness[TM] to Measure Respiratory Responses to Exercise

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hailstone, Jono; Kilding, Andrew E.

    2011-01-01

    The Zephyr[TM] BioHarness[TM] (Zephyr Technology, Auckland, New Zealand) is a wireless physiological monitoring system that has the ability to measure respiratory rate unobtrusively. However, the ability of the BioHarness[TM] to accurately and reproducibly determine respiratory rate across a range of intensities is currently unknown. The aim of…

  18. Meditation and Yoga can Modulate Brain Mechanisms that affect Behavior and Anxiety-A Modern Scientific Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Krishnakumar, Divya; Hamblin, Michael R; Lakshmanan, Shanmugamurthy

    2015-01-01

    Meditation and Yoga techniques are receiving increased attention throughout the world, due to the accumulation of evidence based research that proves the direct and indirect benefits of such practices. Based on studies conducted so far, it has been found that the practice of meditation triggers neurotransmitters that modulate psychological disorders such as anxiety. This paper will review the psychological effects of the practice of meditation, the role of neurotransmitters, and studies using EEG and fMRI. PMID:26929928

  19. A randomized controlled trial of mindfulness meditation versus relaxation training: effects on distress, positive states of mind, rumination, and distraction.

    PubMed

    Jain, Shamini; Shapiro, Shauna L; Swanick, Summer; Roesch, Scott C; Mills, Paul J; Bell, Iris; Schwartz, Gary E R

    2007-02-01

    Although mindfulness meditation interventions have recently shown benefits for reducing stress in various populations, little is known about their relative efficacy compared with relaxation interventions. This randomized controlled trial examines the effects of a 1-month mindfulness meditation versus somatic relaxation training as compared to a control group in 83 students (M age = 25; 16 men and 67 women) reporting distress. Psychological distress, positive states of mind, distractive and ruminative thoughts and behaviors, and spiritual experience were measured, while controlling for social desirability. Hierarchical linear modeling reveals that both meditation and relaxation groups experienced significant decreases in distress as well as increases in positive mood states over time, compared with the control group (p < .05 in all cases). There were no significant differences between meditation and relaxation on distress and positive mood states over time. Effect sizes for distress were large for both meditation and relaxation (Cohen's d = 1.36 and .91, respectively), whereas the meditation group showed a larger effect size for positive states of mind than relaxation (Cohen's d =.71 and .25, respectively). The meditation group also demonstrated significant pre-post decreases in both distractive and ruminative thoughts/behaviors compared with the control group (p < .04 in all cases; Cohen's d = .57 for rumination and .25 for distraction for the meditation group), with mediation models suggesting that mindfulness meditation's effects on reducing distress were partially mediated by reducing rumination. No significant effects were found for spiritual experience. The data suggest that compared with a no-treatment control, brief training in mindfulness meditation or somatic relaxation reduces distress and improves positive mood states. However, mindfulness meditation may be specific in its ability to reduce distractive and ruminative thoughts and behaviors, and this

  20. What it means to be Zen: Marked modulations of local and interareal synchronization during open monitoring meditation

    PubMed Central

    Hauswald, Anne; Übelacker, Teresa; Leske, Sabine; Weisz, Nathan

    2015-01-01

    Experienced meditators are able to voluntarily modulate their state of consciousness and attention. In the present study, we took advantage of this ability and studied brain activity related to the shift of mental state. Electrophysiological activity, i.e. EEG, was recorded from 11 subjects with varying degrees of meditation experience during Zen meditation (a form of open monitoring meditation) and during non-meditation rest. On a behavioral level, mindfulness scores were assessed using the Mindfulness Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS). Analysis of EEG source power revealed the so far unreported finding that MAAS scores significantly correlated with gamma power (30–250 Hz), particularly high-frequency gamma (100–245 Hz), during meditation. High levels of mindfulness were related to increased high-frequency gamma, for example, in the cingulate cortex and somatosensory cortices. Further, we analyzed the relationship between connectivity during meditation and self-reported mindfulness (MAAS). We found a correlation between graph measures in the 160–170 Hz range and MAAS scores. Higher levels of mindfulness were related to lower small worldedness as well as global and local clustering in paracentral, insular, and thalamic regions during meditation. In sum, the present study shows significant relationships of mindfulness and brain activity during meditation indicated by measures of oscillatory power and graph theoretical measures. The most prominent effects occur in brain structures crucially involved in processes of awareness and attention, which also show structural changes in short- and long-term meditators, suggesting continuative alterations in the meditating brain. Overall, our study reveals strong changes in ongoing oscillatory activity as well as connectivity patterns that appear to be sensitive to the psychological state changes induced by Zen meditation. PMID:25562827

  1. Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Nakata, Hiroki; Sakamoto, Kiwako; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. To clarify the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon, neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, and neurophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, have been used. However, it has been difficult to interpret the results, because there is some paradoxical evidence. For example, some studies reported increased neural responses to pain stimulation during meditation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula, whereas others showed a decrease in these regions. There have been inconsistent findings to date. Moreover, in general, since the activities of the ACC and insula are correlated with pain perception, the increase in neural activities during meditation would be related to the enhancement of pain perception rather than its reduction. These contradictions might directly contribute to the ‘mystery of meditation.’ In this review, we presented previous findings for brain regions during meditation and the anatomical changes that occurred in the brain with long-term meditation training. We then discussed the findings of previous studies that examined pain-related neural activity during meditation. We also described the brain mechanisms responsible for pain relief during meditation, and possible reasons for paradoxical evidence among previous studies. By thoroughly overviewing previous findings, we hypothesized that meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the ACC, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. We suggest that the characteristics of the modulation of this activity may depend on the kind of meditation and/or number of years of experience of meditation, which were associated with paradoxical findings among previous studies that investigated pain-related neural activities during meditation. PMID:25566158

  2. What it means to be Zen: marked modulations of local and interareal synchronization during open monitoring meditation.

    PubMed

    Hauswald, Anne; Übelacker, Teresa; Leske, Sabine; Weisz, Nathan

    2015-03-01

    Experienced meditators are able to voluntarily modulate their state of consciousness and attention. In the present study, we took advantage of this ability and studied brain activity related to the shift of mental state. Electrophysiological activity, i.e. EEG, was recorded from 11 subjects with varying degrees of meditation experience during Zen meditation (a form of open monitoring meditation) and during non-meditation rest. On a behavioral level, mindfulness scores were assessed using the Mindfulness Attention and Awareness Scale (MAAS). Analysis of EEG source power revealed the so far unreported finding that MAAS scores significantly correlated with gamma power (30-250Hz), particularly high-frequency gamma (100-245Hz), during meditation. High levels of mindfulness were related to increased high-frequency gamma, for example, in the cingulate cortex and somatosensory cortices. Further, we analyzed the relationship between connectivity during meditation and self-reported mindfulness (MAAS). We found a correlation between graph measures in the 160-170Hz range and MAAS scores. Higher levels of mindfulness were related to lower small worldedness as well as global and local clustering in paracentral, insular, and thalamic regions during meditation. In sum, the present study shows significant relationships of mindfulness and brain activity during meditation indicated by measures of oscillatory power and graph theoretical measures. The most prominent effects occur in brain structures crucially involved in processes of awareness and attention, which also show structural changes in short- and long-term meditators, suggesting continuative alterations in the meditating brain. Overall, our study reveals strong changes in ongoing oscillatory activity as well as connectivity patterns that appear to be sensitive to the psychological state changes induced by Zen meditation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. TE/TM decomposition of electromagnetic sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindell, Ismo V.

    1988-01-01

    Three methods are given by which bounded EM sources can be decomposed into two parts radiating transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) fields with respect to a given constant direction in space. The theory applies source equivalence and nonradiating source concepts, which lead to decomposition methods based on a recursive formula or two differential equations for the determination of the TE and TM components of the original source. Decompositions for a dipole in terms of point, line, and plane sources are studied in detail. The planar decomposition is seen to match to an earlier result given by Clemmow (1963). As an application of the point decomposition method, it is demonstrated that the general exact image expression for the Sommerfeld half-space problem, previously derived through heuristic reasoning, can be more straightforwardly obtained through the present decomposition method.

  4. Landsat TM memory effect characterization and correction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Helder, D.; Boncyk, W.; Morfitt, R.

    1997-01-01

    Before radiometric calibration of Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data can be done accurately, it is necessary to minimize the effects of artifacts present in the data that originate in the instrument's signal processing path. These artifacts have been observed in downlinked image data since shortly after launch of Landsat 4 and 5. However, no comprehensive work has been done to characterize all the artifacts and develop methods for their correction. In this paper, the most problematic artifact is discussed: memory effect (ME). Characterization of this artifact is presented, including the parameters necessary for its correction. In addition, a correction algorithm is described that removes the artifact from TM imagery. It will be shown that this artifact causes significant radiometry errors, but the effect can be removed in a straightforward manner.

  5. Cryogenic Tm:YAP microchip laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hubka, Zbyněk.; Å ulc, Jan; Jelínková, Helena; Nejezchleb, Karel; Å koda, Václav

    2016-04-01

    The spectral characteristics of laser active media, and thus those of the laser output, are temperature dependent. Specifically, in almost every crystal host, cooling to low temperatures leads to better heat removal, a higher efficiency and output power, and a reduced lasing threshold. Tm-ion doped lasers have an emission wavelength around 2 μm and are important in medicine for soft tissue cutting and hemostasis, as well as in LIDAR or atmosphere sensing technology. This paper presents the performance-temperature dependency of a 4 at. % doped Tm:YAP microchip. During the experiment the Tm:YAP crystal was placed inside an evacuated liquid nitrogen cryostat on a cooling finger. As its temperature was varied from 80 K to 340 K, changes were observed in the absorption spectrum, ranging from 750 nm to 2000 nm and in the fluorescence spectrum from 1600 nm to 2050 nm. Fluorescence lifetime was seen to rise and fall with decreasing temperature. The laser was pumped by a 792 nm laser diode and at 80 K the maximum output peak power of the laser was 4.6 W with 23 % slope efficiency and 0.6 W threshold, compared to 2.4 W output peak power, 13 % slope efficiency and 3.3 W threshold when at 340 K. The laser emission wavelength changed from 1883 nm to 1993 nm for 80 K and 300 K, respectively.

  6. Preliminary Evaluation of TM for Soils Information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, D. R.; Henderson, K. E.; Houston, A. G.; Pitts, D. E.

    1984-01-01

    Thematic mapper data acquired over Mississippi County, Arkansas, were examined for utility in separating soil associations within generally level alluvium deposited by the Mississippi River. The 0.76 to 0.90 micron (Band 4) and the 1.55 to 1.75 micron (Band 5) were found to separate the different soil associations fairly well when compared to the USDA-SCS general soil map. The thermal channel also appeared to provide information at this level. A detailed soil survey was available at the field level along with ground observations of crop type, plant height, percent cover and growth stage. Soils within the fields ranged from uniform to soils that occur as patches of sand that stand out strongly against the intermingled areas of dark soil. Examination of the digital values of individual TM bands at the field level indicates that the influence of the soil is greater in TM than it was in MSS bands. The TM appears to provide greater detail of within field variability caused by soils than MSS and thus should provide improved information relating to crop and soil properties. However, this soil influence may cause crop identification classification procedures to have to account for the soil in their algorithms.

  7. Quantitative Assessment of Heart Rate Dynamics during Meditation: An ECG Based Study with Multi-Fractality and Visibility Graph.

    PubMed

    Bhaduri, Anirban; Ghosh, Dipak

    2016-01-01

    The cardiac dynamics during meditation is explored quantitatively with two chaos-based non-linear techniques viz. multi-fractal detrended fluctuation analysis and visibility network analysis techniques. The data used are the instantaneous heart rate (in beats/minute) of subjects performing Kundalini Yoga and Chi meditation from PhysioNet. The results show consistent differences between the quantitative parameters obtained by both the analysis techniques. This indicates an interesting phenomenon of change in the complexity of the cardiac dynamics during meditation supported with quantitative parameters. The results also produce a preliminary evidence that these techniques can be used as a measure of physiological impact on subjects performing meditation.

  8. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chuan-Chih; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Pinazo, Daniel; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Borchardt, Viola; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Balaguer, Raúl; Ávila, César; Walter, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common resting state functional connectivity methods. Interregional methods were paired with local measures such as Regional Homogeneity. As expected, significant differences in functional connectivity both between states (rest versus meditation) and between time points (before versus after training) were observed. During meditation, the internal consistency in the precuneus and the temporoparietal junction increased, while the internal consistency of frontal brain regions decreased. A follow-up analysis of regional connectivity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex further revealed reduced connectivity with anterior insula during meditation. After meditation training, reduced resting state functional connectivity between the pregenual anterior cingulate and dorsal medical prefrontal cortex was observed. Most importantly, significantly reduced depression/anxiety scores were observed after training. Hence, these findings suggest that mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression.

  9. Quantitative Assessment of Heart Rate Dynamics during Meditation: An ECG Based Study with Multi-Fractality and Visibility Graph

    PubMed Central

    Bhaduri, Anirban; Ghosh, Dipak

    2016-01-01

    The cardiac dynamics during meditation is explored quantitatively with two chaos-based non-linear techniques viz. multi-fractal detrended fluctuation analysis and visibility network analysis techniques. The data used are the instantaneous heart rate (in beats/minute) of subjects performing Kundalini Yoga and Chi meditation from PhysioNet. The results show consistent differences between the quantitative parameters obtained by both the analysis techniques. This indicates an interesting phenomenon of change in the complexity of the cardiac dynamics during meditation supported with quantitative parameters. The results also produce a preliminary evidence that these techniques can be used as a measure of physiological impact on subjects performing meditation. PMID:26909045

  10. Increased Grey Matter Associated with Long-Term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sergio Elías; Suero, José; Barros, Alfonso; González-Mora, José Luis; Rubia, Katya

    2016-01-01

    To investigate regional differences in grey matter volume associated with the practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Twenty three experienced practitioners of Sahaja Yoga Meditation and twenty three non-meditators matched on age, gender and education level, were scanned using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging and their grey matter volume were compared using Voxel-Based Morphometry. Grey matter volume was larger in meditators relative to non-meditators across the whole brain. In addition, grey matter volume was larger in several predominantly right hemispheric regions: in insula, ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal and parietal cortices as well as in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and left insula. No areas with larger grey matter volume were found in non-meditators relative to meditators. The study shows that long-term practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation is associated with larger grey matter volume overall, and with regional enlargement in several right hemispheric cortical and subcortical brain regions that are associated with sustained attention, self-control, compassion and interoceptive perception. The increased grey matter volume in these attention and self-control mediating regions suggests use-dependent enlargement with regular practice of this meditation.

  11. State and Training Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Brain Networks Reflect Neuronal Mechanisms of Its Antidepressant Effect

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Chuan-Chih; Barrós-Loscertales, Alfonso; Pinazo, Daniel; Ventura-Campos, Noelia; Borchardt, Viola; Bustamante, Juan-Carlos; Rodríguez-Pujadas, Aina; Fuentes-Claramonte, Paola; Balaguer, Raúl; Ávila, César; Walter, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The topic of investigating how mindfulness meditation training can have antidepressant effects via plastic changes in both resting state and meditation state brain activity is important in the rapidly emerging field of neuroplasticity. In the present study, we used a longitudinal design investigating resting state fMRI both before and after 40 days of meditation training in 13 novices. After training, we compared differences in network connectivity between rest and meditation using common resting state functional connectivity methods. Interregional methods were paired with local measures such as Regional Homogeneity. As expected, significant differences in functional connectivity both between states (rest versus meditation) and between time points (before versus after training) were observed. During meditation, the internal consistency in the precuneus and the temporoparietal junction increased, while the internal consistency of frontal brain regions decreased. A follow-up analysis of regional connectivity of the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex further revealed reduced connectivity with anterior insula during meditation. After meditation training, reduced resting state functional connectivity between the pregenual anterior cingulate and dorsal medical prefrontal cortex was observed. Most importantly, significantly reduced depression/anxiety scores were observed after training. Hence, these findings suggest that mindfulness meditation might be of therapeutic use by inducing plasticity related network changes altering the neuronal basis of affective disorders such as depression. PMID:26998365

  12. Efficacy of Rajayoga Meditation on Positive Thinking: An Index for Self-Satisfaction and Happiness in Life

    PubMed Central

    M.G., Ramesh; B., Sathian; E., Sinu; S. Rai, Kiranmai

    2013-01-01

    Objectives: Psychological studies have shown that brief period of mindfulness meditation significantly improves critical cognitive skills. But, there are no studies which have assessed the effects of Brahma Kumaris Rajayoga Meditation (BKRM) practice on positive thinking and happiness in life. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis is BKRM enhances positive thinking and that essential to attain higher levels of self-satisfaction and happiness in life. Material and Methods: This study is a cross sectional comparative study which was done between Rajayoga meditators and non-meditators. This study was conducted at BKRM Centres at Manipal and Udupi in Karnataka, India. Fifty subjects were selected for this study, which included those practising BKRM in their normal routine life (n=25) and non-meditators (n=25) who were aged 42.95+/15.29 years. Self-reported Oxford happiness questionnaire (OHQ) was administered to all subjects and their happiness scores and status were assessed and compared. Items related to self-satisfaction in life were selected from the OHQ and compared between meditators and non-meditators. Participants completed self-reported OHQ, from which data of happiness status and self-satisfaction in relation to meditation duration and frequency were analyzed by descriptive statistics and test of hypothesis. Results: Mean happiness scores of BKRM were significantly higher (p<0.001) in meditators as compared to those in non-meditators. The number of meditators experiencing happiness status were significantly higher (p<0.05) in comparison with non-meditators. Additionally, meditators scored significantly higher on self-satisfaction items (p<0.001) as compared to non-meditators. There was no correlation between age and years of meditation practice with happiness score and self-satisfaction score. Conclusion: BKRM helps in significantly increasing self-satisfaction and happiness in life by enhancing positive thinking. Irrespective of age and years

  13. Influence of long-term Sahaja Yoga meditation practice on emotional processing in the brain: An ERP study.

    PubMed

    Reva, N V; Pavlov, S V; Loktev, K V; Korenyok, V V; Aftanas, L I

    2014-12-05

    Despite growing interest in meditation as a tool for alternative therapy of stress-related and psychosomatic diseases, brain mechanisms of beneficial influences of meditation practice on health and quality of life are still unclear. We propose that the key point is a persistent change in emotional functioning, specifically the modulation of the early appraisal of motivational significance of events. The main aim was to study the effects of long-term meditation practice on event-related brain potentials (ERPs) during affective picture viewing. ERPs were recorded in 20 long-term Sahaja Yoga meditators and 20 control subjects without prior experience in meditation. The meditators' mid-latency (140-400ms) ERPs were attenuated for both positive and negative pictures (i.e. there were no arousal-related increases in ERP positivity) and this effect was more prominent over the right hemisphere. However, we found no differences in the long latency (400-800ms) responses to emotional images, associated with meditation practice. In addition we found stronger ERP negativity in the time window 200-300ms for meditators compared to the controls, regardless of picture valence. We assume that long-term meditation practice enhances frontal top-down control over fast automatic salience detection, based on amygdala functions. Copyright © 2014 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Increased Grey Matter Associated with Long-Term Sahaja Yoga Meditation: A Voxel-Based Morphometry Study

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Sergio Elías; Suero, José; Barros, Alfonso; González-Mora, José Luis; Rubia, Katya

    2016-01-01

    Objectives To investigate regional differences in grey matter volume associated with the practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation. Design Twenty three experienced practitioners of Sahaja Yoga Meditation and twenty three non-meditators matched on age, gender and education level, were scanned using structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging and their grey matter volume were compared using Voxel-Based Morphometry. Results Grey matter volume was larger in meditators relative to non-meditators across the whole brain. In addition, grey matter volume was larger in several predominantly right hemispheric regions: in insula, ventromedial orbitofrontal cortex, inferior temporal and parietal cortices as well as in left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and left insula. No areas with larger grey matter volume were found in non-meditators relative to meditators. Conclusions The study shows that long-term practice of Sahaja Yoga Meditation is associated with larger grey matter volume overall, and with regional enlargement in several right hemispheric cortical and subcortical brain regions that are associated with sustained attention, self-control, compassion and interoceptive perception. The increased grey matter volume in these attention and self-control mediating regions suggests use-dependent enlargement with regular practice of this meditation. PMID:26938433

  15. Absolute calibration accuracy of L4 TM and L5 TM sensor image pairs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chander, G.; Micijevic, E.

    2006-01-01

    The Landsat suite of satellites has collected the longest continuous archive of multispectral data of any land-observing space program. From the Landsat program's inception in 1972 to the present, the Earth science user community has benefited from a historical record of remotely sensed data. However, little attention has been paid to ensuring that the data are calibrated and comparable from mission to mission, Launched in 1982 and 1984 respectively, the Landsat 4 (L4) and Landsat 5 (L5) Thematic Mappers (TM) are the backbone of an extensive archive of moderate resolution Earth imagery. To evaluate the "current" absolute accuracy of these two sensors, image pairs from the L5 TM and L4 TM sensors were compared. The approach involves comparing image statistics derived from large common areas observed eight days apart by the two sensors. The average percent differences in reflectance estimates obtained from the L4 TM agree with those from the L5 TM to within 15 percent. Additional work to characterize the absolute differences between the two sensors over the entire mission is in progress.

  16. Comparative study of optical and scintillation properties of Tm3+:YAG, and Tm3+:LuAG single crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujimoto, Yutaka; Sugiyama, Makoto; Yanagida, Takayuki; Wakahara, Shingo; Suzuki, Shotaro; Kurosawa, Shunsuke; Chani, Valery; Yoshikawa, Akira

    2013-09-01

    The optical and scintillation properties of Tm3+-doped yttrium aluminum garnet Y3Al5O12 (YAG) and Tm3+-doped lutetium aluminum garnet Lu3Al5O12 (LuAG) are compared. The Tm3+-doped single crystals were grown by the micro-pulling down (μ-PD) technique. Both crystals demonstrated some emission peaks originated from 4f-4f forbidden transition of Tm3+ under 241Am alpha-ray excitation. The scintillation decay time of Tm3+-doped YAG was similar to that of LuAG. When irradiated by the gamma-rays from a 137Cs source, the relative scintillation light yields of Tm:YAG was 90% greater than that of Tm:LuAG.

  17. Multiple Echo Diffusion Tensor Acquisition Technique (MEDITATE) on a 3T clinical scanner

    PubMed Central

    Baete, Steven H.; Cho, Gene; Sigmund, Eric E.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes the concepts and implementation of an MRI method, Multiple Echo Diffusion Tensor Acquisition Technique (MEDITATE), which is capable of acquiring apparent diffusion tensor maps in two scans on a 3T clinical scanner. In each MEDITATE scan, a set of RF-pulses generates multiple echoes whose amplitudes are diffusion-weighted in both magnitude and direction by a pattern of diffusion gradients. As a result, two scans acquired with different diffusion weighting strengths suffice for accurate estimation of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-parameters. The MEDITATE variation presented here expands previous MEDITATE approaches to adapt to the clinical scanner platform, such as exploiting longitudinal magnetization storage to reduce T2-weighting. Fully segmented multi-shot Cartesian encoding is used for image encoding. MEDITATE was tested on isotropic (agar gel), anisotropic diffusion phantoms (asparagus), and in vivo skeletal muscle in healthy volunteers with cardiac-gating. Comparisons of accuracy were performed with standard twice-refocused spin echo (TRSE) DTI in each case and good quantitative agreement was found between diffusion eigenvalues, mean diffusivity, and fractional anisotropy derived from TRSE-DTI and from the MEDITATE sequence. Orientation patterns were correctly reproduced in both isotropic and anisotropic phantoms, and approximately so for in vivo imaging. This illustrates that the MEDITATE method of compressed diffusion encoding is feasible on the clinical scanner platform. With future development and employment of appropriate view-sharing image encoding this technique may be used in clinical applications requiring time-sensitive acquisition of DTI parameters such as dynamical DTI in muscle. PMID:23828606

  18. More meditation, less habituation? The effect of mindfulness practice on the acoustic startle reflex.

    PubMed

    Antonova, Elena; Chadwick, Paul; Kumari, Veena

    2015-01-01

    Mindfulness as a mode of sustained and receptive attention promotes openness to each incoming stimulus, even if repetitive and/or aversive. Mindful attention has been shown to attenuate sensory habituation in expert meditators; however, others were not able to replicate this effect. The present study used acoustic startle reflex to investigate the effect of mindfulness practice intensity on sensory habituation. Auditory Startle Response (ASR) to 36 startling probes (12 trials x 3 block with 40 ms inter-block intervals), was measured using electromyography (EMG) in three groups of participants (N = 12/group): meditation-naïve, moderate practice, and intensive practice. Intensive practice group showed attenuated startle habituation as evidenced by significantly less habituation over the entire experiment relative to the meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups. Furthermore, there was a significant linear effect showing between-block habituation in meditation-naïve and moderate practice groups, but not in the intensive practice group. However, the Block x Group interaction between the intensive practice and the meditation-naive groups was not significant. Moderate practice group was not significantly different from the meditation-naïve in the overall measure of habituation, but showed significantly stronger habituation than both meditation-naïve and intensive practice groups in Block 1. Greater practice intensity was significantly correlated with slower overall habituation and habituation rate in Blocks 2 and 3 in the intensive, but not in the moderate, practice group. The study provides tentative evidence that intensive mindfulness practice attenuates acoustic startle habituation as measured by EMG, but the effect is modest.Moderate practice, on the other hand, appears to enhance habituation, suggesting the effect of mindfulness practice on startle habituation might be non-linear [corrected] . Better understanding of the effect of mindful attention on

  19. The Neural Mechanisms of Meditative Practices: Novel Approaches for Healthy Aging.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Bianca P; Pospos, Sarah; Lavretsky, Helen

    2016-01-01

    Meditation has been shown to have physical, cognitive, and psychological health benefits that can be used to promote healthy aging. However, the common and specific mechanisms of response remain elusive due to the diverse nature of mind-body practices. In this review, we aim to compare the neural circuits implicated in focused-attention meditative practices that focus on present-moment awareness to those involved in active-type meditative practices (e.g., yoga) that combine movement, including chanting, with breath practices and meditation. Recent meta-analyses and individual studies demonstrated common brain effects for attention-based meditative practices and active-based meditations in areas involved in reward processing and learning, attention and memory, awareness and sensory integration, and self-referential processing and emotional control, while deactivation was seen in the amygdala, an area implicated in emotion processing. Unique effects for mindfulness practices were found in brain regions involved in body awareness, attention, and the integration of emotion and sensory processing. Effects specific to active-based meditations appeared in brain areas involved in self-control, social cognition, language, speech, tactile stimulation, sensorimotor integration, and motor function. This review suggests that mind-body practices can target different brain systems that are involved in the regulation of attention, emotional control, mood, and executive cognition that can be used to treat or prevent mood and cognitive disorders of aging, such as depression and caregiver stress, or serve as "brain fitness" exercise. Benefits may include improving brain functional connectivity in brain systems that generally degenerate with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other aging-related diseases.

  20. Blood Pressure Response to Meditation and Yoga: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    PubMed

    Park, Seong-Hi; Han, Kuem Sun

    2017-09-01

    To introduce research that presents scientific evidence regarding the effects of mantra and mindfulness meditation techniques and yoga on decreasing blood pressure (BP) in patients who have hypertension. A literature search was performed to identify all studies published between 1946 and 2014 from periodicals indexed in Ovid Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, KoreaMed, and NDSL by using the following keywords: "hypertension," "blood pressure," "psychotherapy," "relaxation therapy," "meditation," "yoga," and "mind-body therapy." The Cochrane's Risk of Bias was applied to assess the internal validity of the randomized controlled trial studies. Thirteen studies were analyzed in this meta-analysis by using Review Manager 5.3. Among 510 possible studies, 13 met the selection criteria. Seven examined meditation, and six examined yoga. The meta-analysis indicated that meditation and yoga appeared to decrease both systolic and diastolic BP, which were within similar baseline ranges, and the reduction was statistically significant; however, some results showed little difference. After an in-depth analysis of those results, BP range and patient age were revealed as the factors that affected the different results in some reports. In particular, meditation played a noticeable role in decreasing the BP of subjects older than 60 years of age, whereas yoga seemed to contribute to the decrease of subjects aged less than 60 years. While acknowledging the limitations of this research due to the differences in BP and the participants' ages, meditation and yoga are demonstrated to be effective alternatives to pharmacotherapy. Given that BP decreased with the use of meditation and yoga, and this effect varied in different age groups, scientifically measured outcomes indicate that these practices are safe alternatives in some cases.

  1. The Effects of Meditation on Grey Matter Atrophy and Neurodegeneration: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Last, Nicole; Tufts, Emily; Auger, Leslie E

    2017-01-01

    The present systematic review is based on the premise that a variety of neurodegenerative diseases are accompanied by grey matter atrophy in the brain and meditation may impact this. Given that age is a major risk factor for many of these progressive and neurodegenerative diseases and that the percentage of the population over the age of 65 is quickly increasing, there is an obvious need for prompt treatment and prevention advances in research. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, many are seeking non-pharmacological treatment options in attempts to offset the disease-related cognitive and functional declines. On the basis of a growing body of research suggesting that meditation is effective in increasing grey matter volume in healthy participants, this paper systematically reviewed the literature regarding the effects of meditation on restoring grey matter volume in healthy individuals and those affected by neurodegeneration. This review searched PubMed, CINAHL, and APA PsycNET to identify original studies that included MRI imaging to measure grey matter volume in meditators and post-mindfulness-based intervention participants compared to controls. Thirteen studies were considered eligible for review and involved a wide variety of meditation techniques and included participants with and without cognitive impairment. All studies reported significant increases in grey matter volume in the meditators/intervention group, albeit in assorted regions of the brain. Limited research exists on the mechanisms through which meditation affects disease-related neurodegeneration, but preliminary evidence suggests that it may offset grey matter atrophy.

  2. Effectiveness of focused meditation for patients with chronic low back pain-A randomized controlled clinical trial.

    PubMed

    Michalsen, Andreas; Kunz, Natalie; Jeitler, Michael; Brunnhuber, Stefan; Meier, Larissa; Lüdtke, Rainer; Büssing, Arndt; Kessler, Christian

    2016-06-01

    We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of an 8-week meditation program (focused meditation) in patients with chronic low-back pain. A randomized clinical trial was conducted on 68 patients (55 years;75% female) with chronic low-back pain who scored >40mm on a 100mm Visual-Analogue-Scale. Subjects were allocated to an 8-week meditation program (focused meditation) with weekly 75min classes or to a self-care exercise program with a wait-list offer for meditation. Both groups were instructed to practice at home. Outcomes were assessed baseline and after 4 and 8 weeks. The primary outcome measure was the change in mean back pain at rest after 8 weeks. Secondary outcomes included function, pain-related bothersomeness, perceived stress, quality-of-life (QOL), and psychological outcomes. Twelve (meditation) and 4 (exercise) patients were lost to follow-up. The primary outcome, pain at rest after 8 weeks, was reduced from 59.3±13.9mm to 40.8±21.8mm with meditation vs. 52.9±11.8mm to 37.3±18.2mm with exercise (adjusted group difference: -1.4 (95%CI:11.6;8.8;p=n.s.) Perceived stress was significantly more reduced with meditation (p=0.011). No significant treatment effects were found for other secondary outcomes as pain-related bothersomeness, function, quality-of-life and psychological scores, although the meditation group consistently showed non-significant better improvements compared to the exercise group. Focused meditation and self-care exercise lead to comparable, symptomatic improvements in patients with chronic low back pain. Future studies should include longer-term follow-ups and develop guided meditation programs to support compliance. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Comparison of Two Types of Meditation on Patients' Psychosocial Responses During Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer.

    PubMed

    Boxleitner, Gisela; Jolie, Shelley; Shaffer, Dana; Pasacreta, Nicholas; Bai, Mei; McCorkle, Ruth

    2017-05-01

    Radiation treatment for head and neck cancer introduces adaptive demands and subjects patients to significant and unique psychosocial challenges. There is growing evidence that meditation is useful in lessening anxiety and depression in cancer patients. This study compared the effects of two types of meditation training on the psychological responses of patients with head and neck cancer during radiation therapy. Randomized clinical trial. Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. A total of 29 patients with head and neck cancers were recruited and 28 patients were followed during their radiation therapy over 12 weeks. Depending on their group assignment, patients were taught one of two standardized meditations: meditation with a coach or self-meditation with a CD. Patient psychosocial responses were defined as anxiety, depression, and emotional distress and were measured by the Hospital and Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS) and the Emotional Distress Thermometer. Measures were self-reported and collected by the nurse manager at baseline and 6 and 12 weeks during the patient's scheduled weekly visit. No significant mean differences were found between the two meditation groups on all three outcomes: anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. Patients in both the meditation with a coach and self-meditation with a CD groups reported less distress from baseline and at 6 and 12 weeks, as evidenced by the HADS anxiety scale. This study demonstrated two equally effective meditation techniques that can be implemented with patients experiencing high stress during radiation treatments in any health care setting to decrease patient anxiety, depression, and emotional distress. The data established self-meditation with a CD as a more cost-effective alternative to meditation with a coach, which requires intensive training and time commitment for patients.

  4. Arousal vs. Relaxation: A Comparison of the Neurophysiological and Cognitive Correlates of Vajrayana and Theravada Meditative Practices

    PubMed Central

    Amihai, Ido; Kozhevnikov, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Based on evidence of parasympathetic activation, early studies defined meditation as a relaxation response. Later research attempted to categorize meditation as either involving focused or distributed attentional systems. Neither of these hypotheses received strong empirical support, and most of the studies investigated Theravada style meditative practices. In this study, we compared neurophysiological (EEG, EKG) and cognitive correlates of meditative practices that are thought to utilize either focused or distributed attention, from both Theravada and Vajrayana traditions. The results of Study 1 show that both focused (Shamatha) and distributed (Vipassana) attention meditations of the Theravada tradition produced enhanced parasympathetic activation indicative of a relaxation response. In contrast, both focused (Deity) and distributed (Rig-pa) meditations of the Vajrayana tradition produced sympathetic activation, indicative of arousal. Additionally, the results of Study 2 demonstrated an immediate dramatic increase in performance on cognitive tasks following only Vajrayana styles of meditation, indicating enhanced phasic alertness due to arousal. Furthermore, our EEG results showed qualitatively different patterns of activation between Theravada and Vajrayana meditations, albeit highly similar activity between meditations within the same tradition. In conclusion, consistent with Tibetan scriptures that described Shamatha and Vipassana techniques as those that calm and relax the mind, and Vajrayana techniques as those that require ‘an awake quality’ of the mind, we show that Theravada and Vajrayana meditations are based on different neurophysiological mechanisms, which give rise to either a relaxation or arousal response. Hence, it may be more appropriate to categorize meditations in terms of relaxation vs. arousal, whereas classification methods that rely on the focused vs. distributed attention dichotomy may need to be reexamined. PMID:25051268

  5. Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Bruce; Hayney, Mary S.; Muller, Daniel; Rakel, David; Ward, Ann; Obasi, Chidi N.; Brown, Roger; Zhang, Zhengjun; Zgierska, Aleksandra; Gern, James; West, Rebecca; Ewers, Tola; Barlow, Shari; Gassman, Michele; Coe, Christopher L.

    2012-01-01

    PURPOSE This study was designed to evaluate potential preventive effects of meditation or exercise on incidence, duration, and severity of acute respiratory infection (ARI) illness. METHODS Community-recruited adults aged 50 years and older were randomized to 1 of 3 study groups: 8-week training in mindfulness meditation, matched 8-week training in moderate-intensity sustained exercise, or observational control. The primary outcome was area-under-the-curve global illness severity during a single cold and influenza season, using the Wisconsin Upper Respiratory Symptom Survey (WURSS-24) to assess severity. Health care visits and days of missed work were counted. Nasal wash collected during ARI illness was assayed for neutrophils, interleukin-8, and viral nucleic acid. RESULTS Of 154 adults randomized into the study, 149 completed the trial (82% female, 94% white, mean age 59.3 ± 6.6 years). There were 27 ARI episodes and 257 days of ARI illness in the meditation group (n = 51), 26 episodes and 241 illness days in the exercise group (n = 47), and 40 episodes and 453 days in the control group (n = 51). Mean global severity was 144 for meditation, 248 for exercise, and 358 for control. Compared with control, global severity was significantly lower for meditation (P = .004). Both global severity and total days of illness (duration) trended toward being lower for the exercise group (P=.16 and P=.032, respectively), as did illness duration for the meditation group (P=.034). Adjusting for covariates using zero-inflated multivariate regression models gave similar results. There were 67 ARI-related days of-work missed in the control group, 32 in the exercise group (P = .041), and 16 in the meditation group (P <.001). Health care visits did not differ significantly. Viruses were identified in 54% of samples from meditation, 42% from exercise, and 54% from control groups. Neutrophil count and interleukin-8 levels were similar among intervention groups. CONCLUSIONS Training in

  6. Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Madhav; Singh, Sonal; Sibinga, Erica M. S.; Gould, Neda F.; Rowland-Seymour, Anastasia; Sharma, Ritu; Berger, Zackary; Sleicher, Dana; Maron, David D.; Shihab, Hasan M.; Ranasinghe, Padmini D; Linn, Shauna; Saha, Shonali; Bass, Eric B.; Haythornthwaite, Jennifer A.

    2014-01-01

    Importance Many people meditate to reduce psychological stress and stress-related health problems. To counsel people appropriately, clinicians need to know what the evidence says about the health benefits of meditation. Objective To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health quality of life, attention, substance use, eating, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations. Evidence Review We included randomized trials with active controls that controlled for placebo effects, identified through November 2012 from MEDLINE®, PsycINFO, EMBASE®, PsycArticles, SCOPUS, CINAHL, AMED, Cochrane Library, and hand searches. Independent reviewers screened citations and extracted data. We graded the strength of evidence using four domains (risk of bias, precision, directness, and consistency) and determined the magnitude and direction of effect by calculating the relative difference between groups in change from baseline. When possible, we conducted meta-analyses using standardized mean differences to obtain aggregate estimates of effect size (ES) with 95 percent confidence intervals (CI). Findings After reviewing 17,801 citations, we included 47 trials with 3,320 participants. Mindfulness meditation programs had moderate evidence to improve anxiety [ ES 0.38 (CI 0.12 to 0.64) at 8 weeks; ES 0.22 (0.02 to 0.43) at 3–6 months], depression [ES 0.30 (0.00 to 0.59) at 8 weeks; ES 0.23 (0.05 to 0.42) at 3–6 months] and pain [ES 0.33 (0.03 to 0.62)], and low evidence to improve stress/distress and mental health-related quality of life. We found either low evidence of no effect or insufficient evidence of any effect of meditation programs on positive mood, attention, substance use, eating, sleep, and weight. We found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment (drugs, exercise, other behavioral therapies). Conclusions and

  7. Why could meditation practice help promote mental health and well-being in aging?

    PubMed

    Chételat, Gaël; Lutz, Antoine; Arenaza-Urquijo, Eider; Collette, Fabienne; Klimecki, Olga; Marchant, Natalie

    2018-06-22

    Psycho-affective states or traits such as stress, depression, anxiety and neuroticism are known to affect sleep, cognition and mental health and well-being in aging populations and to be associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Mental training for stress reduction and emotional and attentional regulation through meditation practice might help reduce these adverse factors. So far, studies on the impact of meditation practice on brain and cognition in aging are scarce and have limitations but the findings are encouraging, showing a positive effect of meditation training on cognition, especially on attention and memory, and on brain structure and function especially in frontal and limbic structures and insula. In line with this, we showed in a pilot study that gray matter volume and/or glucose metabolism was higher in six older adult expert meditators compared to 67 age-matched controls in the prefrontal, anterior and posterior cingulate cortex, insula and temporo-parietal junction. These preliminary findings are important in the context of reserve and brain maintenance as they suggest that long-term meditation practice might help preserve brain structure and function from progressive age-related decline. Further studies are needed to confirm these results with larger samples and in randomized controlled trials and to investigate the mechanisms underlying these meditation-related effects. The European Commission-funded project Silver Santé Study will address these challenges by studying 316 older adults including 30 expert meditators and 286 meditation-naïve participants (either cognitively normal or with subjective cognitive decline). Two randomized controlled trials will be conducted to assess the effects of 2-month and 18-month meditation, English learning or health education training programs (versus a passive control) on behavioral, sleep, blood sampling and neuroimaging measures. This European research initiative illustrates the progressive

  8. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Taren, Adrienne A.; Gianaros, Peter J.; Greco, Carol M.; Lindsay, Emily K.; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K.; Ferris, Jennifer L.; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L.; Bursley, James K.; Ramsburg, Jared

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. PMID:26048176

  9. Mindfulness meditation training alters stress-related amygdala resting state functional connectivity: a randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Taren, Adrienne A; Gianaros, Peter J; Greco, Carol M; Lindsay, Emily K; Fairgrieve, April; Brown, Kirk Warren; Rosen, Rhonda K; Ferris, Jennifer L; Julson, Erica; Marsland, Anna L; Bursley, James K; Ramsburg, Jared; Creswell, J David

    2015-12-01

    Recent studies indicate that mindfulness meditation training interventions reduce stress and improve stress-related health outcomes, but the neural pathways for these effects are unknown. The present research evaluates whether mindfulness meditation training alters resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the amygdala, a region known to coordinate stress processing and physiological stress responses. We show in an initial discovery study that higher perceived stress over the past month is associated with greater bilateral amygdala-subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) rsFC in a sample of community adults (n = 130). A follow-up, single-blind randomized controlled trial shows that a 3-day intensive mindfulness meditation training intervention (relative to a well-matched 3-day relaxation training intervention without a mindfulness component) reduced right amygdala-sgACC rsFC in a sample of stressed unemployed community adults (n = 35). Although stress may increase amygdala-sgACC rsFC, brief training in mindfulness meditation could reverse these effects. This work provides an initial indication that mindfulness meditation training promotes functional neuroplastic changes, suggesting an amygdala-sgACC pathway for stress reduction effects. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Effect of Mindfulness Meditation on Perceived Stress Scores and Autonomic Function Tests of Pregnant Indian Women.

    PubMed

    Muthukrishnan, Shobitha; Jain, Reena; Kohli, Sangeeta; Batra, Swaraj

    2016-04-01

    Various pregnancy complications like hypertension, preeclampsia have been strongly correlated with maternal stress. One of the connecting links between pregnancy complications and maternal stress is mind-body intervention which can be part of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Biologic measures of stress during pregnancy may get reduced by such interventions. To evaluate the effect of Mindfulness meditation on perceived stress scores and autonomic function tests of pregnant Indian women. Pregnant Indian women of 12 weeks gestation were randomised to two treatment groups: Test group with Mindfulness meditation and control group with their usual obstetric care. The effect of Mindfulness meditation on perceived stress scores and cardiac sympathetic functions and parasympathetic functions (Heart rate variation with respiration, lying to standing ratio, standing to lying ratio and respiratory rate) were evaluated on pregnant Indian women. There was a significant decrease in perceived stress scores, a significant decrease of blood pressure response to cold pressor test and a significant increase in heart rate variability in the test group (p< 0.05, significant) which indicates that mindfulness meditation is a powerful modulator of the sympathetic nervous system and can thereby reduce the day-to-day perceived stress in pregnant women. The results of this study suggest that mindfulness meditation improves parasympathetic functions in pregnant women and is a powerful modulator of the sympathetic nervous system during pregnancy.

  11. Hemodynamic responses on prefrontal cortex related to meditation and attentional task

    PubMed Central

    Deepeshwar, Singh; Vinchurkar, Suhas Ashok; Visweswaraiah, Naveen Kalkuni; Nagendra, Hongasandra RamaRao

    2015-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies state that meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present study employed functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to evaluate the relative hemodynamic changes in PFC during a cognitive task. Twenty-two healthy male volunteers with ages between 18 and 30 years (group mean age ± SD; 22.9 ± 4.6 years) performed a color-word stroop task before and after 20 min of meditation and random thinking. Repeated measures ANOVA was performed followed by a post hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons between the mean values of “During” and “Post” with “Pre” state. During meditation there was an increased in oxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbO) and total hemoglobin (ΔTHC) concentration with reduced deoxy-hemoglobin (ΔHbR) concentration over the right prefrontal cortex (rPFC), whereas in random thinking there was increased ΔHbR with reduced total hemoglobin concentration on the rPFC. The mean reaction time (RT) was shorter during stroop color word task with concomitant reduction in ΔTHC after meditation, suggestive of improved performance and efficiency in task related to attention. Our findings demonstrated that meditation increased cerebral oxygenation and enhanced performance, which was associated with activation of the PFC. PMID:25741245

  12. Mindfulness-oriented meditation improves self-related character scales in healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Campanella, Fabio; Crescentini, Cristiano; Urgesi, Cosimo; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-07-01

    Previous studies have shown that mindfulness meditation may improve well-being in healthy individuals and be effective in the treatment of mental and neurological disorders. Here, we investigated the effects of an 8-week mindfulness-mediation program on the personality profiles of three groups of healthy individuals with no previous experience with meditation as compared to a control group not enrolled in any training. Personality profiles were obtained through the Temperament and Character Inventory (Cloninger et al., 1993). In the experimental groups, significant increments after the training were obtained in all the three character scales describing the levels of self maturity at the intrapersonal (Self-Directedness), interpersonal (Cooperativeness), and transpersonal (Self-Transcendence) levels. No changes were found in the control group. Strikingly, these effects were significant only in those groups who were engaged in consistent daily meditation practice but not in the group who attended the meditation training but were less consistent in home practice. Since higher scores in the character scales are associated to a lower risk of personality disorder, we propose that the increase of self maturity after the training may be an important mechanism for the effectiveness of mindfulness-oriented meditation in psychotherapeutic contexts. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. The Cultural Relevance of Mindfulness Meditation as a Health Intervention for African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Woods-Giscombé, Cheryl L.; Gaylord, Susan A.

    2014-01-01

    African Americans experience a disproportionate rate of stress-related health conditions compared to European Americans. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be effective for managing stress and various stress-related health conditions. This study explored the cultural relevance of mindfulness meditation training for African Americans adults. Fifteen African American adults with past or current experience with mindfulness meditation training were interviewed. Participants felt that mindfulness meditation helped them with enhanced stress management, direct health improvement, and enhanced self-awareness and purposefulness. They felt that they would recommend it and that other African Americans would be open to the practice but suggested that its presentation may need to be adapted. They suggested emphasizing the health benefits, connecting it to familiar spiritual ideology and cultural practices, supplementing the reading material with African American writers, increasing communication (education, instructor availability, “buddy system,” etc.), and including African Americans as instructors and participants. By implementing minor adaptations that enhance cultural relevance, mindfulness meditation can be a beneficial therapeutic intervention for this population. PMID:24442592

  14. Pupillary Response to Negative Emotional Stimuli Is Differentially Affected in Meditation Practitioners

    PubMed Central

    Vasquez-Rosati, Alejandra; Brunetti, Enzo P.; Cordero, Carmen; Maldonado, Pedro E.

    2017-01-01

    Clinically, meditative practices have become increasingly relevant, decreasing anxiety in patients and increasing antibody production. However, few studies have examined the physiological correlates, or effects of the incorporation of meditative practices. Because pupillary reactivity is a marker for autonomic changes and emotional processing, we hypothesized that the pupillary responses of mindfulness meditation practitioners (MP) and subjects without such practices (non-meditators (NM)) differ, reflecting different emotional processing. In a group of 11 MP and 9 NM, we recorded the pupil diameter using video-oculography while subjects explored images with emotional contents. Although both groups showed a similar pupillary response for positive and neutral images, negative images evoked a greater pupillary contraction and a weaker dilation in the MP group. Also, this group had faster physiological recovery to baseline levels. These results suggest that mindfulness meditation practices modulate the response of the autonomic nervous system, reflected in the pupillary response to negative images and faster physiological recovery to baseline levels, suggesting that pupillometry could be used to assess the potential health benefits of these practices in patients. PMID:28515685

  15. Meditation-induced changes in high-frequency heart rate variability predict smoking outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Libby, Daniel J.; Worhunsky, Patrick D.; Pilver, Corey E.; Brewer, Judson A.

    2012-01-01

    Background: High-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) is a measure of parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) output that has been associated with enhanced self-regulation. Low resting levels of HF-HRV are associated with nicotine dependence and blunted stress-related changes in HF-HRV are associated with decreased ability to resist smoking. Meditation has been shown to increase HF-HRV. However, it is unknown whether tonic levels of HF-HRV or acute changes in HF-HRV during meditation predict treatment responses in addictive behaviors such as smoking cessation. Purpose: To investigate the relationship between HF-HRV and subsequent smoking outcomes. Methods: HF-HRV during resting baseline and during mindfulness meditation was measured within two weeks of completing a 4-week smoking cessation intervention in a sample of 31 community participants. Self-report measures of smoking were obtained at a follow up 17-weeks after the initiation of treatment. Results: Regression analyses indicated that individuals exhibiting acute increases in HF-HRV from resting baseline to meditation smoked fewer cigarettes at follow-up than those who exhibited acute decreases in HF-HRV (b = −4.89, p = 0.008). Conclusion: Acute changes in HF-HRV in response to meditation may be a useful tool to predict smoking cessation treatment response. PMID:22457646

  16. Systematic review of meditation-based interventions for children with ADHD.

    PubMed

    Evans, Subhadra; Ling, Mathew; Hill, Briony; Rinehart, Nicole; Austin, David; Sciberras, Emma

    2018-01-01

    Meditation-based interventions such as mindfulness and yoga are commonly practiced in the general community to improve mental and physical health. Parents, teachers and healthcare providers are also increasingly using such interventions with children. This review examines the use of meditation-based interventions in the treatment of children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Electronic databases searched included PsycINFO, Medline, CINAHL, and AMED. Inclusion criteria involved children (aged to 18 years) diagnosed with ADHD, delivery of a meditation-based intervention to children and/or parents, and publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Studies were identified and coded using standard criteria, risk of bias was assessed using Risk of Bias in Non-randomised Studies- of interventions (ROBINS-I), and effect sizes were calculated. A total of 16 studies were identified (8 that included children in treatment, and 8 that included combined parent-child treatment). Results indicated that risk of bias was high across studies. At this stage, no definitive conclusions can be offered regarding the utility of meditation-based interventions for children with ADHD and/or their parents, since the methodological quality of the studies reviewed is low. Future well designed research is needed to establish the efficacy of meditation-based interventions, including commonly used practices such as mindfulness, before recommendations can be made for children with ADHD and their families.

  17. Mindfulness Meditation for Chronic Pain: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Hilton, Lara; Hempel, Susanne; Ewing, Brett A; Apaydin, Eric; Xenakis, Lea; Newberry, Sydne; Colaiaco, Ben; Maher, Alicia Ruelaz; Shanman, Roberta M; Sorbero, Melony E; Maglione, Margaret A

    2017-04-01

    Chronic pain patients increasingly seek treatment through mindfulness meditation. This study aims to synthesize evidence on efficacy and safety of mindfulness meditation interventions for the treatment of chronic pain in adults. We conducted a systematic review on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with meta-analyses using the Hartung-Knapp-Sidik-Jonkman method for random-effects models. Quality of evidence was assessed using the GRADE approach. Outcomes included pain, depression, quality of life, and analgesic use. Thirty-eight RCTs met inclusion criteria; seven reported on safety. We found low-quality evidence that mindfulness meditation is associated with a small decrease in pain compared with all types of controls in 30 RCTs. Statistically significant effects were also found for depression symptoms and quality of life. While mindfulness meditation improves pain and depression symptoms and quality of life, additional well-designed, rigorous, and large-scale RCTs are needed to decisively provide estimates of the efficacy of mindfulness meditation for chronic pain.

  18. Searching for the philosopher's stone: promising links between meditation and brain preservation.

    PubMed

    Luders, Eileen; Cherbuin, Nicolas

    2016-06-01

    In the context of an aging population and increased prevalence of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases, developing strategies to decrease the negative effects of aging is imperative. The scientific study of meditation as a potential tool to downregulate processes implicated in brain aging is an emerging field, and a growing body of research suggests that mindfulness practices are beneficial for cerebral resilience. Adding further evidence to this notion, an increasing number of imaging studies report effects of meditation on brain structure that are consistent with our understanding of neuroprotection. Here, we review the published findings in this field of research addressing the question of whether meditation diminishes age-related brain degeneration. Altogether, although analyses are still sparse and based on cross-sectional data, study outcomes suggest that meditation might be beneficial for brain preservation-both with respect to gray and white matter-possibly by slowing down the natural (age-related) decrease of brain tissue. Nevertheless, it should also be recognized that, until robust longitudinal data become available, there is no evidence for causation between meditation and brain preservation. This review includes a comprehensive commentary on limitations of the existing research and concludes with implications and directions for future studies. © 2016 New York Academy of Sciences.

  19. The Possible Role of Meditation in Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A New Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Panta, Prashanth

    2017-01-01

    Background of Hypothesis: Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is the most common musculoskeletal pain disorder of the head and neck area. In the past, several theories were put forth to explain its origin and nature, but none proved complete. Myofascial pain responds to changing psychological states and stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, anger, depression and chronic pain are direct contributional factors. Myofascial pain syndrome may be considered as a psychosomatic disorder. There are numerous accepted palliative approaches, but of all, relaxation techniques stand out and initiate healing at the base level. In this article, the connection between mental factors, MPS and meditation are highlighted. Recent literature has shed light on the fundamental role of free radicals in the emergence of myofascial pain. The accumulating free radicals disrupt mitochondrial integrity and function, leading to sustenance and progression of MPS. Meditation on the other hand was shown to reduce free radical load and can result in clinical improvement. ‘Mindfulness’ is the working principle behind the effect of all meditations, and I emphasize that it can serve as a potential tool to reverse the neuro-architectural, neurobiological and cellular changes that occur in MPS. Conclusions: The findings described in this paper were drawn from studies on myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, similar chronic pain models and most importantly from self experience (experimentation). Till date, no hypothesis is available connecting MPS and meditation. Mechanisms linking MPS and meditation were identified, and this paper can ignite novel research in this direction. PMID:28503039

  20. Mindfulness meditation practice and executive functioning: Breaking down the benefit.

    PubMed

    Gallant, Sara N

    2016-02-01

    This paper focuses on evidence for mindfulness meditation-related benefits to executive functioning, processes important for much of human volitional behaviour. Miyake et al. (2000) have shown that executive functions can be fractionated into three distinct domains including inhibition, working memory updating, and mental set shifting. Considering these separable domains, it is important to determine whether the effects of mindfulness can generalize to all three sub-functions or are specific to certain domains. To address this, the current review applied Miyake et al.'s (2000) fractionated model of executive functioning to the mindfulness literature. Empirical studies assessing the benefits of mindfulness to measures tapping the inhibition, updating, and shifting components of executive functioning were examined. Results suggest a relatively specific as opposed to general benefit resulting from mindfulness, with consistent inhibitory improvement, but more variable advantages to the updating and shifting domains. Recommendations surrounding application of mindfulness practice and future research are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Use of mindfulness, meditation and relaxation to treat vasomotor symptoms.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, K M; Shepherd-Banigan, M; Coeytaux, R R; McDuffie, J R; Adam, S; Befus, D; Goode, A P; Kosinski, A S; Masilamani, V; Williams, J W

    2017-04-01

    Postmenopausal women with bothersome vasomotor symptoms (VMS) often seek alternatives to hormone-based treatment due to medication risks or personal preference. We sought to identify the effects of meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis and relaxation on VMS and health-related quality of life in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. To do this, we conducted an umbrella review supplemented by new randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) published since the most recent good-quality systematic review for eligible interventions. We searched MEDLINE and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL and the Allied and Complementary Medicine Databases. We identified five systematic reviews and six new RCTs that met eligibility criteria. In a new meta-analysis examining four RCTs comparing paced respiration with a control group, we found that paced respiration is not associated with a statistically significant decrease in VMS frequency (standardized mean difference (SMD) 0.04, 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.73 to 0.82, I 2  =   56.6%, three trials) or severity (SMD 0.06, 95% CI -0.69 to 0.80; I 2  =   65.1%, three trials). There was not sufficient new information to conduct meta-analyses that examined the effect of mindfulness or hypnosis on our outcomes of interest. No effect on VMS or quality of life was found between various relaxation or mindfulness interventions.

  2. Compassion meditation enhances empathic accuracy and related neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Mascaro, Jennifer S.; Rilling, James K.; Tenzin Negi, Lobsang; Raison, Charles L.

    2013-01-01

    The ability to accurately infer others’ mental states from facial expressions is important for optimal social functioning and is fundamentally impaired in social cognitive disorders such as autism. While pharmacologic interventions have shown promise for enhancing empathic accuracy, little is known about the effects of behavioral interventions on empathic accuracy and related brain activity. This study employed a randomized, controlled and longitudinal design to investigate the effect of a secularized analytical compassion meditation program, cognitive-based compassion training (CBCT), on empathic accuracy. Twenty-one healthy participants received functional MRI scans while completing an empathic accuracy task, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET), both prior to and after completion of either CBCT or a health discussion control group. Upon completion of the study interventions, participants randomized to CBCT and were significantly more likely than control subjects to have increased scores on the RMET and increased neural activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC). Moreover, changes in dmPFC and IFG activity from baseline to the post-intervention assessment were associated with changes in empathic accuracy. These findings suggest that CBCT may hold promise as a behavioral intervention for enhancing empathic accuracy and the neurobiology supporting it. PMID:22956676

  3. Meditation as a Potential Therapy for Autism: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Sequeira, Sonia; Ahmed, Mahiuddin

    2012-01-01

    Autism is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder of unknown cause that affects approximately 1–3 percent of children and four times more boys than girls. Its prevalence is global and its social impact is devastating. In autism, the brain is unable to process sensory information normally. Instead, simple stimuli from the outside world are experienced as overwhelmingly intense and strain the emotional centers of the brain. A stress response to the incoming information is initiated that destabilizes cognitive networks and short-circuits adequate behavioral output. As a result, the child is unable to respond adequately to stimulation and initiate social behavior towards family, friends, and peers. In addition, these children typically face immune-digestive disorders that heighten social fears, anxieties, and internal conflicts. While it is critical to treat the physical symptoms, it is equally vital to offer an evidence-based holistic solution that harmonizes both their emotional and physical well-being as they move from childhood into adult life. Here, we summarize evidence from clinical studies and neuroscience research that suggests that an approach built on yogic principles and meditative tools is worth pursuing. Desired outcomes include relief of clinical symptoms of the disease, greater relaxation, and facilitated expression of feelings and skills, as well as improved family and social quality of life. PMID:22937260

  4. Comparative study of high power Tm:YLF and Tm:LLF slab lasers in continuous wave regime.

    PubMed

    Berrou, Antoine; Collett, Oliver J P; Morris, Daniel; Esser, M J Daniel

    2018-04-16

    We report on Tm:YLF and Tm:LLF slab lasers (1.5 x 11 x 20 mm 3 ) end pumped from one end with a high-brightness 792 nm laser diode stack. These two lasers are compared under identical pump conditions in continuous-wave regime. A stronger negative thermal lens in Tm:LLF than in Tm:YLF is highlighted, making it more difficult to operate the Tm:LLF laser under stable lasing conditions. In a configuration where the high reflectivity cavity mirror has a radius of curvature of r = 150 mm, the Tm:YLF (Tm:LLF) laser produces a maximum output power of 150 W (143 W) for 428 W of incident pump power (respectively). For a second cavity configuration where the high reflectivity cavity mirror has a radius of curvature of r = 500 mm, the Tm:YLF laser produces a maximum output power of 164 W for 412 W of incident pump power and a 57% slope efficiency with respect to the absorbed pump power. The emitted wavelength of these two lasers are measured as a function of the output coupler reflectivity and it shows that Tm:LLF laser emits at a longer wavelength than Tm:YLF.

  5. The association between meditation practice and treatment outcome in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Perich, Tania; Manicavasagar, Vijaya; Mitchell, Philip B; Ball, Jillian R

    2013-07-01

    This study aimed to examine the impact of quantity of mindfulness meditation practice on the outcome of psychiatric symptoms following Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for those diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Meditation homework was collected at the beginning of each session for the MBCT program to assess quantity of meditation practice. Clinician-administered measures of hypo/mania and depression along with self-report anxiety, depression and stress symptom questionnaires were administered pre-, post-treatment and at 12-month follow-up. A significant correlation was found between a greater number of days meditated throughout the 8-week trial and clinician-rated depression scores on the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale at 12-month follow-up. There were significant differences found between those who meditated for 3 days a week or more and those who meditated less often on trait anxiety post-treatment and clinician-rated depression at 12-month follow-up whilst trends were noted for self-reported depression. A greater number of days meditated during the 8-week MBCT program was related to lower depression scores at 12-month follow-up, and there was evidence to suggest that mindfulness meditation practice was associated with improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms if a certain minimum amount (3 times a week or more) was practiced weekly throughout the 8-week MBCT program. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The Improvement of Emotion and Attention Regulation after a 6-Week Training of Focused Meditation: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Menezes, Carolina Baptista; Buratto, Luciano G.; Erthal, Fátima; Pereira, Mirtes G.; Bizarro, Lisiane

    2013-01-01

    Self-regulatory trainings can be an effective complementary treatment for mental health disorders. We investigated the effects of a six-week-focused meditation training on emotion and attention regulation in undergraduates randomly allocated to a meditation, a relaxation, or a wait-list control group. Assessment comprised a discrimination task that investigates the relationship between attentional load and emotional processing and self-report measures. For emotion regulation, results showed greater reduction in emotional interference in the low attentional load condition in meditators, particularly compared to relaxation. Only meditators presented a significant association between amount of weekly practice and the reduction in emotion interference in the task and significantly reduced image ratings of negative valence and arousal, perceived anxiety and difficulty during the task, and state and trait-anxiety. For attention regulation, response bias during the task was analyzed through signal detection theory. After training, meditation and relaxation significantly reduced bias in the high attentional load condition. Importantly, there was a dose-response effect on general bias: the lowest in meditation, increasing linearly across relaxation and wait-list. Only meditators reduced omissions in a concentrated attention test. Focused meditation seems to be an effective training for emotion and attention regulation and an alternative for treatments in the mental health context. PMID:23935694

  7. School-Based Meditation Practices for Adolescents: A Resource for Strengthening Self Regulation, Emotional Coping, and Self-Esteem

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wisner, Betsy L.; Jones, Barbara; Gwin, David

    2010-01-01

    Schools are searching for innovative ways to meet the unique academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs of adolescents, many of whom face serious personal and family challenges. An innovative practice that is currently being introduced into school settings is meditation. Types of meditation offered in school-based settings include…

  8. A cross-sectional evaluation of meditation experience on electroencephalography data by artificial neural network and support vector machine classifiers.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yu-Hao; Hsieh, Ya-Ju; Shiah, Yung-Jong; Lin, Yu-Huei; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Tyan, Yu-Chang; GengQiu, JiaCheng; Hsu, Chung-Yao; Chen, Sharon Chia-Ju

    2017-04-01

    To quantitate the meditation experience is a subjective and complex issue because it is confounded by many factors such as emotional state, method of meditation, and personal physical condition. In this study, we propose a strategy with a cross-sectional analysis to evaluate the meditation experience with 2 artificial intelligence techniques: artificial neural network and support vector machine. Within this analysis system, 3 features of the electroencephalography alpha spectrum and variant normalizing scaling are manipulated as the evaluating variables for the detection of accuracy. Thereafter, by modulating the sliding window (the period of the analyzed data) and shifting interval of the window (the time interval to shift the analyzed data), the effect of immediate analysis for the 2 methods is compared. This analysis system is performed on 3 meditation groups, categorizing their meditation experiences in 10-year intervals from novice to junior and to senior. After an exhausted calculation and cross-validation across all variables, the high accuracy rate >98% is achievable under the criterion of 0.5-minute sliding window and 2 seconds shifting interval for both methods. In a word, the minimum analyzable data length is 0.5 minute and the minimum recognizable temporal resolution is 2 seconds in the decision of meditative classification. Our proposed classifier of the meditation experience promotes a rapid evaluation system to distinguish meditation experience and a beneficial utilization of artificial techniques for the big-data analysis.

  9. A cross-sectional evaluation of meditation experience on electroencephalography data by artificial neural network and support vector machine classifiers

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yu-Hao; Hsieh, Ya-Ju; Shiah, Yung-Jong; Lin, Yu-Huei; Chen, Chiao-Yun; Tyan, Yu-Chang; GengQiu, JiaCheng; Hsu, Chung-Yao; Chen, Sharon Chia-Ju

    2017-01-01

    Abstract To quantitate the meditation experience is a subjective and complex issue because it is confounded by many factors such as emotional state, method of meditation, and personal physical condition. In this study, we propose a strategy with a cross-sectional analysis to evaluate the meditation experience with 2 artificial intelligence techniques: artificial neural network and support vector machine. Within this analysis system, 3 features of the electroencephalography alpha spectrum and variant normalizing scaling are manipulated as the evaluating variables for the detection of accuracy. Thereafter, by modulating the sliding window (the period of the analyzed data) and shifting interval of the window (the time interval to shift the analyzed data), the effect of immediate analysis for the 2 methods is compared. This analysis system is performed on 3 meditation groups, categorizing their meditation experiences in 10-year intervals from novice to junior and to senior. After an exhausted calculation and cross-validation across all variables, the high accuracy rate >98% is achievable under the criterion of 0.5-minute sliding window and 2 seconds shifting interval for both methods. In a word, the minimum analyzable data length is 0.5 minute and the minimum recognizable temporal resolution is 2 seconds in the decision of meditative classification. Our proposed classifier of the meditation experience promotes a rapid evaluation system to distinguish meditation experience and a beneficial utilization of artificial techniques for the big-data analysis. PMID:28422856

  10. The Impact of Classroom-Based Meditation Practice on Cognitive Engagement, Mindfulness and Academic Performance of Undergraduate College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Napora, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the potential of classroom-based meditation practice as a tool to facilitate learning. Moreover, the impact of meditation on cognitive engagement, mindfulness and academic performance of undergraduate college students was investigated. Additionally, the relationships between mindfulness and cognitive engagement, and between…

  11. Phonon anomalies in intermediate valent TmXSe and TmSe1 - yTey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boppart, H.; Treindl, A.; Wachter, P.

    1981-03-01

    In TmxSe and TmSe1-yTey the degree of valence mixing can be adjusted between nearly 3+ for Tm0.87Se and 2.55+ for TmSe0.7Te0.3. The measurement of sound velocities vL, vTl and vT2 and the evaluation of the Raman effect for various compositions permit the derivation of LA [111] phonon dispersion at critical points in the Brillouin zone. vL decreases with increasing valence mixing. Near the middle of the zone the LA branch gets a dip for intermediate valent compositions, resulting in a characteristic peak in the Ramn spectrum at about 60 cm-1. The elastic constant c12 has been found negative for Tm0.99Se, also at 4.2 K. For uniaxial pressures c12 exhibits strong nonlinearities and even changes sign with pressure in an intermediate valent composition. The optical phonon frequencies, LO (L) also soften proportional with the degree of valence mixing.

  12. Graphing Calculators, the CBL2[TM] and TI-Interactive[TM] in High School Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molnar, Bill

    This collection of activities is designed to show how TI-Interactive[TM] and Calculator-based Laboratories (CBL) can be used to explore topics in high school science. The activities address such topics as specific heat, Boyle's Law, Newton's Law of Cooling, and Antarctic Ozone Levels. Teaching notes and calculator instructions are included as are…

  13. Optical Properties of Tm(3+) Ions in Alkali Germanate Glass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walsh, Brian M.; Barnes, Norman P.; Reichle, Donald J.; Jiang, Shibin

    2006-01-01

    Tm-doped alkali germanate glass is investigated for use as a laser material. Spectroscopic investigations of bulk Tm-doped germanate glass are reported for the absorption, emission and luminescence decay. Tm:germanate shows promise as a fiber laser when pumped with 0.792 m diodes because of low phonon energies. Spectroscopic analysis indicates low nonradiative quenching and pulsed laser performance studies confirm this prediction by showing a quantum efficiency of 1.69.

  14. A single bout of meditation biases cognitive control but not attentional focusing: Evidence from the global-local task.

    PubMed

    Colzato, Lorenza S; van der Wel, Pauline; Sellaro, Roberta; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies show that a single bout of meditation can impact information processing. We were interested to see whether this impact extends to attentional focusing and the top-down control over irrelevant information. Healthy adults underwent brief single bouts of either focused attention meditation (FAM), which is assumed to increase top-down control, or open monitoring meditation (OMM), which is assumed to weaken top-down control, before performing a global-local task. While the size of the global-precedence effect (reflecting attentional focusing) was unaffected by type of meditation, the congruency effect (indicating the failure to suppress task-irrelevant information) was considerably larger after OMM than after FAM. Our findings suggest that engaging in particular kinds of meditation creates particular cognitive-control states that bias the individual processing style toward either goal-persistence or cognitive flexibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. IHC-TM connect-disconnect and efferent control V.

    PubMed

    Crane, H D

    1982-07-01

    Four previous papers in this series have explored how the idea of a set of disconnected inner hair cells (IHCs) that can "impact" the tectorial membrane (TM) is consistent with psychophysical data. This paper extends the model and explores the potential for mechanical interaction between the IHCs and outer hair cells (OHCs). In particular, it is speculated that the advantage of IHC-TM disconnect is extended dynamic range, and that movement of the movement of the OHCs and TM, under efferent control, constitutes a mechanical servo system for adjusting IHC-TM spacing along the cochlear partition to achieve this extended range.

  16. The experience of meditation for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and their caregivers - a qualitative analysis.

    PubMed

    Marconi, Anna; Gragnano, Gaia; Lunetta, Christian; Gatto, Ramona; Fabiani, Viviana; Tagliaferri, Aurora; Rossi, Gabriella; Sansone, Valeria; Pagnini, Francesco

    2016-09-01

    There is a lack of studies about psychological interventions for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and their caregivers. We investigated the experience of a meditation training program tailored for ALS needs. People with ALS (pALS) and their caregivers that joined a meditation program for ALS were interviewed at the end of the program. Verbatims were analyzed with a qualitative approach. Both pALS and their caregivers reported a positive impact on their psychological well-being, promoted by an increase in acceptance and non-judgmental attitude. Furthermore, coping strategies seem to improve, with a positive effect on resilience skills. The ALS meditation training program seems to be an effective psychological intervention for the promotion of well-being in pALS and their caregivers.

  17. Debiasing the mind through meditation: mindfulness and the sunk-cost bias.

    PubMed

    Hafenbrack, Andrew C; Kinias, Zoe; Barsade, Sigal G

    2014-02-01

    In the research reported here, we investigated the debiasing effect of mindfulness meditation on the sunk-cost bias. We conducted four studies (one correlational and three experimental); the results suggest that increased mindfulness reduces the tendency to allow unrecoverable prior costs to influence current decisions. Study 1 served as an initial correlational demonstration of the positive relationship between trait mindfulness and resistance to the sunk-cost bias. Studies 2a and 2b were laboratory experiments examining the effect of a mindfulness-meditation induction on increased resistance to the sunk-cost bias. In Study 3, we examined the mediating mechanisms of temporal focus and negative affect, and we found that the sunk-cost bias was attenuated by drawing one's temporal focus away from the future and past and by reducing state negative affect, both of which were accomplished through mindfulness meditation.

  18. Meditation has stronger relationships with mindfulness, kundalini, and mystical experiences than yoga or prayer.

    PubMed

    de Castro, John M

    2015-09-01

    Contemplative practices can have profound effects on mindfulness and on physical and sensory and mystical experiences. Individuals who self-reported meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, or a combination of practices and their patterns of practice were compared for mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences. The results suggest that the amount of practice but not the pattern and social conditions of practice influences mindfulness and possibly mystical experiences. Meditation, yoga, contemplative prayer, or a combination of practices all were found to be associated with enhancements of mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences, but meditation had particularly strong associations and may be the basis of the associations of yoga and prayer with these outcomes. The results further suggest that the primary association of contemplative practices is with the real time awareness and appreciation of sensory and perceptual experiences which may be the intermediary between disparate practices and mindfulness, kundalini effects, and mystical experiences. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. The varieties of contemplative experience: A mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Nathan E.; Cooper, David J.; Rosen, Rochelle K.

    2017-01-01

    Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. A mixed-methods approach featured qualitative interviews with Western Buddhist meditation practitioners and experts in Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Interview questions probed meditation experiences and influencing factors, including interpretations and management strategies. A follow-up survey provided quantitative assessments of causality, impairment and other demographic and practice-related variables. The content-driven thematic analysis of interviews yielded a taxonomy of 59 meditation-related experiences across 7 domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective, somatic, conative, sense of self, and social. Even in cases where the phenomenology was similar across participants, interpretations of and responses to the experiences differed considerably. The associated valence ranged from very positive to very negative, and the associated level of distress and functional impairment ranged from minimal and transient to severe and enduring. In order to determine what factors may influence the valence, impact, and response to any given experience, the study also identified 26 categories of influencing factors across 4 domains: practitioner-level factors, practice-level factors, relationships, and health behaviors. By identifying a broader range of experiences associated with meditation, along with the factors that contribute to the presence and management of experiences reported as challenging

  20. The varieties of contemplative experience: A mixed-methods study of meditation-related challenges in Western Buddhists.

    PubMed

    Lindahl, Jared R; Fisher, Nathan E; Cooper, David J; Rosen, Rochelle K; Britton, Willoughby B

    2017-01-01

    Buddhist-derived meditation practices are currently being employed as a popular form of health promotion. While meditation programs draw inspiration from Buddhist textual sources for the benefits of meditation, these sources also acknowledge a wide range of other effects beyond health-related outcomes. The Varieties of Contemplative Experience study investigates meditation-related experiences that are typically underreported, particularly experiences that are described as challenging, difficult, distressing, functionally impairing, and/or requiring additional support. A mixed-methods approach featured qualitative interviews with Western Buddhist meditation practitioners and experts in Theravāda, Zen, and Tibetan traditions. Interview questions probed meditation experiences and influencing factors, including interpretations and management strategies. A follow-up survey provided quantitative assessments of causality, impairment and other demographic and practice-related variables. The content-driven thematic analysis of interviews yielded a taxonomy of 59 meditation-related experiences across 7 domains: cognitive, perceptual, affective, somatic, conative, sense of self, and social. Even in cases where the phenomenology was similar across participants, interpretations of and responses to the experiences differed considerably. The associated valence ranged from very positive to very negative, and the associated level of distress and functional impairment ranged from minimal and transient to severe and enduring. In order to determine what factors may influence the valence, impact, and response to any given experience, the study also identified 26 categories of influencing factors across 4 domains: practitioner-level factors, practice-level factors, relationships, and health behaviors. By identifying a broader range of experiences associated with meditation, along with the factors that contribute to the presence and management of experiences reported as challenging

  1. Zen meditation, Length of Telomeres, and the Role of Experiential Avoidance and Compassion.

    PubMed

    Alda, Marta; Puebla-Guedea, Marta; Rodero, Baltasar; Demarzo, Marcelo; Montero-Marin, Jesus; Roca, Miquel; Garcia-Campayo, Javier

    Mindfulness refers to an awareness that emerges by intentionally focusing on the present experience in a nonjudgmental or evaluative manner. Evidence regarding its efficacy has been increasing exponentially, and recent research suggests that the practice of meditation is associated with longer leukocyte telomere length. However, the psychological mechanisms underlying this potential relationship are unknown. We examined the telomere lengths of a group of 20 Zen meditation experts and another 20 healthy matched comparison participants who had not previously meditated. We also measured multiple psychological variables related to meditation practice. Genomic DNA was extracted for telomere measurement using a Life Length proprietary program. High-throughput quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization (HT-Q-FISH) was used to measure the telomere length distribution and the median telomere length (MTL). The meditators group had a longer MTL ( p  = 0.005) and a lower percentage of short telomeres in individual cells ( p  = 0.007) than those in the comparison group. To determine which of the psychological variables contributed more to telomere maintenance, two regression analyses were conducted. In the first model, which applied to the MTL, the following three factors were significant: age, absence of experiential avoidance, and Common Humanity subscale of the Self Compassion Scale. Similarly, in the model that examined the percentage of short telomeres, the same factors were significant: age, absence of experiential avoidance, and Common Humanity subscale of the Self Compassion Scale. Although limited by a small sample size, these results suggest that the absence of experiential avoidance of negative emotions and thoughts is integral to the connection between meditation and telomeres.

  2. Effect of anapanasati meditation technique through electrophotonic imaging parameters: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Deo, Guru; Itagi R, Kumar; Thaiyar M, Srinivasan; Kuldeep, Kushwah K

    2015-01-01

    Background: Mindfulness along with breathing is a well-established meditation technique. Breathing is an exquisite tool for exploring subtle awareness of mind and life itself. Aim: This study aimed at measuring changes in the different parameters of electrophotonic imaging (EPI) in anapanasati meditators. Materials and Methods: To carry out this study, 51 subjects comprising 32 males and 19 females of age 18 years and above (mean age 45.64 ± 14.43) were recruited voluntarily with informed consent attending Karnataka Dhyana Mahachakra-1 at Pyramid Valley International, Bengaluru, India. The design was a single group pre- post and data collected by EPI device before and after 5 days of intensive meditation. Results: Results show significant changes in EPI parameter integral area with filter (physiological) in both right and left side, which reflects the availability of high functional energy reserve in meditators. The researchers observed similar trends without filter (psycho-physiological) indicating high reserves of energy at psycho-physiological level also. Activation coefficient, another parameter of EPI, reduced showing more relaxed state than earlier, possibly due to parasympathetic dominance. Integral entropy decreased in the case of psycho-physiological parameters left-side without filter, which indicates less disorder after meditation, but these changes were not significant. The study showed a reversed change in integral entropy in the right side without filter; however, the values on both sides with filter increased, which indicates disorder. Conclusion: The study suggests that EPI can be used in the recording functional physiological and psychophysiological status of meditators at a subtle level. PMID:26170590

  3. Blue upconversion with excitation into Tm ions at 780 nm in Yb- and Tm-codoped fluoride crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, X. X.; Hong, P.; Bass, M.; Chai, B. H. T.

    1995-04-01

    Strong blue emissions have been observed in fluoride crystals, such as LiYF4, BaY2F8, and KYF4, codoped with Tm3+ and Yb3+ when excited into the Tm3+ 3F4 state at ~780 nm. Energy transfer from Tm3+ to Yb3+ ions followed by the transfer from Yb3+ to Tm3+ was demonstrated to be responsible for the upconversion process. A pumping scheme is proposed based on this upconversion mechanism for blue-laser applications using these materials.

  4. Actively mode-locked Tm-Ho:LiYF4 and Tm-Ho:BaY2F8 lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gatti, D.; Galzerano, G.; Toncelli, A.; Tonelli, M.; Laporta, P.

    2007-01-01

    We report on the generation of mode-locking pulse trains with high average output powers from diode-pumped Tm-Ho:LiYF4 and Tm-Ho:BaY2F8 lasers emitting at around 2 μm. The highest output power of 365 mW was obtained with the Tm-Ho:YLF4 laser, whereas the shortest pulse duration of 120 ps and the widest tunability range of 59 nm was achieved with the Tm-Ho:BaY2F8 laser.

  5. Mindfulness Meditation and Interprofessional Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Mixed-Methods Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Kelm, Diana J; Ridgeway, Jennifer L; Gas, Becca L; Mohan, Monali; Cook, David A; Nelson, Darlene R; Benzo, Roberto P

    2018-05-18

    Mindfulness training includes mindfulness meditation, which has been shown to improve both attention and self-awareness. Medical providers in the intensive care unit often deal with difficult situations with strong emotions, life-and-death decisions, and both interpersonal and interprofessional conflicts. The effect of mindfulness meditation training on healthcare providers during acute care tasks such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation remains unknown. Mindfulness meditation has the potential to improve provider well-being and reduce stress in individuals involved in resuscitation teams, which could then translate into better team communication and delivery of care under stress. A better understanding of this process could lead to more effective training approaches, improved team performance, and better patient outcomes. All participants were instructed to use a mindfulness meditation device (Muse™ headband) at home for 7 min twice a day or 14 min daily over the 4-week training period. This device uses brainwave sensors to monitor active versus relaxing brain activity and provides real-time feedback. We conducted a single-group pretest-posttest convergent mixed-methods study. We enrolled 24 healthcare providers, comprising 4 interprofessional code teams, including physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists. Each team participated in a simulation session immediately before and after the mindfulness training period. Each session consisted of two simulated cardiopulmonary arrest scenarios. Both quantitative and qualitative outcomes were assessed. The median proportion of participants who used the device as prescribed was 85%. Emotional balance, as measured by the critical positivity ratio, improved significantly from pretraining to posttraining (p = .02). Qualitative findings showed that mindfulness meditation changed how participants responded to work-related stress, including stress in real-code situations. Participants described the value of

  6. Meditation for migraines: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Wells, Rebecca Erwin; Burch, Rebecca; Paulsen, Randall H; Wayne, Peter M; Houle, Timothy T; Loder, Elizabeth

    2014-10-01

    Our objective was to assess the safety, feasibility, and effects of the standardized 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course in adults with migraines. Stress is a well-known trigger for headaches. Research supports the general benefits of mind/body interventions for migraines, but there are few rigorous studies supporting the use of specific standardized interventions. MBSR is a standardized 8-week mind/body intervention that teaches mindfulness meditation/yoga. Preliminary research has shown MBSR to be effective for chronic pain syndromes, but it has not been evaluated for migraines. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with 19 episodic migraineurs randomized to either MBSR (n = 10) or usual care (n = 9). Our primary outcome was change in migraine frequency from baseline to initial follow-up. Secondary outcomes included change in headache severity, duration, self-efficacy, perceived stress, migraine-related disability/impact, anxiety, depression, mindfulness, and quality of life from baseline to initial follow-up. MBSR was safe (no adverse events), with 0% dropout and excellent adherence (daily meditation average: 34 ± 11 minutes, range 16-50 minutes/day). Median class attendance from 9 classes (including retreat day) was 8 (range [3, 9]); average class attendance was 6.7 ± 2.5. MBSR participants had 1.4 fewer migraines/month (MBSR: 3.5 to 1.0 vs control: 1.2 to 0 migraines/month, 95% confidence interval CI [-4.6, 1.8], P = .38), an effect that did not reach statistical significance in this pilot sample. Headaches were less severe, although not significantly so (-1.3 points/headache on 0-10 scale, [-2.3, 0.09], P = .053) and shorter (-2.9 hours/headache, [-4.6, -0.02], P = .043) vs control. Migraine Disability Assessment and Headache Impact Test-6 dropped in MBSR vs control (-12.6, [-22.0, -1.0], P = .017 and -4.8, [-11.0, -1.0], P = .043, respectively). Self-efficacy and mindfulness improved in MBSR vs control (13.2 [1.0, 30.0], P

  7. Mindfulness meditation improves emotion regulation and reduces drug abuse.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yi-Yuan; Tang, Rongxiang; Posner, Michael I

    2016-06-01

    The core clinical symptoms of addiction include an enhanced incentive for drug taking (craving), impaired self-control (impulsivity and compulsivity), emotional dysregulation (negative mood) and increased stress reactivity. Symptoms related to impaired self-control involve reduced activity in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), adjacent prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and other brain areas. Behavioral training such as mindfulness meditation can increase the function of control networks including those leading to improved emotion regulation and thus may be a promising approach for the treatment of addiction. In a series of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), we tested whether increased ACC/mPFC activity is related to better self-control abilities in executive functions, emotion regulation and stress response in healthy and addicted populations. After a brief mindfulness training (Integrative Body-Mind Training, IBMT), we used the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Profile of Mood States (POMS) to measure emotion regulation, salivary cortisol for the stress response and fMRI for brain functional and DTI structural changes. Relaxation training was used to serve as an active control. In both smokers and nonsmokers, improved self-control abilities in emotion regulation and stress reduction were found after training and these changes were related to increased ACC/mPFC activity following training. Compared with nonsmokers, smokers showed reduced ACC/mPFC activity in the self-control network before training, and these deficits were ameliorated after training. These results indicate that promoting emotion regulation and improving ACC/mPFC brain activity can help for addiction prevention and treatment. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  8. Efficient Cryogenic Near-Infrared Tm: YLF Laser

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-12-22

    pumped at 781.5 nm and operated at 816 nm. Although Tm:YLF has lower nonradiative decay rate than Tm:YAG, residual population trapping still affects...mitigated by cryogenic cooling, use of a YLF crystal host to reduce nonradiative decay rates and the use of a dual-wavelength resonator to

  9. Accelerated Reader[TM]. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2010

    2010-01-01

    "Accelerated Reader"[TM] is a guided reading intervention used to supplement regular reading instruction in K-12 classrooms. Its aim is to improve students' reading skills through reading practice and quizzes on the books students read. The "Accelerated Reader"[TM] program calls for students to select and read a book and then…

  10. Social Stories[TM]: A Possible Theoretical Rationale

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynhout, Georgina; Carter, Mark

    2011-01-01

    Social Stories[TM] are an intervention widely used with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This paper discusses a possible theoretical rationale that might account for the purported efficacy of Social Stories[TM]. Attributes of individuals with ASD in relation to Social Story intervention including difficulties with theory of mind…

  11. Doors to Discovery[TM]. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2007

    2007-01-01

    "Doors to Discovery"[TM] is an early childhood curriculum that uses thematic units to engage young children and support them as they build an understanding of their world. "Doors to Discovery"[TM] literacy activities are used to encourage children's development in a number of areas identified by research as the foundation for…

  12. Full Immersive Virtual Environment Cave[TM] in Chemistry Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Limniou, M.; Roberts, D.; Papadopoulos, N.

    2008-01-01

    By comparing two-dimensional (2D) chemical animations designed for computer's desktop with three-dimensional (3D) chemical animations designed for the full immersive virtual reality environment CAVE[TM] we studied how virtual reality environments could raise student's interest and motivation for learning. By using the 3ds max[TM], we can visualize…

  13. Inside Linden Lab: Second Life [TM] for Educators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson, Tom

    2008-01-01

    A new culture called Second Life [TM] has emerged that promises innovative strategies for everything from social interactions to business. Some educators believe it may hold new and unique opportunities for teaching and learning. Second Life [TM] (SL) is the creation of Linden Labs, a San Francisco-based corporation defined by its creators as "an…

  14. Relative radiometric calibration of LANDSAT TM reflective bands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barker, J. L.

    1984-01-01

    A common scientific methodology and terminology is outlined for characterizing the radiometry of both TM sensors. The magnitude of the most significant sources of radiometric variability are discussed and methods are recommended for achieving the exceptional potential inherent in the radiometric precision and accuracy of the TM sensors.

  15. Accelerated Math[TM]. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2011

    2011-01-01

    "Accelerated Math"[TM], published by Renaissance Learning, is a software tool used to customize assignments and monitor progress in math for students in grades 1-12. The "Accelerated Math"[TM] software creates individualized assignments aligned with state standards and national guidelines, scores student work, and generates…

  16. Utilising eduroam[TM] Architecture in Building Wireless Community Networks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huhtanen, Karri; Vatiainen, Heikki; Keski-Kasari, Sami; Harju, Jarmo

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: eduroam[TM] has already been proved to be a scalable, secure and feasible way for universities and research institutions to connect their wireless networks into a WLAN roaming community, but the advantages of eduroam[TM] have not yet been fully discovered in the wireless community networks aimed at regular consumers. This aim of this…

  17. Cross-Section Measurement of the 169Tm(n,3n)167Tm Reaction and Constraining the Branching Ratio of 167Tm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Champine, Brian; Gooden, Matthew; Thomas, Keenan; Krishichayan, F.; Norman, Eric; Scielzo, Nick; Tonchev, Anton; Tornow, Werner

    2015-10-01

    The cross section of the 169Tm(n,3n)167Tm reaction has been measured from 17.5 to 21.5 MeV using activation technique. This energy region was chosen to resolve the two different trends of the previous (n,3n) cross section measurements on 169Tm. In addition, the branching ratio of the 207.8 keV γ-ray line stemming from electron capture of 167Tm was measured to be 0.419(16). The result of these measurements provide more accurate diagnostic estimation of the so called reaction-in-flight neutrons produced via the internal confinement fusion plasma in deuterium-tritium capsules at the National Ignition Facility.

  18. Registratiom of TM data to digital elevation models

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    Several problems arise when attempting to register LANDSAT thematic mapper data to U.S. B Geological Survey digital elevation models (DEMs). The TM data are currently available only in a rotated variant of the Space Oblique Mercator (SOM) map projection. Geometric transforms are thus; required to access TM data in the geodetic coordinates used by the DEMs. Due to positional errors in the TM data, these transforms require some sort of external control. The spatial resolution of TM data exceeds that of the most commonly DEM data. Oversampling DEM data to TM resolution introduces systematic noise. Common terrain processing algorithms (e.g., close computation) compound this problem by acting as high-pass filters.

  19. Increased gray matter volume in the right angular and posterior parahippocampal gyri in loving-kindness meditators.

    PubMed

    Leung, Mei-Kei; Chan, Chetwyn C H; Yin, Jing; Lee, Chack-Fan; So, Kwok-Fai; Lee, Tatia M C

    2013-01-01

    Previous voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies have revealed that meditation is associated with structural brain changes in regions underlying cognitive processes that are required for attention or mindfulness during meditation. This VBM study examined brain changes related to the practice of an emotion-oriented meditation: loving-kindness meditation (LKM). A 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner captured images of the brain structures of 25 men, 10 of whom had practiced LKM in the Theravada tradition for at least 5 years. Compared with novices, more gray matter volume was detected in the right angular and posterior parahippocampal gyri in LKM experts. The right angular gyrus has not been previously reported to have structural differences associated with meditation, and its specific role in mind and cognitive empathy theory suggests the uniqueness of this finding for LKM practice. These regions are important for affective regulation associated with empathic response, anxiety and mood. At the same time, gray matter volume in the left temporal lobe in the LKM experts appeared to be greater, an observation that has also been reported in previous MRI meditation studies on meditation styles other than LKM. Overall, the findings of our study suggest that experience in LKM may influence brain structures associated with affective regulation.

  20. Greater widespread functional connectivity of the caudate in older adults who practice kripalu yoga and vipassana meditation than in controls

    PubMed Central

    Gard, Tim; Taquet, Maxime; Dixit, Rohan; Hölzel, Britta K.; Dickerson, Bradford C.; Lazar, Sara W.

    2015-01-01

    There has been a growing interest in understanding how contemplative practices affect brain functional organization. However, most studies have restricted their exploration to predefined networks. Furthermore, scientific comparisons of different contemplative traditions are largely lacking. Here we explored differences in whole brain resting state functional connectivity between experienced yoga practitioners, experienced meditators, and matched controls. Analyses were repeated in an independent sample of experienced meditators and matched controls. Analyses utilizing Network-Based Statistics (Zalesky et al., 2010) revealed difference components for yoga practitioners > controls and meditators > controls in which the right caudate was a central node. Follow up analyses revealed that yoga practitioners and meditators had significantly greater degree centrality in the caudate than controls. This greater degree centrality was not driven by single connections but by greater connectivity between the caudate and numerous brain regions. Findings of greater caudate connectivity in meditators than in controls was replicated in an independent dataset. These findings suggest that yoga and meditation practitioners have stronger functional connectivity within basal ganglia cortico-thalamic feedback loops than non-practitioners. Although we could not provide evidence for its mechanistic role, this greater connectivity might be related to the often reported effects of meditation and yoga on behavioral flexibility, mental health, and well-being. PMID:25852521