Thursday, December 1, 2011

Monitoring State of Consciousness

Found an interesting page about work to develop a tool for monitoring meditative states of consciousness on the Beckley Foundation website.  The Beckley Foundation describes itself as "a charitable trust that promotes the scientific investigation of consciousness and its modulation from a multidisciplinary perspective. We also seek to change global drugs policy to reflect a more rational, evidence-based approach, shifting the emphasis from criminalisation to health."

The EEG of 30 experienced meditators was studied, revealing:

(1) Decrease in Delta (1-3.5 Hz) and Theta (4-7.5 Hz) activity in central, parietal, and occipital areas of the brain.
(2) Significant increase in Gamma band activity in frontal brain areas.
(3) Slight decrease in low-Gamma (25.5-47 Hz) coherence in frontal-parietal areas.
(4) Shift of occipital Theta activity towards the left hemisphere.
(5) Gamma activity was highly increased up to three times its resting state power amplitude.
(6) Gamma band power and oscillatory Gamma seem to be completely decoupled during meditation.
(7) Beta and Gamma activity shift to the right hemisphere in central and temporal regions.

The main finding of significant increase in frontal gamma matches up with Davidson's work.  The shift of occipital theta towards the left hemisphere, not sure how significant that is, but it reminds me of Elmer Green's recommendation to do alpha-theta training at O1.

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