Meditation and Gamma Waves

Meditation and Gamma Waves (Lutz et al., 2004)
  • Aim: Investigate effects of meditation (cognition) on the brain (physiology)
  • Method: Compare buddhist monks who meditated long-term with 10 control participants who had just learned to meditate
    • The control participants were asked to practice meditation for 1 hour a day for 1 week
    • Used EEG recordings to compare brain activity of long-term (monks) and short-term (controls) meditators
  • Results: Monks and 2 control participants had higher gamma wave activity
    • When the control participants stopped meditating their gamma wave activity returned to normal whereas the monks' gamma wave activity remained high
  • Conclusion: Meditation (cognition) can have a permanent change on physiology (the gamma waves) if practiced enough
    • Gamma waves are supposedly related to higher reasoning ability, better memory, self-control, happiness and compassion

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