The Effects of Concentrative Meditation on the Electroencephalogram in Novice Meditators

Publication Name

Clinical EEG and Neuroscience


Following investigations into the benefits of meditation on psychological health and well-being, research is now seeking to understand the mechanisms underlying these outcomes. This study aimed to identify natural alpha and theta frequency components during eyes-closed resting and concentrative meditation states and examined their differences within and between two testing sessions. Novice meditators had their EEG recorded during eyes-closed resting and concentrative meditation conditions, before and after engaging in a brief daily concentrative meditation practice for approximately one-month. Separate frequency Principal Components Analyses (f-PCA) yielded four spectral components of interest, congruent between both conditions and sessions: Delta-Theta-Alpha, Low Alpha, High Alpha, and Alpha-Beta. While all four components showed some increase in the meditation condition at the second session, only Low Alpha (∼9.5-10.0 Hz) showed similar increases while resting. These findings support the use of f-PCA as a novel method of data analysis in the investigation of psychophysiological states in meditation.

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